Independent authors, or indie authors are an incredible sector of the publishing industry, now accounting for 30-34% of all e-book sales in the largest English-language markets. Unfortunately, indie authors do not always receive the same acknowledgement or respect as traditionally published authors.
What is an independent author?
An indie author is a writer who publishes their work without the help of an established press. Often called self-publishing authors, they are responsible for editing, producing, distributing, and marketing the books they write
Why don’t they get respect?
There is a rift in perception concerning indie authors. A sad phenomenon where many readers are not sold on the authenticity and professionalism of the indie. Not quite taking them seriously, or not believing indie work is as legit as the traditionally published.
A total misconception!
In truth, indie authors are powerhouses of brains, talent and energy! Most of these self-publishing dynamos also work full-time jobs and are raising families at the same time. Yet, are fully committed to their passion for writing, creating characters, worlds and stories for the enjoyment of others.
Indie authors are not backed by one of the “Big 5” publishers:
Hachette Book Group
Simon and Schuster
Instead, independents are doing ALL the work themselves. Putting out their own money, time, and effort to write, format, design, and promote every aspect of their books.
Indie authors are not hobby writers, but extremely commited to their writing craft and producing (in most cases) a high quality product. Writing and publishing for independent authors is a serious business.
So, how can you support, independent authors?
1. Purchase their books. So many people are worried about paying a couple of dollars for a book these days, unless it is on the New York Times Best Seller list. If you are, you are putting an extreme limit on yourself and a vast and delightful universe of books available that deserve a chance.
Besides, most ebooks are already listed at the lowest possible price point, with authors barely making any profit at all. Imagine spending months writing, formatting, designing a cover and then investing additional money and time to promote your book only to make maybe $1.00 when one copy finally sells. It takes a lot for indies to get back into the black and begin to earn money.
I personally don’t mind splurging $2.99 for a digital copy of a book I don’t know if I’ll love. Walk into any brick and mortar bookstore and the same possibility exists, only for a whole heck of a lot more money. Traditional publishing does not always equal good or interesting for me.
2. Give Reviews! The best courtesy you can give an author is to leave a review. Reviews help authors in a major way. The more reviews a book receives the better chance the book has for future sales. Even if the book was not your favorite – leave a review and be kind by highlighting the positive aspects of the book that appealed to you. Unless you absolutely hated it, be kind and leave a book review. It is good for your karma, too. 😉
3. Spread the word. Let your friends know about the great book you read. Share the book with them, or gift them a copy. Encourage them to leave a review, as well, if they enjoy it, too. Word of mouth is the magic that helps get indie authors noticed and can create a ripple effect for other books they have available. If you blog or are active on social media platforms like, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, think about sharing your book recommendations there. It is so simple, but extremely valuable to help give exposure for talented indie authors.
4. Follow on social media. If you have found a few indie authors you enjoy, show them some love and improve their exposure by following them on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Plus you may see notifications for new books and giveaways, in the future!
How do you find indie authors in genres you read?
Over the past few years, I have discovered numerous indie authors with books I love through Instagram, Facebook and bloggers who post book reviews on their sites.
Don’t be afraid!
I heartily encourage readers to take a chance, go off the mainstream grid and adventure into the unknown for a refreshing taste of imagination and originality! Playing it safe with your go to authors is fine, but can become dull and predictable over time. Liven up and go Indie! I dare you.