R.A. Lewis is a sci-fi and fantasy writer from Oregon who has already published two-book series, Valdir Chronicles and the Elemental Kingdom, and her newest novel, Wicked Wishes, is already available for preorder. She loves to explore the depths of emotion and passion within her writing, and in her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading books, and just daydreaming.
How did a girl with no previous writing experience become a successful indie author? Here’s the story of R.A. Lewis.
Like so many other authors, R.A. Lewis wanted to be a writer since she was a child because she loved telling stories. A path of an independent author seemed like the best choice for her since it allowed both to be in charge of the creative process and keep the majority of the royalties.
The first book R.A. Lewis wrote was “kind of a fluke despite the huge future success.” She wrote it during NaNoWriMo and finished it in 30 days. It wasn’t great, and she has never published it, but it made her realize she COULD do it. The thought that she had finally finished writing an entire book helped R.A. Lewis realize that she could keep doing it over and over. That’s what kept her moving. Besides, she loved writing and enjoyed the process of discovery, so the next book was just a question of time.
For R.A. Lewis, being an indie author means having complete control over the creative process. It means writing what she wants and when she wants. It means being the master of her own stories and career. And, of course, it is freeing.
Looking back at her self-pub experience, R.A. Lewis admits that one of the key challenges at the start of an indie author career is actually just not getting overwhelmed with the number of things you have to learn. She overcame this issue by recognizing that everything takes time and that she will learn as she goes. Here are the key lessons R.A. Lewis learned during three years of her writing career:
- You can’t do it all on your own.
- It’s okay to ask for help.
- It’s okay to not be great at it from the beginning; just keep trying.
- You will keep learning and growing as a writer and a business owner.
- Beware of burnout.
R.A. Lewis believes that getting the writing routine right is essential for indie authors’ success. For instance, maintaining the focus can be quite challenging for any writer, but this task is especially hard for her because she has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). That’s why she usually lights a candle, puts on noise-canceling headphones with the white noise of some kind, and writes in 15 min sprints for 2-3 hours a few times a week. StoryOrigin and Dabble help her a lot with the writing process.
No indie author can succeed without marketing, but R.A. Lewis admits that it is possible to find and reach your audience without a big budget. Free marketing works best for her right now. Newsletter builders, word of mouth, social media, and newsletter swaps – this is how R.A. Lewis builds her author brand and engages with her readers at the moment. When you don’t have funds for major advertising, just utilize what you can – this is her motto.
Here’s what R.A. Lewis would recommend to all who dream of starting an indie author career but have their doubts and fears:
- Do your research! Because knowledge is power.
- Find indie authors to network with. Self-pub is not a business of competition but rather a business of mutually helping others get sales. Find your tribe, and you’ll be much better for it.
- Don’t forget why you started writing in the first place. Making money is great, but you have to enjoy the creative process first and foremost.
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