Bloodhound Books was founded in August 2014 by author, Betsy Reavley and sales & marketing man Fred Freeman. They saw a gap in the market for an indie press that really put their authors at the forefront. Specialising in crime fiction, they have quickly become one of the most recognised names in the sector. 2016 has been a breakout year for them, which has seen meteoric growth in sales across digital, print and audio. In September 2016 they signed author M A Comley, a USA Today & New York Times best-selling author whose books have sold over 1 million copies to date.
Here are their top tips for growing an indie press.
1) Work closely with your authors
Don’t dictate, collaborate. Understand what it means to your authors to receive a publishing contract and work with them sensitively during the editorial, design and promotional phases.
2) Interact with your readers
Social media provides a unique platform to understand who your readers are and what they like. So join in discussions and forums and show some personality.
Don’t spread your wings too far too soon. Become experts in a genre and build your following in that area. You don’t want to become predictable and it’s ok to challenge a little, but you need to give your readers what they want.
4) Build a brand
As an indie fiction publisher branding is critical. You need to be recognisable and have a brand that no one will forget
5) Build a mailing list
A targeted mailing list is the very best way to communicate with your readers. Bloodhound Books give away a free eBook to new subscribers and have seen their mailing list grow by 600% in 2016.
6) Be responsive and approachable
Bloodhound Books receive a huge volume of submissions, they read every single one and always reply, normally within a week or two. If they can’t offer to publish it, they’ll explain why and give an honest appraisal. Remember that authors are also important customers!