Most indie writers have already heard of Hugh Howey, Amanda Hocking, and John Locke. They are the success stories that everyone points to, and they offer a wealth of advice on publishing and social marketing side of the business through their blogs, books, and Internet articles. I, for one, have learned a great deal from these three people which I've used on my own e-publishing journey. However, there are five other people and their websites who I'd recommend just as highly. I have learned as much or more from these other success stories, and they have been invaluable to my growth as an author and businessperson. These five individuals are unfailingly generous with the advice they give on their blogs, their writing and marketing tips, and all that they've learned along the way. Their websites and books are a wealth of information... and, oh, they're good writers, too! Drum roll, please.
1.) Joe Konrath of http://jakonrath.blogspot.com. He's one of the largest champions of indie publishing, and he knows what he's talking about as he's sold millions of books and has been both traditionally published and indie published. He tells it straight, he tells it like it is, and he tells you why indie publishing is the only way to go if you want to retain control of your career and livelihood. I especially love his older posts. Following his journey has been fascinating.
-Best tip I learned from Joe: If you stick with it, success WILL find you.
2.) Dean Wesley Smith of http://www.deanwesleysmith.com. His "Killing the Sacred Cows" were life-changing words for me. Read every word of these posts. They'll change how you view writing as a career.
-Best tip I learned from Dean: Writing fast doesn't equal bad writing.
3.) D.D. Scott of Writer's Guide to E-Publishing. Her website is the go-to place for indie writers looking for encouragement and tips. D.D. is quite a success story - she has sold over 100,000 copies of her books and runs a successful blog with over a million hits a month. But despite her success, D.D. is never too big for her britches and shares everything she knows with a generosity, transparency, and positive attitude that is completely refreshing. Her book on publishing, 10 Years and 24 Hours to Indie Epublishing Success, which I highly recommend, outlines how she did it in wonderful detail. No author should be without this book.
-Best tip I learned from D.D.: How to categorize your books on Amazon for maximum visibility and success.
4.) Sean Platt of Writer Dad and Serialized Fiction. Sean is a true rag-to-riches story, which he writes about in detail on his very human and touching blog. He is a perfect example of how hard work, persistence, and believing in yourself can pay off if you don't give up. (Oh yeah, and he has a heckuva lot of talent, too, which doesn't hurt.) His book on how he did it, Write. Publish. Repeat is a true gem. It's one of my favorite books on Epublishing.
-Best tip I learned from Sean: Write and publish constantly and consistently.
5.) Kristen Lamb, of Warrior Writers. Kristen "gets" social marketing inside and out and is able to break it down into clear, interesting pieces that don't overwhelm a new author. Her book, We Are Not Alone: The Writers Guide to Social Media, is filled with step-by-step tips on what to do (and not to do) in marketing yourself as an author.
-Best tip I learned from Kristen: You are your own brand. Build around that.
I hope you get a chance to check out these great writers and businesspeople. They have helped me tremendously. I hope they help you, too!