• Blog

    Indie Author Day – What is an Indie author anyway?


    Monique McDonell Author Photo - Mr Right and Other MongrelsWhen you are involved in any industry whether it’s mining, medicine or 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). Once you understand that field or industry 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 learned all sorts of terms and phases 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 its 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 Authors used to fall into two categories published and unpublished – simple right? Well not in the 20th century – we have another category – indie, and that’s what I am.

    So now when I say I’m an indie author, people very often don’t know what I’m talking about. Most of the time I have to take a moment to explain, so I thought I’d do that here.

    What is an indie author?
    That’s an author who is independently published…you know how musicians have indie records (which everyone thinks 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 traditionally authors also do some books as indies – by the way those authors who are both indie and traditionally published are knowns as hybrid.
    Sometimes if a book isn’t in a popular genre or is cross-genre traditional publishers don’t believe they can sell a book – publishing is a business so they need to be sure they can see a book before they publish it. These books often do quite well as indie books. Some later get picked up by traditional publishers and lots don’t. Wool by Hugh Howey is a great example of an indie book that later found a traditional publisher.

    Why would anyone be an indie author?
    Some people like control of their work – choosing covers, setting prices and controlling how their books are marketed. For example I’ve enjoyed creating distinctive brand for myself and choosing how and when I would release my books. When you’re indie you can release books to your own schedule as well, which really suits some authors.

    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 – that is another misconception about authors. In Australia (where I live) the average author 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. So some indie authors make a lot of money and lots don’t but then that’s true of authors in general.

    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 so I’m not alone at all.
    As a reader of course much of this doesn’t matter. What you are looking for is a well-crafted story that you can’t put down.
    If you’d like to find a whole slew of new indie authors visit this Pinterest Board.

  • Blog

    Musical Monday a Guest Post by Kathryn R. Biel author of Good Intentions


    Good Intentions - Kathryn R. Biel - CoverA huge thanks to Monique for letting me crash in on Musical Monday. My name is Kathryn Biel, and I am an independent author. I live in Upstate New York, USA. I clarify that it is Upstate because there is a lot more to New York State than New York City. Also, just wondering before I get started—if Australia is “Down Under,” does that make the United States “Up Above?”

    Anyway, back to the reason I am here—music. If it hadn’t been for music, my first novel, Good Intentions, probably never would have been written. I’d had the idea for the story in my head for quite a while and there it was staying. Then, a radio station switched formats to playing all 90’s music (it has since switched again and I’m devastated). You see, for me, the 90’s are my favorite music. It is the music of my high school and college years. Hearing a song can bring me right back to those carefree days. And so it did. Listening to that music, I decided to set the story idea in the late 1990’s in Boston, which is where I was at that time in my life. And viola, Good Intentions came to be.

    Music plays a large part in the story. There are various scenes with specific songs listed in the book. I could not imagine the story taking place without the music in the background. I wrote the whole book listening to 90’s music. As a result, I have quite the playlist for the book. I like to think of it as a soundtrack.

    However, when I was writing my second book, Hold Her Down, the tone of the book was much more serious. I could not listen to music while writing. As a result, there is very little music in that story. I shifted gears again for my third novel (which will be released in September). I had music going the whole time. Music so influenced my writing in that one that I was able to come up with not one but two playlists for it. Perhaps I can stop back in a few months and share those songs with you then.

    So, without further ado, here is my “soundtrack” for Good Intentions.

    I hope you enjoy this somewhat eclectic selection of music that motivates and moves Maggie Miller in Good Intentions

    Keep them in mind while reading for Good Intentions.


      1. “Good Intentions” by Toad the Wet Sprocket (this one was kind of obvious)
      2. “Dancin’ in the Light” by Entrain. This was a local band that was one of my favorites when I was in college. I used to go see them play all the time. Their CD, Can U Get It? was always played before I went out.
      3. “I Like to Move It” by Reel 2 Reel
      4. “Cotton-Eyed Joe” by Rednex
      5. “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver. Okay, this is not from the 90’s, but my favorite bar in college played this almost every Saturday night.
      6. “Wannabe” by Spice Girls.
      7. “Groove is in the Heart” by Dee Light
      8. “Laid” by James
      9. “Crash Into Me” by Dave Matthews Band—Their album, Crash, pretty much defined my college years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=k7in-9E3ImQ
      10. “Say Goodbye” by Dave Matthews Band
      11. “Better Man” by Pearl Jam
      12. “Black” by Pearl Jam
      13. “Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
      14. “Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude” by Jimmy Buffett
      15. “The Thong Song” by Sisqo
      16. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham
      17. “Ground on Down” by Ben Harper

        I hope you enjoy this somewhat eclectic selection of music that motivates and moves Maggie Miller in Good Intentions. Keep them in mind while reading!

    Buy Links for Kathryn’s books.


    Barnes & Noble


    Create Space (Good Intentions)

    Create Space (Hold Her Down)