What's Your Greatest Challenge as an Indie Author?

What's the biggest obstacle you're trying to overcome?

I'm curious. Write and let me know.

For me, I could probably write a book about all the challenges I've had to overcome. The question is a hard one because there are so many competing ones:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Volatile publishing industry
  • Technological disruption
  • Learning marketing trends

When I honestly take a step back and put down all the writing challenges I have, the list I've shared are the biggies, but it's not the biggest. Two others are the elephants in the room.

Where are my readers?

I published my first Cinderella's Secret Witch Diaries book back in 2011 and I wrote the book with a certain reader in mind. I knew that my readers would be female and I assumed between the ages of 18-25. Why? With the craze of Twilight, The Hunger Games and the Divergent series, I knew that the young adult genre was on fire and I wrote my books for that audience.

However, over time in looking at my analytics, I now know that 70% of my readership is over the age of 45. I didn't expect that. Next month I have a blog article coming out on the ALLi blog that shows all the screenshots from my Google analytics dashboard and I'll walk you through what I learned.

But in the meantime, the issue of discoverability remains a major issue for me. Where are my readers hanging out online? How can I engage with them and find more readers?

That's a big hurtle for me to overcome because I've sent email blasts out to my subscribers and some of them have tremendous challenges with technology (especially side-loading books onto the Kindle app). I streamlined the process by using Instafreebie as my reader magnet, but even then I still have a few readers that just want to go to Amazon and get the book that way—no matter if I send them screenshots or instructions.

Know Thyself

The other challenge (it's a close second) is the limitations that I set on myself. What exactly do I mean by that? If I think I can't do something, then I'll fail. I often only see the barrier or the restrictions around my circumstances. I am seeing only the trees and not the forest.

Back in 2015, I pushed myself extremely hard and wrote Awakenings: A Witch's Coven Novel in a month and quickly followed up with book 2. I did all of that while working full-time, raising two kids and training for a half-marathon. I burned myself out and realized that I couldn't do it all.

But what I didn't understand is that with help (people, tools and a smart marketing strategy), I could reach readers even when I was sleeping with autoresponder emails. The limitations I had set on myself prevented me from succeeding in my goals because I didn't see the other options available. I only saw the tools and time I had around me. By networking, reading and experimentation, doors became opened to me that I didn't even know existed.

So again, I ask you:

What is your greatest challenge?

Let me know because together we might be able to solve it.

Indie Publishing Tip:

Want to embed an Amazon preview of your book on your website?

Here are the two simple steps.

Step 1:

Visit your book's page on Amazon and click on the "Embed" link.

Step 2:

Take the embed code and put it on your website.

And if you're wondering what this all looks like on your website, here's a screenshot of what a reader will see. She'll be able page through a bit of the book and read it on your site. Plus, there's the buy button there as well.

Simple and easy to do!

And finally, if you're interested in joining other indie authors, become a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Click on the banner below, and if you sign up, I'll earn an affiliate reward. ALLi not only has great member benefits, but it's a fantastic place to network and get help. Thanks!