Wanna be an indie author? Better love lists.

Photo credit: Angelina Litvin

Photo credit: Angelina Litvin

The key to success in indie publishing is a good list. From your to-do list to your email subscriber list, a good list is an indie author's best defense and offense. If you don't love listing-making, you better learn to now.

Everyone knows how to make lists, but not everyone WANTS to make lists. Some people choose the post-it note method, putting one up for each task they need to complete and taking down the tasks as they're done, and some people prefer index cards color-coded for each task type. Personally, I like a good Moleskine notebook - the ones with the flexible cardboard covers, rather than the hard-backed ones, since I toss them when I complete each notebook.

What lists are in my arsenal right now?

  • My publishing to-do list
  • My project-specific "fix-it" list
  • My marketing and promotion target list
  • My test reader list
  • My ARC recipient list
  • My business contacts list
  • My newsletter subscriber list

Does my list of lists look daunting to you? It should. As I always tell people, anyone can indie publish, but not everyone can indie publish the right way. The good news is, if you're willing to put in the work, you can get better at indie publishing. Starting with just two - a "publishing to-do" list and a "fix it" list - is a good place to start from and then work your way up to the rest.

Before you know it, you'll either love lists or decide maybe a personal assistant is right for you.

Have a question for me about the lists I keep? Put it in the comments. I'm happy to lend you a hand with your own lists.

A.M.