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Indie Bestseller Bella Andre on self-publishing, community and marketing

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Bella Andre on the tipping point – when she first loaded a self-published book online, early 2010. The world had just started to change. In that moment, Bella realized that she didn’t need anyone else to do it for her. “Look at what I made all by myself.”

Lessons on being a global business. It is a lot of work, and experimentation is great, but the return on investment for happiness and financially, is that every minute spent writing is still the best. Being in control of the publishing process is great, but everything Bella does, she is weighing up the time taken away from writing, as well as whether it will add stress.

In terms of what’s coming for indies, Bella talks about global growth. But this world moves very fast and it’s hard to predict. There are writers who will come up and change things. The best thing about self-publishing is being nimble. It doesn’t matter about the changes, because you can change with it.

On the importance of community as an author. Solitary hours writing is great but Bella has a brain trust in Barbara Freethy and Tina Folsom, who self-publish. Having a group like that is great and you can find people like that in writing groups or at conventions. Go along and be open to meeting people.

On connection to readers. Bella replies to all email and social media connections, so she keeps that personal as far as possible. We are our readers, and Bella talks about her love of reading.

On the family saga trends in romance. It’s a link between the books, and you get to know all these characters over time. You can seed the desire for other books this way and bring people into the world.

“We don’t do marketing, but everything we do is marketing.” Indies generally don’t do print ads, or PR or going hard in the traditional marketing world. It’s more about getting the book right, the emotion you pull from the reader with the cover and the title and the book description, creating an author brand, and connecting with fans. You may do occasionally pricing and advertising pushes, but it’s mostly about the book.
Recorded at LBF 2014 and interviewed by Joanna Penn


ShanaJahsintaWalters says:

My mind was on Bella Andre just yesterday as I was walking home and what she said about her husband encouraging her to write Erotic Romance because she felt she could not do it.
The reason this popped into my mind is because I am surrounded by others who do not believe in me, who does nothing to encourage me. Yet insist on giving me advice on how I should live my life and want me to stop pursuing my dreams. All because they have no dreams of their own or don’t have the courage to go after what they want. I am not taking any advice from them. I did not ask for their advice so it is useless to me.

RedCloudRapgame says:

Wait… how did she only get 300$ for 250 books? What kinda deal is That? 1$ per book?

Mirren Jones says:

#Indieauthor   Bella Andre who has sold over 3 million books gives several useful insights into how self-publishing works for her such as: the importance of being 'nimble' – when things change, one can change too; how she goes for '100% emotion' in her titles and book covers; how she has a group of supportive, successful fellow #authors   who give her feedback; how she uses her time vis a vis writing and marketing.  Lots of food for thought.  Interview by Joanna Penn of the creativepenn.com at the #londonbookfair  April 2014

Heather Gilbert says:

Great post–I love how she stresses the importance of WRITING as your best ROI. And I also love how she said indies are "nimble." So glad we are!

Roberta Loufek says:

Thanks, Joanna for another great interview. It's so good of you to spend time while at the London Book Fair doing this interview.

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