In 2012 I made the move from a "traditionally published author" to "independent author." It's a move that many, many authors have made, some with a lot more success than me. But as I look back over my 17-year-long writing/publishing career, I point to that decision as the most exciting and innovative thing I've ever done. Instead of relying on a publisher to get my books out to readers, I basically take over the publisher role. I either do myself, or hire out from freelance professionals, all the work and steps that it takes to get a book from the point where it's just an idea in my mind, to the point that it's in your hands, and you're reading it.
Being an indie author gives me the opportunity to get involved, and drive, so many activities for my business that goes way beyond writing. In this blog I'll share some of those things I've already accomplished this year, as well as goals for the remainder of 2017.
Rebrand and update website. DONE! In this new website I put some thought into my brand as an author. When someone picks up a Laurie Larsen novel, what can they expect, time after time? I know it sounds simple, but it really required me to put some dedicated time and effort into determining: a heartwarming read. A story that will make you cry and make you laugh, but above all else, it will leave you feeling good. A story that shows people dealing with life's everyday issues, but relying on GOD to help them through. Stories about real-life people learning how to incorporate FAITH into their days. AND my brand involves the beach. So this new website incorporates all that, and eliminates all extraneous clutter from 17 years of publishing that doesn't fit into that brand.
Modernize my newsletter and grow subscribers. I've had a newsletter for over a decade with a small group of long-term subscribers. But I want to use my newsletter as a vehicle to stay in touch with my readers, to offer them free books, to engage them in conversation and contests, giveaways and exclusive news. My newsletter schedule had grown lackluster and irregular. I want it to be exciting and informative. SO I built an automated sequence of emails that will attract and welcome new subscribers. I'll offer them their own "starter pack library" of Laurie Larsen ebooks as a thank you for subscribing. It starts with my 2009 EPIC Award Winner, Preacher Man, and concludes with Pawleys Island Paradise: A Companion. My goal is to double my number of newsletter subscribers by summer, and triple my number by the end of year. If this appeals to you, please join me! You'll get your free books, and get involved in all the fun! All you have to do is fill out this form.
Narrate my own audiobook. This one is a huge departure for me, and something I'm very excited about! I personally am not an audiobook reader, but I know millions of readers are! It's an exploding market and I want my Pawleys Island series to be part of it. I've had a desire and enthusiasm about narrating my own audiobook. I don't know if I'll do a great job, or bomb, but I'm willing to try. I am working with an audiobook production company called ACX to produce my audiobook. They have provided me with a list of equipment I'll need to set up my own in-home recording studio! I know this sounds like a huge endeavor, but it is surprisingly low-cost to accomplish. In fact, do you know where ACX recommends as the best place for an in-home studio? Your walk-in closet. Yes! Think about it. It's small, like a recording booth, and all the clothes hanging around you will soak up any outside noise or echo. So I have set aside a week in June for me to narrate Roadtrip to Redemption. I have until then to set everything up. Wish me luck!
There's more, so much more, but these are some of the goals I have for 2017 to get me outside my comfort zone and maximizing my writing career. I thank you for being along for the ride!
Have a great day,