What’s an indie author, anyway? Independent. Self-published, but also self-directed and self-marketed.
As has always been the case, many authors self-publish because they’re not offered a traditional contract. That might mean their work isn’t high-quality, but it might also mean they have a great book for a small market. Publishers have to have high sales volume to cover their overhead. Or it could mean any number of other things. Maybe they defy genres. Or they just don’t fit in the marketing “box.”
Others are confident, tech-savvy, and would have to think long and hard about accepting a traditional publishing contract. They like their freedom and the higher rate of return per book sale.
As technology makes this option more accessible to writers and as the publishing houses are clinging more to known sellers and avoiding risk-taking, independent publishing can only rise.
Best bet? If you’re interested in any book, especially an independently-published one, use Amazon.com’s “look inside” feature (even if you plan to buy elsewhere–shhh). See what you think of the writing. Read some of the reviews, alert for clues about the quality.
Like Christian fiction? If you’re on Facebook, check out the Christian Indie Books group. You can scroll through the posts or click the “photos” tab to see galleries of participating authors’ books.
Or find Christian Indie Authors on Pinterest.
Here are some resources I’ve found very helpful:
Going Indie Internationally, by Valerie Comer, posted at International Christian Fiction Writers: part 1 & part 2.
India Drummond has an excellent Tutorial Walkthrough: Formatting Documents for Createspace. (Thank you to Steve Vernon for sharing this link with me.)
Online writers’ groups, especially those with a section for indie authors. Also, Createspace, Kindle Direct, Kobo’s Writing Life and others have user forums.
I was happily published with a traditional house, and I loved it. Choose NOW Publishing is small enough that they invited and accepted my input. I felt like part of the team. I learned a lot from the marketing director, and had flexibility in setting dates and price points for sales. When Choose NOW decided to discontinue its fiction line, I was disappointed, but I saw the potential. I’d already been learning what I needed to know for the indie route, and it was either finish the Redemption’s Edge series on my own or kiss it goodbye.
This summer I reacquired my rights to Heaven’s Prey (and bought the cover because I loved it too much to commission a different one). The series will stay together, even though there’s a definite downshift in the intensity level after book 1.
Heaven’s Prey, second edition with Canadian spellings and with the majorly embarrassing mistake corrected, is now available for Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iBooks and Scribd. The print book will be out shortly.
Redemption’s Edge #2, Secrets and Lies, is in the final editing stages and the cover will be ready sometime in September. I hope to release it November 1. Stay tuned for more information, and remember that my newsletter subscribers get the first look at the new cover!
This is great, Janet. I figured out what indie means a while ago, but I’m sure many people don’t know or understand. Thanks for clarifying. I will share this so others can find out too.
It’s kind of embarrassing… one of writing’s basic lessons is to avoid jargon unless the intended audience is familiar with it 🙂