13 Tips for Indie Ebook Success in Fiction

Today  Martha Jewett & Evan Marshall are my guest bloggers who will share their expertise in Indie publishing (self-publishing). They will provide expert tips on preparing a manuscript for Indie publication. Learn more about them at the end of the article.

If you’re a thorough and ambitious would-be indie ebook fiction author, you’re drowning in a sea of advice. From our perspective of working with both traditionally published and indie-published authors (sometimes an author is both), we see what really works and what doesn’t. Here are our 13 best no-nonsense tips for getting your e-book published successfully.

  1. Write the kind of book you love, the kind you most enjoy reading, but if at all possible, try to fit it into one of the most popular e-book categories: thriller, mystery, romance, young adult. If necessary, rethink your story so that you can legitimately package and market it in one of these genres.
  2. Keep the books coming. Write shorter books in order to publish more books, more often. Rather than giving us one 100,000-word novel, give us two 55,000-word novels.
  3. Before you publish your first novel, have several written so that you can publish them in rapid succession. Even a week apart is not too fast.
  4. Once these first books have been published, it’s OK to slow down, but not too much. A book a month is great.
  5. Write a series and keep it open-ended. In mystery, it’s your continuing sleuth. In romance, it’s the Johnson brothers, or the Mackenzie sisters, or the daughters of Full Moon Ranch, and so on.
  6. Invest in professional editing, copy editing, cover design, and interior formatting. If you want readers (and the major publishers who are watching the indie lists like hawks) to take you seriously, make your books indistinguishable from books out of New York City.
  7. Blog. Write about your writing process, the book you’re currently working on, interesting side information from your research that you can’t use in a novel, decisions you’re making about your plots, and so on. It’s more important to blog regularly and consistently than frequently. If you have a separate website, link it to the blog and vice versa, and keep the look similar if possible.
  8. By all means take advantage of the social media biggies—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.—but think of them as spokes on the hub that is your blog and/or website. Always bring people back to your blog/website, where they will find the most comprehensive information about you, your books, what you’re working on and, of course, calls to action (BUY!) and purchase links. Remember, your own blog and/or website is the only place that is completely under your control and only about you. It’s the heart of your platform.
  9. Make sure your blog or website has a prominent email sign-up form. Use the email addresses you collect to send a regular newsletter in which you talk not only about your newly published works but also what you’re currently working on. Ask for opinions, feedback, suggestions on your story. Let your readers become part of your process. Raffle off free copies of your books. Ask your readers to forward your newsletter to anyone they know who might be interested.
  10. Write short novellas to fill gaps between novels and keep your readers on the hook. Tie these novellas cleverly to your novels—spinoff characters, stories alluded to in the novels, prequels . . . the possibilities are endless and it’s a lot of fun.
  11. For maximum discoverability, use one of the major publishing platforms: Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble’s PubIt!, Kobo, Apple’s iBookstore, Smashwords.
  12. Price smart. Give the novellas away for free (think of them as ads or premiums), but price your full-length works at $2.99 or more. If you do you’ll get a 70% royalty on Amazon (versus 35% if you price lower), and PubIt! has a similar structure.
  13. Try to get your books into ebook bargain newsletters and websites such as BookBub and E-Readers News Today. Here is a link to an excellent article that gives a rundown of the best of these.

To our minds, these are the indie-pub biggies. We hope they bring you success.

About the guest bloggers:

Marshall Plan Software2


Evan Marshall is an expert on fiction writing and author of the Hidden Manhattan and Jane Stuart and Winky mystery series. A former book editor, for 30 years he has been a leading literary agent specializing in fiction. The Marshall Plan® Novel Writing Software, which he co-authored with Martha Jewett, is an adaptation of his bestselling The Marshall Plan® series. Read his articles at themarshallplan.net.

Martha Jewett is a memoir advocate, editorial expert with an outstanding track record in book publishing, and co-creator of The Marshall Plan® series, a structured approach to writing fiction and nonfiction which helps writers get great results fast. She is co-author with Evan Marshall of The Marshall Plan® Novel Writing Software. Martha worked as a business book editor at major New York publishers including John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, and Harper. She collaborated with authors to reach the widest possible audience—as developmental editor, acquisitions editor, editorial consultant, ghost writer, and independent literary agent. She was awarded The McGraw-Hill Corporate Award for Editorial Excellence. She blogs about memoir writing at writeyourmemoir.com.

Be Sociable, Share!


Leave a comment
  1. Mart Ramirez December 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Thank you so much for the great tips!

  2. shiba dog January 24, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    There is no doubt that a lot of kids, and some adults with
    a collecting streak, and are still children in their
    hearts, are very familiar with the game. s Lakers tomorrow night and Lebron James chase a shot at the championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers against Dwight Howard.
    There you can find various patterns which will give you a clear idea on how
    to make your women Halloween costumes more unique.

    Here is my web-site – shiba dog

  3. decor garden statues February 18, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal
    but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Many thanks

  4. Web Site Development February 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Keep on writinɡ, great job!

    Haνe a look at my page :: Web Site Development

  5. info March 19, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    I know this web page offers quality dependent articles or
    reviews and additional data, is there any other website which provides
    such stuff in quality?

  6. myxmodels March 26, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    Howdy! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your
    blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the superb

  7. hookup101.org March 26, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    If you desire to increase your experience just keep visiting
    this web site and be updated with the most up-to-date information posted here.

  8. Reda March 27, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Anny coursde without right curriculum iis not effective.
    In line with the Bureau of Lablr Statistics, personal training businesses are probably the quick growing organizatuons
    as well as effective companies using the US economic climate.
    Do you want to join a gym, or do you want to join a boot camp, oor have
    all the equipment at home.

    Also visit my webpage: trening personalny wrocław – Reda,

  9. Sherri April 30, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    I do accept as true with all the ideas you have offered on your post.
    They’re very convincing and can certainly work.
    Still, the posts are too quick for newbies. May you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

  10. Dragons May 12, 2014 at 2:17 am #

    Hello net citizens!

    My name is Long Wong Charlie and I just wrote a book called “All Good Dragons Have Wonton for Breakfast”

    Is it just me, or has it suddenly gotten really quiet in here?

    Now I know that it’s always best to wait for the movie to come out, but why fight the urge while the food is getting cold?

    If you hate Chinese food…
    If you distrust stories of kooky immigrants…
    If you believe in curses…
    If you’re an alcoholic…
    If you dream at night of little Asian guys slipping off banana peels…

    Then go see what the fuss is all about at Dragons !

  11. Cherie May 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    This site certainly has all of the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  12. Corinne May 23, 2014 at 1:41 am #

    Architects & designers are using this technology
    to present ideas. The wireless devices being used are portable, and usually wi-fi
    enabled. Moreover, you don’t need replacement bags or filters.

  13. decor metall June 7, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    Asking questions are in fact fastidious thing if you
    are not understanding anything completely, but this paragraph
    presents good understanding yet.

  14. hydroxycitric acid weight loss reviews July 9, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    The popular health expert told his audience that the fruit is a “dual action fat-burner” that can double or triple a user’s weight loss.
    Of the 11 products studied, six of them contained much less hydroxycitric
    acid (HCA), which is the plant’s alleged weight-loss component.
    Green Tea – Increases metabolism and lowers the appetite of a person. Garcinia
    cambogia extract with hca extract is amongst the most recent crazes in the world of
    fat reduction, and have been very endorsed by top doctors and nutritionists from
    around the globe. we securely think there is just one thing you
    need to understand and make certain of. However,
    if you bake fries, they could actually help you lose
    weight. This workout has you quickly moving from side to side, which works the
    mid section muscles and keeps the anxiety on the oblique muscles.

    For some, it has been successful, but for others it seems no matter what they do it doesn’t help
    them. Because it does not pass through the digestive
    system, essential chemicals, the weight will not be removed.
    Chromium also offers weight loss benefits as it turns carbohydrates, protein and
    fat into energy while helping to build muscle and reduces cravings
    to curb the urge to overeat.

    Feel free to visit my webpage … hydroxycitric acid weight loss reviews

  15. This way, you can compare companies side by side without incurring any extra risk.
    Buying your own home is one of the biggest investments and commitments that most people will experience in a
    lifetime. Once the actual data for period five is collected and recorded into the table, the forecast for period six can be calculated.

    My page :: moving companies palm beach gardens florida

  16. Two questions frequently asked by Network Marketers are What kind of business records do I have to keep for the IRS.

    We use only the best of encrypted technology to make sure
    there are no breaches of your private information. As an Accountant with an MBA Degree
    in you will be able to use your skills to analyze a company.

    Feel free to visit my weblog … boca raton financial advisor jobs in atlanta ga

  17. hcg weight loss program uk July 24, 2014 at 3:26 am #

    Regular exercise is one of the best ways to enhance your energy, trim you’re down your weight and make you feel better.
    Late in the evening hours there is definitely little management and many
    people will try to eat what ever is usually there. In immunization process, a minute and weakened quantity of disease-causing pathogen is introduced in the body.

    my homepage; hcg weight loss program uk

  18. where can i buy obagi products July 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Orissa is in the process of working with group homes of dysfunctional
    children. Looking beautiful doesn’t have to be hard
    on your budget or the environment. This is a review of this acne skincare line from this popular Tawainese skincare company.

    my weblog – where can i buy obagi products

  19. un devis mutuelle July 28, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    article très intéressant , vite te voilà dans mes favoris :
    je te félicite pour le choix du sujet

  20. http://www.example.com July 31, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    It is possible for uncontrolled stress to cause your skin to be more sensitive, which
    can cause skin problems. If you already have lines and
    wrinkles it helps to remove them. Don’t pass up on using sunscreen just because it’s wintertime.

  21. cadouri de paste August 5, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    Choose a well known, reputable company for your promotional gifts and promotional gift boxes and you should be very happy with all of your future purchases.

    So this is why I will be bulk buying some velvet cushions and anything else I happen to notice that is
    nice and on offer, as. Subscribe to the Sales & Deals Examiner for instant email updates on more last-minute holiday deals.

  22. plastic surgery in delhi August 6, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    Finally, mini face lift provide the sufferers an all natural experience by themselves as
    well as at the same time improve their own self esteem and confidence amounts.
    For example, you might be seeking rhinoplasty as way to achieve a
    functional goal. By using a radio frequency face lift, many men and
    women can prolong the need for a full-fledged face lift later on in life.

    Take a look at my site; plastic surgery in delhi

  23. montce swim promo code August 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Just like other clothes, swimwear too is subject to wear and
    tear. But just like in fashion, where you have so many choices to hide certain curves and to embrace others,
    swimwear designers have made the same fashion advances to give women more choices
    when they pick out their summer swimwear.
    Find the latest trends for summer, tips on wearing plus size leggings, tips on dresses for every occasion and
    three ways to wear one shirt.

  24. www.palmeridanmark.dk August 12, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    Often, you do not think of plumbing supplies as a necessity in your home, unless something begins
    leaking, or worse, ruptures. It’s been estimated that the green technology sector has
    the greatest potential for job growth in the next 10 years.

    They’re just pretty terrified that they’ll never get the chance to
    do it, that it’s a pipe dream, that they will suffer terrible humiliation if
    they ever reveal their secret ambitions.

  25. Merissa August 12, 2014 at 6:38 am #

    Without an under-sink organizer, you only have room on one level of the area.
    It’s been estimated that the green technology sector has the greatest potential for job growth in the next 10 years.
    Fill in operates, which are projects which contractors do once they cannot do common scheduled
    work, can also be regarded.

  26. Bathmate Water-Based Penile Enlargement Pump August 13, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    The kegel exercise helps prevent both urinary incontinence and hemorrhoids, and increase the
    flow of blood to the genitals. Particularly if all you actually
    want to do is to blow your partners mind away with all your skill and intimate
    prowess. This is when you take the time to pleasure your mate while keeping yourself aroused and ready to go.

  27. Milagro August 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Realizing I had just thrown away an entire working day enjoying a sport, I
    hit the delete button. As of this report, 1 of the most well known applications or video games on the online seems to be
    non-existant for the pill product. But, not like the conventional sugar laden chocolate covered raisins this heart healthy possibility is very little to experience guilty about
    indulging in.

    Feel free to surf to my blog: clash of clans hack (Milagro)

Leave a Reply