An agent had previously told him not to waste time writing shorter stories, but Silver, an early adopter of the e-reader, had a hunch there would be people who needed light and short reading to go with their lunch break or subway commute.
So he started writing romantic humor and e-published two stories in 2010.
“I’ll make a few people smile and that will be my reward,” he thought. Silver, 47, did not expect to gain much recognition from his new writing venture.
But his romantic humor writings took off, some of his short stories downloaded 400,000 times within the first eight months. The stories ended up being highly ranked among various e-book vendors, including Apple and Barnes & Noble.
Here is his advice to fellow authors:
Create a Brand
In an interview he mentioned the word “brand” several times, and with good reason. Every successfully published author – from Stephen King to Danielle Steel to John Grisham has a brand, a way of being recognized by devoted readers. It is just as important that e-authors work to build a brand. An author needs to be unique and have something new to say if they want to set themselves apart from hundreds of thousands of other writers.
Silver’s brand is writing upbeat, humorous love stories. He also incorporates a blue background or blue sky in his cover art. This, along with the optimistic tone to his stories, makes it easier to identify his work.
Professional editing and layout
E-authors are the ones who decide what ultimately gets published. They literally have the last word and are responsable for the professional appearance of their work. Silver noted the importance of having a good editor. If a writer does not have their work edited, the result can be a shoddy piece of writing that will not be purchased or make buyers feel ripped off and return it – yes even e-books can be returned.
Get lots of reviewers
Use the power of word of mouth, and comments from reviewers on different Web sites, such as “I liked it so much that I gifted it to several people” were absolutely vital in spreading the word about his own work.
Like any other writers in the complicated world of publishing, e-authors need to be careful. Silver noted that people will always be willing to publish the work of others if they are paid to do so. This is a scam, as are some of the writing courses.