Thursday, February 16, 2012

Advice About Going Indie

Did you know I'm still alive? Ha! I know, I know. I haven't posted on this blog in ages. With Devotion's release and managing my other blog (, I just haven't had the time. But this is my blog about writing and sometimes I have something to say about writing or to writers specifically, so I don't want to close it down. Today is one of those days.

I'm often asked what advice I'd give to writers who are considering self-publishing. There's a TON of advice I could give. But here's the most important things I can tell you before you dive in:

First, do your homework and be sure you understand all that it takes—formatting and uploading is the easy part. It’s all the marketing and promotions to get your book noticed that authors don’t expect or want to do. It takes a lot of work, but it’s so worth it.

Then, commit to this as your career path. I don’t mean you can’t keep trying to go the traditional route, but throwing up one book that didn’t get an agent just to get it out there is not going to make you happy. The more committed you are, the more success you’re going to see. This means commitment to marketing and promotions and also commitment to your readers by bringing them more of your work – more books for them to enjoy.

Hire an editor and, almost as importantly, hire a professional cover designer. Many people will suggest saving yourself the money and creating your own cover in PowerPoint. Trust me – covers make a HUGE difference. I have graphic design experience and used fancy software and everything to create my original covers. They weren’t bad and even won some Best Cover competitions. But after I hired someone much more experienced and talented than me to redesign them, I now have covers that rival any of those produced by the Big 6 publishers. They’re gorgeous! And they’ve made a HUGE difference in attracting the right audience and boosting sales.

You’ve made the investment of your blood, sweat, tears and hours upon hours of time to write your book. It deserves the monetary investment to hire an editor and cover designer to really make it shine. Especially when there are virtually no other costs to self-publish.

So that's my initial advice. I actually have some other topics I want to write about soon, too, so maybe we'll see a little revival here. Hopefully, I'll have time.

Are you indie? What advice would you give to writers considering this path? Are you a writer considering self-publishing? What questions do you have? 


  1. Thank you for the advise and inspiration! You are amazing!

  2. Yes, hiring an editor is so important! And cover design is certainly not for everyone and I see a lot of indie authors not putting enough into their cover. It's worth the investment to hire a designer. I love hearing authors give this advice. And it's great to see your back on this blog! :)

    1. Unfortunately, everyone who knows how to layer a few graphics thinks they can design a cover. The keyword is "design" - it's a combination of artistic talent, a good eye and skill, as well as knowing what grabs the target audience's attention. A graphic or two and a random font (or gads! - five fonts on one cover) doesn't do it and only makes the book look like it came from an amateur. And as unfair as it may seem, people do judge books by their covers.


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