Tuesday night I didn’t go to bed until I finished reading the 2013 Kindle edition of the book, The Naked Truth About Self Publishing (disclaimer: that’s an affiliate link) which was co-authored by 10 of the biggest names in the indie romantic fiction business. Now, in all honesty, I don’t read much traditional romantic fiction. It doesn’t hold a lot of appeal for me. But, as long as I’m being honest, I do admit to the guilty pleasure of watching romantic dramas and romcoms on cable channels like Hallmark and Lifetime. I’m not heartless; I just prefer other genres for my reading enjoyment.
I was reading the book because it was recommended in a forum for writers that I frequent. The recommendation focused on the fact that these 10 women have done extremely well in self publishing especially after several of them struggled mightily with traditional publishing and it also focused on the fact that they each told their personal story.
I’ve now read 90+ books on self publishing and marketing indie work. I read things in this book that non of those other books ever attempted to break down. You want dollars and cents? It’s in this book at a depth that you will not find in any other book. You want to know how best seller lists work? It’s here. If you want to know about translations, foreign markets, foreign rights, traditional publishing contracts, agents, assistants, and on and on, it’s in the book.
Naysayers say all of this information is available online. That’s true. It’s all available…somewhere. I’ve never found it all in one place before and remember, I’ve read 90+ books (and countless articles) on the subjects covered here. I stopped reading this several times to actually do what these authors were recommending writers do that I hadn’t already heard about before. I’ll be referring back to this book once books three and four and maybe five in my series are out. There are things that they talk about that can only happen when you have multiple products on the market.
My biggest takeaway from The Naked Truth About Self Publishing wasn’t about how bad most traditional publishing contracts are (pretty bad for beginners to hear these women tell it) or about how much money can be made in self-publishing (lots with good products in hot genres) or even about specific, can’t miss marketing techniques. It was about writing itself. So many books that I’ve read implore authors that the more they write the better they’ll do but that’s all they really say. That’s common sense stuff really, right? These ladies SHOW you with their life stories, their fan bases and their bank accounts why the writing is the most important thing.
I’ll be spending a lot less time hanging around in author forums for the next 6-9 months. I’m going to take their advice and WRITE BABY, WRITE!