One of my favourite things about being an independent author is the wonderful community that’s sprung up on the internet in the last few years. It’s a groundswell of authors who’ve decided to eschew the traditional publishing world that’s gatekept the books that people get to read for centuries, sharing tips and tricks with each other, helping find ways to navigate the murky world of internet marketing, sharing innovation, and getting together in all the dark corners of the internet to laugh at each other’s one-star reviews.
Naturally, there are the rock stars of the indie world, the ones pulling in seven figures each year and with the kind of brands that even have the old trads sitting up and paying attention. Here in the UK, not many names burn brighter across the indie constellation than thriller writer Mark Dawson, who has both led by example with his blockbusting Milton books, but who has consistently been one of the biggest advocates for indie publishing and one of the community’s biggest ‘instructors’. He leads the Self Publishing Formula, home to courses on Indie Publishing, digital marketing, cover design, and much more. SPF has one of the biggest Facebook communities across several groups, and Mark himself is the host of the Self Publishing Show, one of the best podcasts out there for indies. Oh, and he threw a full one day conference in London’s South Bank Centre earlier this year with a huge range of speakers and a boat cruise on the Thames. The price? £60 all in.
I’m a little bit in awe of Mark — not only does he make the kind of money from his books that can buy you an island, but the things he puts out under the SPF banner are always exceptional quality and good value. I might not agree with him on a few things (he’s almost entirely Amazon exclusive, and he’s a great advocate for advertising) but I really appreciate what he’s done for the community.
Which is why I’m extremely proud to have been asked by the SPF team to appear on the Self Publishing Spotlight podcast, a little brother/sister to the main show, where they shine a light on some of the up-and-coming authors coming through the ranks. I’m on the most recent episode, which is apparently going to be the last one for a while. I can only assume I was so good they realised nobody else will ever be worth interviewing again.
It was a fun chat about my origin stories, my biggest mistakes, and what I’d tell anyone starting off on their indie author journey. Maybe one day I’ll be big enough to make it to the main stage. Fingers crossed.