Shawn's article is short, to the point, and full of advice. Here's what I took away from it:
- 5 years ago was a great time to self-publish your work. But NOW is also a great time to self publish your work. You may have missed the first wave, but you're still ahead of the curve.
- The importance of building an email list can't be understated. This is advice I hear over and over again from authors. When you build an email list, you build a direct link between yourself and potential customers. This is something that nobody can take away from you. As an independent artist, that list is your most valuable asset. No matter how the market change, or social media changes, or how stories are sold in the future, you will always be able to talk directly to your fans.
- Building a "Street Team" is something that I've heard Mark Dawson talk about before. This is essentially a group of really dedicated fans of your work. These are people who are willing to read and review your new works when they come out, as well as providing feedback. Shawn says that he would actively try and recruit these people, rather than just waiting for them to come to him.
- Write short works and publish often. This is another mantra that I've heard repeated from many others. One huge advantage that self-publishing presents, is the ability to publish quickly. About as soon as you can write and edit a work, you can put it on the market. I believe that the younger generation wants lots of content and they want it quickly, they want their content accessible on any device, made readily accessible to purchase. As a writer, I would rather go along with these trends than agains them.
- There are tons of ways to find success as an indie publisher, but there is no cookie cutter route. Every new artist and every new story have different versions of potential in the market. From one self-published author to another, the advice is always varying. So be brave and take advantage of all your varied opportunities. Try all the platforms, all the strategies, test them all and see what works for you.