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November 2, 2015
By Drucilla Shultz
Indie author Mark Lingane urges self-publishers to hire professional editors and never give up.

Publishers Weekly praised Mark Lingane’s self-published sci-fi noir Sucker in a review, saying: “Dark-fantasy fans will enjoy this gritty supernatural mystery and its memorable protagonist.” Lingane, however, isn’t content to write in just one genre. He’s authored books across a variety of categories, including romance and YA. Still, he admits that genre-hopping can be difficult for indie authors because readers tend to stick with preferred genres. Lingane adds that authors need to be flexible when writing in more than one category as each genre requires a different marketing campaign: “You need a distinct author personality for each, and market to the appropriate market segment in the appropriate places. It really is best to have one particular genre and stick with it and build your brand around it. A focused writer will have a focused readership.”

Lingane was inspired to self-publish by listening to podcasts. He praises Write For Your Life by Iain Broome and The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn for being useful in the early days of his research, but perhaps the thing that surprised him the most was “the erratic nature of sales; how quickly sales can come, and how quickly they can stop. If you don’t keep up the marketing, sales can disappear in a heartbeat. And if a campaign catches you can see units shift like it is a dream.” Currently, Lingane has a number of projects in various stages of development, including an audio edition of Sucker. At the moment, he’s recording the novel piece by piece and uploading it to his website and iTunes, but once he finishes, he plans on compiling the tracks and releasing it via ACX.  

We asked Lingane if he had any advice for other self-publishers.

Do Your Research

"Control over all aspects of your work is vital."
“Learn the tools for production. Control over all aspects of your work is vital.”

Editorial Takes Priority

“Get the best editor you can. Do not scrimp in any way on this. It is singularly the most important aspect of being ‘professional.’”

Your Journey Is One of a Kind

“Don’t believe what other authors say about their achievements or compare yourself to them. You are you, and your path to success will be individual, and it is something you will need to work out. Take advice, learn from others, but understand that their journey and findings may not work for you. It’s a long game. Success may come tomorrow or in 20 years. Don’t give up, and write from your heart.”