Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random good things to know if you're an indie

Derived from some discussions I've seen on the Amazon boards this week, a few useful things to know if you go the indie route:

1. Song lyrics are copyrighted. Unless you are absolutely certain they are in the public domain, do not use them in a book. (You can obtain permission, but you probably won't be able to afford it, so it's best to skip them.) You can, however, use song titles.

2. Don't use images for your cover unless you are certain you have permission to. Don't assume an image is in the public domain or that it's okay to use it for commercial use.

3. Don't lose heart if your book doesn't start selling right away. In indie publishing, it seems to take a little while for a book to get rolling. So if it's been up for a week or two, and hasn't sold many copies, don't give up. Conversely, if it's been up for a couple of months and you're not seeing much activity, you might want to re-evaluate your cover and price.

4. You do have to promote. Don't expect to put a book up on Amazon and have people just find it. You have to get the ball rolling by posting on the boards. Don't overpromote, but do promote.

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