A Month of Indie Publishing

I was indie published before it was popular—back when it was a bad, sad thing. At the time, they still referred to it as self-published, or “vanity” published, a choice for those who couldn’t get published the “right way”. So, I paid someone to publish a manuscript.

I had a whole list of reasons. Fear topped that list.

A few other reasons why:

  • I didn’t want anyone changing my “work of art”–*sigh*
  • Agents and editors told me the story would never sell
  • I had no idea what I was doing

These were not my only reasons, but I’ll stop there.

Indie Publishing is now a viable, respectable choice.

Years later, I removed those books, rewrote them, edited them, paid a designer to do eye-catching covers, and re-released them through a reputable company. You might be wondering how you find a good company? What other choices are out there? Can you do it yourself?

These are some of the questions we’ll explore and answer this month on the Writing Prompts blog. I hope you’ll join us for each one of our posts and discover what we’ve learned.

As always, if we don’t have the answer, we’ll find someone who does.

In case you’re wondering what happened with my writing journey, I met a woman who made a big splash in the Indie Publishing pond. Fellow Kentuckian, Hallee Bridgeman, heard my story. She and her husband were helping other writers get started. They were willing to help me.

Welcome to Sign of the Whale Books (an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell Press)!

Gregg Bridgeman took my humble manuscript and turned it into something beautiful with his interior editing. Graphic artist, Debi Warford gave each book a brand, spanking new cover that brought tears to my eyes. Their artistry and attention to detail far outstripped the writing in those first novels!

Make Your Story Shine

The best advice I can give, whether you choose to DIY-it, have a friend help you, or pay someone to publish it, is this:

  • Perfect your work
  • Get help from a critique group and/or use beta readers
  • Find a reputable editor and pay for editing
  • Find a good graphic artist and pay for an eye-catching cover. Cousin Lucy may not be a good choice—you want someone who will still speak to you afterwards, preferably not related to you.

We Need You

Join us here at the Writing Prompts blog as we talk about alternatives, pitfalls, and share our experiences. If you have questions or comments, please join the conversation. Let us know what you think of the industry.

Have we helped you? Let us know. If you have a comment or a question that doesn’t seem to fit the post you’re reading, use the contact tab above. We’ll do our best to get the answers you need.


Click to tweet: I was indie published before it was popular! #IndiePub #Writing

Writing Prompt: It was the desire of Julie’s heart—to see her book in print—not just for herself, but for…

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9 thoughts on “A Month of Indie Publishing

  1. Ok.. I can’t contain myself. At this point the only pro I can see to being published by a traditional publishing house is that you don’t have to pay for publishing and they help to establish an author as someone worth reading. My husband and I have gone both directions. Outside of what I’ve mentioned above, no matter who publishes you, you’ll have to do your own publicity, and with a traditional publisher, you only get a small percentage of your profits. The downside to publishing independently, is this: Most people are so enraptured with what they’ve written, they can’t see the forest for the trees. Editing is no fun, but it’s something that has to happen. The first time someone told me my work was “stilted” I was insulted. But if you want to hone your craft you must listen to the critics even if it feels like your cutting off an arm. So to publish independently, often aligns a good writer with a bad one. And readers are given the task of figuring out who’s who. Not fun. To publish traditionally, sets a writer apart, so that at least readers know they’re getting a readable work. However traditional publishers have a hard time thinking outside the box. New equals scary and so it’s hard to find anything that is in the least bit challenging.

    • Thanks for adding your POV, Liz, you made some good points. You’ve done both, so you know, it always come back to hard work on the author’s part. That’s a fact of the writing life.

  2. Pingback: Indie Publishing: Here to Stay | Writing Prompts &Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My!

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