• Blog

    What is an indie author?


    When you are involved in any industry whether it’s mining, medicine of accounting you find there is language unique to that field. ( If you eavesdrop on three town planners it is my belief there will be so many acronyms used you may find yourself wondering if they’re speaking another language). One you understand that field the language becomes common place and you forget that others don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Since I’ve embarked on my journey to write and to get published I have learnt all sorts of terms and phrases that are used in contexts I would not previously have understood.

    Some examples:
    What does it mean when someone ‘requests a partial’? A publisher or agent wants to see part of your manuscript more than likely the first three chapters.
    What is a ‘beta reader’? (It is not a fish). It is someone, usually not a writer, who reads your book in it’s draft stage and offers feedback.
    What is a ‘crit partner’? This is a person who critiques your writing and you critique theirs, so usually another writer.

    So then we come to authors. Authors used to fall into two categories published and unpublished – simple right?

    When I say I’m an indie author, people don’t know what I’m talking about most of the time so I thought I’d take a moment to explain.

    Now we add indie authors. I’m an indie author. What is that?

    That’s an author who is independently published…you know how musicians have indie records (which everyone things is mega cool and is pretty standard in that field) same thing really! I’m like that guy in the garage band. (Maybe I can become writing’s answer to Silverchair!)

    Lets’ do another Q&A.

    Are indie authors just people publishers won’t publish? Sometimes they are. Sometimes they aren’t. These days lots of traditional authors also do some books as indies (hello Jackie Collins!)
    Why would anyone be an indie author? Some people like control of their work – choosing covers, setting prices and controlling how they are marketed. For example I’ve enjoyed creating a distinctive brand for myself and choosing how and when I would release my books.
    Don’t you make more money going through a publisher? Not always. These days with Amazon, Smashwords etc you can often do better on your own than with a small publisher, especially a publisher who is only offering you e-publication and not print. In fact you can make a pretty strong case lots of authors make less money with that approach. That’s not to say authors with small publishers don’t make money or big publishers because every author is unique and everyone’s journey is different.
    Do indie authors make money? Well authors generally don’t make a fortune to begin with. In Australia the average authors makes around $10,000 a year from their writing regardless of the method of publication. Of course that’s an average so lots are making more and plenty are making less. That’s true for indie’s as well.

    In summary – an indie author is just someone going it alone in the writing world. Of course that’s a pretty loose definition and not true really because I have a writing group, beta readers, cover designers, editors and of course readers and revision I’m not alone at all. I’m just an indie.

    Alphabet Dating Mug and Tote Bag

    Suzanne Brandyn
    5/13/2013 07:19:26 pm

    Very interesting post, Monique. As a first time INDIE author it was my decision as the traditional publishers in Australia said my story was a cross genre, and they didn’t know how to market it. At the time I didn’t want to either up the romance, or tone down the suspense. I believed in the story and it is dear to my heart, hence INDIE. It’s been an eye opener, one I’m not too sure I’ll repeat. With all the marketing, the worries, concerns, it left little time to write. I am planning to aim for all three. INDIE, Small independent press, and Traditional publishing. It has certainly opened my eyes and yet, I know where I want to be. Hopefully one day I’ll get there. 🙂 happen. 🙂

    Jackie Bouchard
    5/14/2013 12:49:04 am

    Great post to explain all the terminology. Going indie is definitely great for control freaks like me, and (as the previous comment mentions) for books that don’t fit nice & neatly into publishers’ genre marketing baskets. Via la Indies!
    5/14/2013 07:56:44 am

    Suzanne, it is definitely a lot of work although I think these days all authors seem to have to work hard to market themselves regardless of how they are published. I think all styles of publishing have strengths and weaknesses.
    5/14/2013 07:57:15 am

    Jackie – it has suited my inner control freak as well…:)

  • Blog

    Procrastination and editing – natural friends


    Statue of LibertyAlphabet Dating is set in NYC!
    I wish procrastination was an art that reaped rewards. I’d be a multi-award winner, I tell you.

    I know lots of people procrastinate and where writing is concerned the thing I put off and dance about and make myself sick worrying about and avoiding is editing.

    Today I’ve done a massive edit of Alphabet Dating. Why it has taken me until today to do it I do not know. I think I work better with tight deadlines. Also, I avoid things I’m not naturally good at.

    I love the blank page and the possibility of heading off on an adventure with new characters as they weave their way through adventures and chaos. Re-writing those adventures, conceding that you’ve overused certain words or under-written ceratin sections, well, that’s a whole lot less fun for me.

    I have a close friend who works in the corporate would and she says “we’re not finishers, Mon.” We’ll both work on a project for a year and then put of writing the final report, which might take a matter of hours. I’m the same when it comes to invoicing for my day job. You’d think, given I won’t get paid if I don’t invoice I wouldn’t put that off right? Wrong!

    I think I dislike editing because it holds a mirror to the flaws in a novel – I do realise the whole reason you edit is to fix them – but I think it makes it very real. This book has been two beta-readers. It’s been given a good edit. I’m re-editing it. Then once I finish I’ll then send it to someone else to re-edit. And then maybe someone else as well. After that however there’s nothing left to do but send my baby out into the world…I think that’s why it’s scary and why we put it off…not just me, loads of writers do it.

    I think that’s why editing and procrastination are natural friends especially if like me, procrastination is pretty natural anyway…why do you procrastinate?


    3/27/2013 12:42:56 pm

    I procrastinate about anything I dread doing: laundry, the recycling at work, marketing, blog writing and posting. The funny (perverse) thing is… the longer I procrastinate, the longer that horrible task–whatever it is–hangs over my head. When I finally just pull up my big-girl panties and do whatever it is, it’s done. Except laundry. That’s NEVER done.