A First Step to Success for the Independent Author

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I’m sure there’s a more fitting cliché about ‘walking a mile begins with the first step’, but no particular one comes to mind at the moment.

That might be a good sign to an aspiring author; that is, to forget the clichés.

Never-the-less, many meaningful words can be written without being redundant about the first step to achieve success as an independent author.

Let’s assume you’ve completed the biggest step an author faces having written, ‘The End’, which is in actually the beginning of your next ‘first step’. Now comes the task of getting your book into the hands of readers.

When we think of announcing a product or event in today’s connected world, we automatically turn to the marketplace that has the biggest audience and thus, the largest potential customer base; the internet.

While the internet must be on your agenda for spreading the word about your words, it doesn’t have to be your first step.

Close to Home

You may want to turn first to those who could be your staunchest supporters and most vocal cheerleaders. Aside from your family and friends (who will probably cheer you on with their words but not their wallets), you might be pleasantly surprised to learn some that local businesses in your community will be more than happy to offer your book in their store. Some will accept it on consignment while others would rather avoid the extra bookkeeping by purchasing it for the wholesale price.

Southern California’s oldest and largest independent booksellers is Vroman’s Bookstore. It’s also where I have purchased most of my print books and calendars for many years.

Vroman’s has a dedicated section for local authors. It’s not hidden in a corner in the back, but right near the entrance and cash register. That tells me that they are serious about helping local authors.

When I launched my new book Living Loom, I’m sure you can imagine who I turned to first. Vroman’s willingly accepted it and has it displayed prominently today.

As word began to circulate about Living Loom, someone referred me to Websters Fine Stationers in Altadena, CA; walking distance from my home. Webster’s has been an anchor business since 1926 and where I have shopped for many (not as many:) years.

When I met with co-owner Laurie Webster, she not only wanted to offer Living Loom, but also took my book, Back Lot Talk.

By the way, word of my book began to spread first through local blogger Timothy Rutt. Timothy is the voice of AltadenaBlog, my trusted daily source of news in my community.

A Key Ingredient

One ingredient that should never be omitted in whipping up success for your book is the support of those close to you, for they will derive much satisfaction from your success.

Don’t overlook your local businesses as potential venues to place your book, where sales can be more personal and mutually beneficial.

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