Organic Distribution

If you are independently publishing a book - that is, doing it yourself rather than depending upon someone else to do it - the first practical barrier will not seem very practical initially, but the fact is that unless you overcome it, you won’t get very far.

It is your own struggle with the idea of marketing your own work.

‘Surely, this is what publishers are for?’ you might say. And the answer is that you are exactly correct: traditional publishers exist to deal with all of these commercial aspects, the advertising campaigns, customers, and everything that might seem very foreign to a writer, who has sat alone typing a manuscript and trying to avoid people for so long in order to get anything done. That’s mainly why writers outsourced the task of selling their work in the first place, because it was so alien to have to do it themselves.

But really, finding authentic ways to make direct and meaningful connections with an audience is just an extension of what you have been trying to do all along.

All of the commercial aspects of this are simply about sharing your fiction with others. That’s how markets started back in the dim reaches of history - they were the means by which people (mainly farmers) shared what they had produced with those who wanted to buy. Direct contact with the people who were going to buy your goods gave you a market, but also made you better at whatever it was you did because your work needed to be good enough to sell itself. If you have learned the secret language of fiction and incorporated all kinds of quality into your work (by utilising the key data in How Stories Really Work, for example) you will be amongst the most skilled fiction writers out there - only this time your marketplace is global. You have direct access to a world-wide market through the Internet.

But where do you begin?

You begin organically.

Even large publishers now require their authors to develop what they call an ‘author platform’ around their work and connect with people in different ways.

Developing an author platform means reaching out to real people and working out why they would care about what you have written. This can feed back into what you write, of course, when you find out what it is that they require - but we’re starting from the viewpoint that you have produced a book and you want to move forward into selling it.