from The Library Foundation’s Writer-In-Residence
Self-Publishing (or Indie Publishing)
30 to 40% of all there is to know about indie
extraordinary amount of info has materialized even
info involves fiction & non-fiction
Back to the Future
When did indie publishing begin to “blossom?”
• Approximately 2008-2009: writers really began to risk potential trad
publishing opportunities in favor of going indie
• 2008-2009. This “risk” coincided with potential of publishing via Amazon
(for romance writers, especially). Romance fic writers first dabbled with
• 2011. Amazon launched Montlake Romance and Thomas & Mercer. In
2011, the pro-indie movement really gelled
• 2012 – 2015. Amazon continues to accrue imprints and empower indie
fiction writers, especially.
• Amazon KDP – the real Amazon self-publishing mechanism – has grown
exponentially since 2012.
Your decisions as an indie publisher/writer are commensurate with
your own personal goals
Publishing in 2016: radical changes in the trad and indie industries
You must be prepared to study trends on your own. Much “self-
Much continual change does occur in indie publishing; the needs to
gain traction always morph and you must always be aware of needs
Every genre and sub-genre is highly competitive
Good news: in spite of competitiveness, your work can stand out
Indie vs. Trad Publishing Benefits
Total control with Indie. Majority of indie writers state “total control” as most
important rationale for decision.
Publication time frame is optimal. A radical change from trad pub. (You can
publish a book every month, instead of waiting one to two years for a trad
publisher to publish it.)
Ability to forge a career as writer is more opportune than ever and reasonable.
Your success depends on quality of book, production, & marketability
Much gratification seeing your writing career grow or reach personal writing
goals as a result of indie control.
Indie vs. Trad Pub “Drawbacks”
• As an indie you combine 3 trad pub “divisions”: writer, editor, marketing. You are
branded automatically as an “authorpreneur.”
• Cannot (whatsoever) avoid marketing your own work…and survive as an indie – if you
have a career goal in mind.
• As a writer, you must work “twice as hard” marketing your material. Thus, you learn
tactical moves as a “PR person” for your stuff.
• No chance of an “advance” as an indie. You are on your own financially.
• Fiction Series Productivity is a “must” if you want any reasonable income.
• In other words, as indie with serious goals, you don’t just write; you morph into
Publishing (with a focus on Amazon KDP)
• Amazon offers a clear and easily navigable pub procedure via KDP
• Amazon & YouTube vids provide excellent how-to needs
• Important: thoroughly and decisively edit your book manuscript.
Make sure it is properly formatted.
• Make sure your Book Cover is attractive and appealing. Tip: don’t
have it look too “busy”.
• Your book(s) needs reviews. It needs stars. Number of reviews
matter – at least to some arguable extent.
• Possibility for Pre-Orders exists (be careful here)…ongoing debate!
Fiverr (www.fiverr.com) for formatting. Cover Design. Promotion.
Email List companies: MailChimp. AWeber. & more
Creating simple Author website (see www.jeffreyhillard.com)
Advancing your social media savvy is a plus (especially Facebook,
Instagram, and SnapChat).
YouTube: for learning & educational possibilities. How-to’s (for issues
such as digital publishing; CreateSpace print publishing; email-list-building;
marketing; podcast-viewing; book launching
Sign up for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (monthly) newsletter
Trends in 2016 – 2017 (and beyond)
Amazon will continue to expand publishing platforms, options, and
marketability. As well, it will try to nullify significance of Kobo, Apple,
Smashwords & others (“going wide” opportunities)
Even more optimization of book Cover Design.
Short works will increase, become more marketable, and provide
more opportunity for readers & sales – but there are caveats…
Use of ‘dictation’ mode especially via Dragon Dictation software
International “reach” for digital books (English reading populations)
will be enriched. (Translations still held “in check” and ‘iffy’.)
Proliferation of (free) “support collectives,” such as Facebook Groups, to
help one another navigate indie issues
Power of book groups such as Good Reads and The Fussy Librarian will
increase and be more effective for indie pub
Rise & Importance of “Street Teams”
Mobile phone reading – this will only dynamically increase
Amazon possibly opening more viable doors for extreme sub-genre
categorizations (ex.: Sci Fi & Fantasy-Urban Fantasy-comedy-Asian)
Likely more podcasts. Probably excellent ones! Meaning: you will need to
be more judicious in listening hours
• Write. Publish. Repeat. (by Truant, Platt, and Wright)
• Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and Principles of Screenwriting
(by Robert McKee)
• Successful Self-Publishing (by Joanna Penn)
• Scrivener for Dummies (by Gwen Hernandez)
• Self Publishing Podcast (w/Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant)
• Self Publishing Roundtable Podcast (w/Robert Chazz-Chute et al)
• Rocking Self Publishing Podcast (w/Simon Whistler)
• The Creative Penn Podcast (w/Joanna Penn)
• The Author Biz (w/Stephen Campbell)
• Novel Marketing Podcast
• Author Strong Podcast (w/Mat Morris)
• The Successful Author Podcast (w/Julie Easton) nonfiction
• Use Scrivener
• Beta reader(s)
• Fiverr (to begin with)
• Search videos for best Book Launch practices
• Bone up on various podcast episodes that you care to watch, but be
• Keep a regular writing schedule
• Study the success stories, the artists or former day-job or career types
who have made indie publishing work for them
Rising Stars in 2016
Stephen Campbell (esp. his podcast “The Author Biz”)
Learn more about
The Library Foundation’s Writer-In-Residence