Following the "publishing theme" of yesterday's post (and my life in general), today I have analyzed an author's network with the hope that we can all benefit from his example.
Have you read this book? Apparently it's really popular. So popular, in fact, that this author self-published, made more than $1 million, THEN got a book deal with Simon & Shuster for the hardcover edition, and was savvy enough to retain the digital rights (that's the first time I have EVER heard of that happening). I don't like science fiction (sorry!), so I haven't read this book, but I am totally interested in this author's story.
Anyhow, as you know, I’m an author and am interested in all things internet and marketing (and internet marketing), so naturally I am interested in any and all success stories, especially stories that involve self publishing (which of course combines authorship with the internet). With that in mind, yesterday one of my Facebook friends referred me to a piece that was running on Marketplace. First, I went over to read the story on American Public Media’s website, which you can see here: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/big-book/best-selling-novelist-youve-never-heard They’ve also now posted the interview—go over and listen! As I’m reading the story, all I can think is: I hope Kai Ryssdall (the host of Marketplace) asks this author how he did it, because that is (literally) the million dollar question on everyone’s mind when they hear about a self-publishing success story: what did they do that I can do? How can that be me? That is where I come in. If (as in this case) the reporter does not ask the author about how they actually did it, I ask the author myself, and if they don’t answer, I attempt to reverse-engineer their network so I can tell you what I think they are doing right, and how you can do these things yourself (hopefully with the same results).
The last time a self-published author who got a book deal caught my eye, it was Brittany Geragotelis’ 3-book deal with Simon & Schuster. Right after the news broke about her deal, I reached out to her to get more of the story about how she did it, and she could not have been nicer about sharing her story. Brittany and I are now friends, and I continually admire her work ethic. Her “secret,” in case you’re wondering, was being very active on WattPad, very organized in her author platform and branding, and very consistent in her interaction with her readers (as well as being a great writer, of course!). Brittany treats being an author like a business, which (in my opinion) is really what you have to do to be successful. After the Hugh Howey article / interview ran yesterday, I was so curious to know how he did it, I tweeted him to see if he would agree to be interviewed for this website. Here was his reply:
Can I just say that it bugs me to no end when successful authors are coy about their methods? Dude-- you are successful. People want to know what worked for you. I feel like if you're successful as an author, the LEAST you can do is outline what you think might have worked to get you there. Because he doesn’t want to comment (and because I do not accept “luck” as a method that can be replicated), I took a look at his network and asked a few other publishing types, and I will (nervously) link you over to my other publishing-related project which is soft-launching right now so you can read the rest of the list.