The Golden Rule of Indie Publishing

Kitteh Will Scratch Your BackWhen you’re a self-published writer, if you want your book promoted, it’s up to you. The same as it was for the writing, the revision, the editing, formatting, and publication. All yours. Every bit of it. But when it comes to reviews, you can’t go it alone.

Although I’ve read a lot of books in my life, I’ve reviewed very few. This is changing. Why? Because now as a self-published author, I need reviews. And I believe in the Golden Rule of Indie Publishing: Scratch the Backs of Others as You Would Like Yours to Be Scratched.

In the world of e-pubbing, I can’t count on the publishing house’s marketing department to push my book. (Not that it would anyway, had I gone the traditional route.) Nor can I depend on my personal fame to attract strangers to praise me. (I traipsed around in a platinum wig and meat suit like a monster, and all I did was draw flies.) I need the handful of people in my literary circle to pull for me, reading and posting reviews wherever my work appears.

According to the Golden Rule of Indie Publishing, if I want my stuff reviewed, I need to write reviews for others—at least for those who write in the genres I read most. I must comment on their Facebook posts, like their author pages, recommend them to others, visit their blogs, RT their Tweets.

Those who just jumped on the bandwagon should realize that indie publishing is a collaborative effort based on personal relationships and mutual favors. We are the literary Amish, raising each other’s barns.

Even if you don’t yet have a well-established blog or writer’s website, a Twitter account, or a Facebook fan page, one thing you can do is to start building goodwill for yourself among your writing peers. Someday when you get all of the pieces of the business figured out—or enough of them to put your work out there for public consumption—you’re going to need reviews.

You’ll find your hours must be divided between putting stuff out and requesting help from others. When it comes time for reviews and promotion by others, you’ll want to have a full account to draw from. Your back will one day need a good scratching. The best scratchers are those whose backs you’ve already scratched.Backscratcher

Begin now to put people in your debt for those favors you’ll need tomorrow. Instead of your launch stalling, you may find it will take off and soar.

“Don’t look out only for your own interests,
but take an interest in others, too.”
–Php. 2:4 NLT

My pubs, THE SIXTH SEED, STRAY, and SEVERED RELATIONS, are available for review. If you like horror and paranormal fiction, hit me up on my Contact page to request a free coupon of whatever you’re willing to write a review for.

And if you enjoyed this post, please click Like, promote it among your peers, subscribe to my blog—scratch my back. Thanks, karma buddies!


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2 Responses to “The Golden Rule of Indie Publishing”

  1. leeallenhoward Says:

    I review horror, crime, dark crime, supernatural crime, suspense, thrillers, and mysteries. I’m not interested in romance, science fiction, or heroic fantasy.

  2. Scott Nicholson Says:

    “Barns” is a good metaphor. I have always described it as building our own ladders, but this is more communal!


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