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Dear Indie Annie

I know it’s important to understand who you’re writing and marketing to, but how do I develop my ideal reader avatar? Every time I try, it feels like I’m limiting myself. Needing to Niche Down Dear Niche,  Oh darling, focusing on your target audience feels as frightening as finalizing a paint palette for your parlor. […]

In the past, I’ve hired editors, cover designers, and even a virtual assistant. Passing off those responsibilities makes sense, but internal formatting always seems so straightforward. At what point is it worth investing in professional formatting services? Frugal Formatter Dear Frugal, Oh my, that moniker sounds like you’re an inhabitant of Middle Earth, but I […]

Despite my best marketing efforts, my backlist just isn’t selling. How do I decide whether to go back to the drawing board and refocus the series or cut my losses and unpublish it?  At a Crossroads Dear Crossroads,  I feel your frustration, love. When a backlist underperforms, it’s like owning a vintage auto that sputters […]

I’ve only ever written in one particular genre. I have an audience built there, a decent backlist, and a few ideas for future books. But I just recently got an idea for a story in an entirely different genre—one that I don’t even know I’ll continue past this book. Do I write the new idea […]

My biggest obstacle in my career is profitability. I have a full series of eight books, with great read-through. I do everything I’m supposed to do to advertise them: Facebook Ads, freebies, group promos, daily posts on social media. But I’m still not earning much. How do I make money in this business? Seeking More […]

Dear Indie Annie, I really want to sell signed books, but I’m worried about shipping. The majority of my readers are in the US, but I am not. Would readers really be willing to pay extra shipping for signed books or special editions? Multinational Merchant Dear Multi, Do you mind, my sweet, if I shorten […]

Dear Indie Annie, I’ve always considered myself a planner, but my characters suddenly seem to have gone rogue! I can’t figure out why my current story isn’t working, but I’m in the middle of the series, so I can’t really pivot either. How do I get this draft back in check before things go completely […]

Dear Indie Annie, I have been looking for books where the author strings together a collection of short stories that build into a larger story. The Magnus Archives is a fiction podcast that I have discovered, but I’m looking for other works that do something similar. Do you have any recommendations? Does this kind of […]

Dear Indie Annie, It seems like as soon as I have a handle on my career, something about the industry changes drastically—the rise of AI, changes in marketing strategies, a new program everyone’s suddenly using. How do I keep up with it all … and keep from drowning? Trying to Tread Water Dear Trying to […]

Dear Indie Annie, I can’t seem to figure out a social media strategy that works! I never know what to post, and I have to manage accounts for two pen names, so it feels like a lot to balance. Any advice for tapping into that “influencer” mindset? Struggling with Socials Dear Struggling, My dear, social […]

Dear Indie Annie, I like working with my usual editor, and I know she’ll clean up my draft without messing up my writing style. But this draft took way longer than I intended. Now she’s booked, and I have to find someone else to take on my current WIP! How can I find an editor […]

Dear Indie Annie, My last self-published book took off, and I’m finally gaining traction as an author. I’m eager to release my next book as soon as possible to keep the momentum going. But I need help to keep a regular writing schedule while also managing tons of promotional work. How can I stay productive […]

Dear Indie Annie, I’ve hired personal assistants (PAs) and virtual assistants (VAs) in the past with varying degrees of horrible experiences. But I know myself, and I keep burning myself out trying to wear all the hats. I could put out more books a year if I didn’t have to do the things that slow […]

Dear Indie Annie, I’m a new author about to publish my first book. I’m so excited, but I’m also a little overwhelmed! What advice do you have for someone in my shoes? Fresh-Faced in Franklin Ah, welcome, my dear Fresh-Faced, I just want to mush your cute little cheeks together. I am so proud of […]

Dear Indie Annie, If I’m being honest, AI concerns me. I worry about its impact on the publishing industry and that it is taking jobs away from creatives. I also worry about the potential for plagiarism with what it creates. But I don’t want to turn it down outright. Are there ways I can use […]

Dear Indie Annie, I write in a genre that is dominated by males: male authors, male main characters. I know my writing is important, but it gets discouraging to know I’m one of the few women in the room. Am I truly making a difference? Breaking Barriers in British Columbia Dear BB, Genderism sucks, doesn’t […]

Dear Indie Annie, I’ve started a new social media account to market my book, and I love posting photos and videos of the other things I read! But I get nervous posting anything about my own writing. How do I build up the confidence to market my work to strangers?  (Sort of) Social in Seville […]

Dear Indie Annie,  I am desperate to fulfill my dream of being a published writer. It’s all I’ve ever wanted since I was a child, which I am embarrassed to say was over five decades ago. Is it too late? Have I missed the boat? I don’t even know where to start! Clueless in Calgary […]

I started to write a fairy-tale retelling, but it has morphed into something more Sci-Fi. Do I let the story run away with me? Or do I force it to stick to my plan? Lost the Plot in Lajas Dear Lost, How are you, my lovely? Well, I hope, because it sounds like you have […]

I was so excited when I started my series, and now I feel like I might lose the will to live if I have to write any more. The problem is that I have a big fan base and they are clamoring for the next book. Writing is my sole source of income, so I […]

I’m constantly juggling the writing deadlines I set for myself with the deadlines I need to meet for other people. When others are relying on me to get their work done, my projects always seem to take the back burner. How do I learn to treat my writing with the same importance as the work […]

I have a great idea, or at least I think it is, for a series of books that would be a mash-up of a couple of other famous series. I wouldn’t use the same characters or world, but the plots would be somewhat similar. But then I wonder if I shouldn’t bother because it’s been […]

I want to write a Fantasy series, and I love Tolkien’s world-building with various cultures, geographies, and even languages. But I feel like I’m getting completely bogged down in world-building and wonder if I’m making parts of my world that aren’t even important. How do I know how much world-building to do for a rich […]

I’m working on a series of nonfiction books that I hope will help people with issues they may struggle with. I’m not a professional in my field; I’ve just learned a lot through life experience. Can I write from my own experience? Or do I need a degree or certification to help people? School of […]

I’m dyslexic, and my family says I should focus my creative energies on arts like pottery, but in my heart, I know I want to write. Are there any other dyslexic writers out there? Dyslexic in Dysart Dear …? You know, often people label themselves as Frustrated from Fairbanks or whatever, and regular fans of […]

Dear Indie Annie, I’ve been criticized by teachers and even friends and family for my poor grammar. I know it’s bad, but does that mean I should give up writing anything at all? Grammarless in Gravelotte Dear Grammarless, Let’s start by changing your name, my sweet child. How about … Grammarfree? Think of grammar as […]

Dear Indie Annie, How do I know I’m good enough? Writing a book takes time and effort. What if my novel is utter rubbish? I’ll have wasted all that time and effort. Wasting time in Wabasca Dear Wasbasca, I do love a time waster.   In fact, like many writers, I like nothing better than to […]

Dear Indie Annie, My family thinks I’m wasting my time writing. They interrupt me frequently and expect me to drop what I’m doing since they don’t think I’m doing anything important. How can I convince them I want this to be a career, not a hobby? Frustrated with Family in Flagstaff Dear Frustrated, Oh my […]

Dear Indie Annie, I recently completed my first book and sent it to an editor. I got the first round of edits back, and it sounds like another person wrote my book! How do I keep my editor from strangling my voice? Strangled in Strasburg Dear Strangled,  Or can I call you by the name […]

Dear Indie Annie, I know I need to run ads if I want to grow my revenue, but all the numbers are making my brain hurt. ACOS, CPC, Impressions, CTR: I am trying to keep them straight, but all the acronyms and calculations are confusing me. I can’t remember what the letters stand for or […]

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