Indie Author Woes.

Not as severely, but yeah. I’m far more conventional, but our spastic nature pushes us closer together thinking, which I guess could be called an “Indie Streak”…(that doesn’t sound pleasent to me, lip is curled as I type this).

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From this, it definitely sounds like you’re trying to build up an audience but I don’t quite understand why you’re moving away from one writing service to go to another when you can just post your works on all of them. At the end of the day you want to make it as easy as possible for your target audience to find your work so it’ll make sense to post your works on multiple platforms.

This is more-so important for ‘Indie’ authors. I’m not sure about your definition of ‘indie’ but ‘indie’ to me has always implied a niche genre with a niche audience. If you’re writing for a niche audience you cannot compare your popularity/exposure to authors who write the mainstream trendy genres.

If you’re not writing what’s popular, chances are your reads/fan base aren’t going to grow considerably. From what I’ve seen it’s not a recent trend, it’s always been like that.

If you’re serious enough to start a Patreon and invest money into it, your best bet would be to set some realistic targets and get an idea of what kind of numbers to expect. You can do this by looking at authors who are writing for a similar audience as yourself to determine what magnitude of reads is ‘normal’ for your category and see how well you are doing (think of it as an industry standard businesses use to determine how well their company is performing). Are you doing okay/underperforming/overperforming? Why might that be? Do other authors already have well established fan bases which is why my numbers are lower? Could I find other ways of getting exposure? Read-for-reads, advertising on forums, etc.

Hopefully after that you’d have a good understanding of how big your potential fanbase is. Temper your expectations accordingly and decide whether it’s worth the monetary investment. It’s okay if it’s not. Lots of great products and ideas have died not because it was bad, but because the audience for it just wasn’t there.

TLDR:

  • If you’re an INDIE author your reads will always be much lower than those who write mainstream trends.
  • Temper expectations according to how many reads similar authors of the same category are getting.
  • If you’re investing money and starting up a Patreon, you probably expect some form of return. Do your homework to ensure your potential audience is big enough to generate enough returns before you invest.
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Yeah, I agree. An Indie streak sounds like a bunch of hippies running around the city naked, high on crack for an hour every summer.

My definition of indie isn’t really just filling a niche per-se, it’s more a choice. Independent publishing, independent plots. Self-publishing my own stories. Look, I don’t care about filing a niche. I’m just writing what I want, independent from the publishing industry, and yes, it is nice to have some goals and recognition, and I do understand that I will most likely never be on the NYT bestselling list, and I appreciate that.

But I don’t see why indie should just be limited to a niche. There are also plenty of “indie publishers” publishing popular story genres from their authors. I think that people have confused the whole definition of indie to just mean niche, when it’s not always the case. Chuck Tingle has a market, and he’s indie, and has a niche, but he’s very successful in his own right. Mainstream to some.

I don’t know if Wattpad (alone) is going to work for me. Wattpad doesn’t really get you much exposure these days, because there’s no newsfeed or forums to promote your stuff. I don’t think my stuff fits Wattpad’s target audience, because it’s not cliche, and it’s not going anywhere on there. I’m kinda fed up with the same thing being popular, and the same thing only getting recognized.

It has always been that way on Wattpad since the early days, but at least pre-2018, it was a lot easier to get recognized because they did actually promote Indie stories more and have a Featured section, but now that seems to be paled in comparison to what they are pushing for and promoting with Paid Stories.

I was looking at alternatives like RR, Scribblehub, and even Inkitt and Radish. I’m thinking of focusing more on them if the reads don’t pick up soon. I do mention my stories, and I do kinda promote them, but it’s hard to do that now as I said. Branching out might help a lot, to be honest, and I am going to try and do that. But I’m not limiting what I put out, and I am making certain stories “exclusive” to certain platforms to test the waters, per-se.

If I wrote an erotica, it wouldn’t work on RR because that’s geared more towards Fantasy than Romance/Erotica, and if I wrote Fantasy story, I would be putting that on RR and not Inkitt, which is geared towards Romance/Erotica. Scribblehub seems to be the most experimental of them all, so I’d put my experimental works on there to see how well they do etc.

I don’t think that I want to write super popular cliche things, because:

  1. I really can’t, and don’t write about fluffy gay twinks. I think that honestly, a lot of this fluff perpetrates bad stereotypes about young gay men, IMHO. And a lot of it isn’t really diverse, per-se. From what I have read of it anywhere. I think that diversity and variety are very important. And I think that you should try your hardest to do it right, and introduce POV that people never really use.

  2. I don’t want to write smut for the sake of it. It needs to have a reason in the story, the sex scenes. If you just write it all the time, it’s gonna lose the effect. I get that some people like erotica, and they want to read it and there’s nothing wrong with that at all, but I like to use it sparingly.

  3. The market is saturated with werewolves, mafia, billionaires, bad boys, etc. People are going to get fed up with it, and I don’t want to be landlocked into any of that cliche stuff, and I don’t want people to expect me to write it in a cliche way all of the time. Don’t wanna be a one-tricky-pony when I know I have more to offer.

  4. If I do take a “popular genre”, I want to twist it as much as I can, because I want to present a new perspective to said genre, which isn’t always going to catch on in the same way that the mainstream does, and I understand that, but I still think that there is a place for it.

I mean, it’s not like I am writing super niche stuff, but I do like to experiment a bit. I guess that is my selling point. More experimental/twisted genre stories, with well fleshed out characters, and a fresh viewpoint. I can write traditional genres, but like I said, it’s a “new perspective” on them.

I have a story on Wattpad called Lio, and it’s a NA/Romance/Drama, but it’s set in Barcelona, and it has some twists/turns in it. It’s not just all from Adam (the MC) POV, it has multiple POV, and it explores different cultures/religions. It also has some action mixed in with it, and I’ve tried to vary the story as much as I can. It’s not your typical, run of the mill college/New Adult story. But it still could be categorised under that genre.

I’m still working on the ending for that, and I would actually like that to be self-published someday. I like the concept of the story, and I think that it would (potentially) be a series.

If you’re serious enough to start a Patreon and invest money into it, your best bet would be to set some realistic targets and get an idea of what kind of numbers to expect. You can do this by looking at authors who are writing for a similar audience as yourself to determine what magnitude of reads is ‘normal’ for your category and see how well you are doing (think of it as an industry standard businesses use to determine how well their company is performing). Are you doing okay/underperforming/overperforming? Why might that be? Do other authors already have well established fan bases which is why my numbers are lower? Could I find other ways of getting exposure? Read-for-reads, advertising on forums, etc.

Yeah, definitely. I agree with you, and I think that you bring up some good points. I guess that I could do a “test run” and gauge and research the numbers. I could start my targets low, and see if things are working, and it not, I could go back and readjust things. See if the numbers are adding up, or are similar to other authors, like you said.

Yeah, I think that doing a comparison/monthly report and crunching numbers to see where I stand might be a good idea. And finding reasons why. And see their average fan base(s). And yes, advertising is a very good way, but again, you do need a strategy and to know your target audience and ways to reach them. Read-for-reads could work in the short term, but if you get too many, it’s gonna be a lot of work. Advertising is probably more affective, if you can get a good spot were a lot of people can see it.

Yeah, definitely. I guess you can alter your expectations, or try another thing. Trial and error. It’s all about experimenting and tryiing things, isn’t it? Audience might come, or they might not. Depends.

:+1: Thanks for the advice.

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I was more thinking poo strip .

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Haha that sounds funny

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