Indie Online Publishing Model

We all know what it takes to be a successful Indie author: A series of good online books, a large online following, regular interest articles on your blog, regular and frequent social media contact with your followers, a regular supply of new titles, a marketing funnel, plenty of time for marketing.

A regular supply of new titles and plenty of time for marketing are, of course,  the most difficult to deliver, because they conflict with each other: the time I need to  write new novels in a series is also the time I need to use to market the existing ones.

The ideal for any author is to pay someone else to market for them.  Unfortunately, the only people willing to do this require an up-front flat fee rather then being happy to take a percentage of the purchase price.  Even it they were only willing to market the book for six months after publication, it would help me to produce the next novel in that time period.

I tried offering a 50/50 associate program to anyone willing to market my books, but after nine months there were still no takers, so I have scrapped the program.  Perhaps I should have offered an 80/20 split.

I have recently come across an online publishing company called ‘Wizzards Keep Publishing’ which appears to offer exactly what I’m looking for, but I doubt their ability to achieve anything.  Why?
Well, it is all a matter of scale.  Let me explain.

WKP offer to market to their 50k twitter fans. As I have mentioned in previous articles, the stats point to any author needing a minimum of 50k followers on twitter, so that number for an online book marketing business is woefully small.

To succeed with a percentage marketing model, WKP would need 500k or 5M followers and a steady supply of new titles vetted by themselves for quality.  More accurately, WKP would need an emai list of 50K people who trust them to deliver quality books in a specific genre and style.

To build an online business of this magnitude would require a huge amount of seed money – $500k, $2M, $5M?  And the payback for such a business model would be a long way down the line.  WKP has already changed hands once in its short lifespan and currently have a relaunch crowdfunding campaign to raise $5,000.

I wish them success, I do, I really, really do.  I just don’t see the scale here that I believe is required to succeed.

With my 10.6k twitter followers, my minimal automation, my slowly developing blog/website, I think I will struggle on trying to both market and write at the same time.

If there is an alternative way forward for me, I see it only in terms of forming a cooperative: like minded authors coming together to market their books so each can spend a little less time marketing and a little more time writing.

So, if you are writing fiction novels in the Dystopian/Steampunk genres, are committed to writing more books in those niche genres, have a reasonable following on social media and are committed to actively gaining even more followers, contact me and we will discuss cooperation.

Nick.

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