What is An Indie Author?
An independent author also known as an Indie author writes books without services of a traditional publishing company and will often use the tactics of guerilla marketing as part of their marketing plan. Before we go into discussing what guerilla marketing is however, we need to discuss who constitutes an indie author. A few years ago, if an author could not sell a manuscript to a traditional publishing company, wannabe authors’ only recourse was to have their books published themselves or resort to vanity presses. These authors would buy an entire printing of 5000 books and often were not able to sell them. Now however, since the creation of print-on-demand and the e-book, an author has numerous choices other than vanity or traditional publishing.
An indie author is an author who has decided that taking control of every writing, editing, publishing and marketing aspect of his or her books is best for that book. This person has decided that for whatever reason, traditional publishing is not best for them. Yes, some so-called indie authors are independent because they do not have what it takes to get into traditional publishing, but that often not the case with many indie authors. Going indie is lucrative for many authors. Goodreads includes over 2000 indie authors, the three most popular are Tammara Webber, Karina Halle, and J.A. Redmerski. Indie authors can bypass the gatekeepers thereby allowing them to write more books more quickly. Also, undie writers may have stories that traditional won’t take because they are not of mainstream genres and have a limited audience that traditional publishers cannot afford to publish them. Many of these indie authors make a living wage on what they write. An indie author has more control over the creative process than a traditionally published author. The author gets to choose what goes into their books. The novelist decides the amount of sex to include in her book, not industry trends. Finally, an indie author gets to keep a higher percentage of their books’ profits. Indie authors keep 35, 70, and even 100 percent of the income that they make from the books that they write.
My Reasons for Being an Indie Author
I decided to become an indie author for all the above reasons. My husband and I had both lost our jobs at the same time and we needed a fast income. I didn’t feel that I had two years to wait to for a publishing company to sell my book so I decided to self-publish. To tell you the truth, when I originally started writing as an indie author, I had no idea what I was doing. I had read that the book The Shack had been self-published and that it was a success. I thought that indie meant that the writer did it all herself. I didn’t have an editor. I had no idea how to market my work. I thought that like the movie Field of Dreams, if I put it out there, people would come and I would sell a lot of books. I look back on it now, and I realize that it is fortunate that didn’t happen. In the condition my first book was in when I first put it out, I had no right to sell it. The story line was good, but the formatting and the editing needed a lot of work. I needed time to learn the tricks of the trade. Fortunately now, the book When God Turned His Head and the subsequent books in the series are well edited and formatted. I went from being a hack to a professional writer. The first steps In book marketing for an indie author is to produce the best books possible. Now that I have the publishing aspects of book-writing down, I am devoting more time to learning the weapons of book marketing.
A Lesson from the American Revolution
What does the American Revolution have to do with book marketing, you ask? Well, because I am writing the Locket Saga and three of the books in the series have been set in the American Revolution, I know a little bit about that war. The first battle at Lexington was a failure for the Americans. They were forced off the battlefield. Also in Concord, the Redcoats tried to take possession of weapons stores there. They probably would have got them too if someone had not informed the Americans that the British would come searching. It wasn’t until the Redcoats were on their way back that the Americans did most of their damage to the British Army because from every rock and tree, American militia took potshots at the soldiers.
This type of warfare that the Americans used against the British was taught to them by the Indians. The idea was to attack in a small way numerous times and thereby producing big results. This strategy has been used numerous times over the years. The North Vietnam war was lost by the Americans because of this same type of warfare. Needless to say, it is a powerful strategy which today is known as guerrilla warfare. From this phrase, Jay Conrad Levinson coined the phrase “guerrilla marketing” and wrote the book with Rick Frishman and Michael Larsen Guerrilla Marketing for Writers now in its second, expanded edition. The idea behind this book is to teach us how to think more like an entrepreneur as well as authors. Although this book was not written specifically with the indie author in mind, this book is good to read and use to help the indie author get started with the marketing process.
As an indie Author, we are like those American colonists who decided that they wanted to go it alone without traditional publishing companies telling us what we can an cannot do. We can begin by using the cache of weapons stored in Guerrilla Marketing For Writers.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga