An Indie Author

When I tell people that I’m an indie author, they smile politely and say something along the lines of, “That’s great!” But their eyes show that they don’t know what on earth I’m talking about.


“Indie Author” is short for “Independent Author.” So what exactly does that mean? It means that I basically write, edit, publish, and market my books all by myself.


Now I could have gone the route of traditional publishing: research literary agents, write a query letter, manipulate the letter to account for each literary agent’s preferences, wait weeks/months to hear back from one out of a couple dozen that I contacted, send them the full manuscript, wait even more months, hope they like the full thing, then pray relentlessly that the agent has contacts with an editor that might be interested in acquiring my book, go through countless edits to make my manuscript more palatable for the editors, then wait once again for my book to make it to a publishing slots months in the future–that’s all if things go smoothly! This process takes months and I didn’t think I’d be able to handle it. (Hats off to those that go through this process and are able to now live off their writing!)


I suppose some day in the future, I might feel like I could go through the lengthy months/years that traditional publishing takes. But for now I’m content to self-publish through Kindle.


With that said, I’m going to apologize here to anyone who reads my books and finds errors. Since I don’t have the support/luxury of my own copy-editor, I’m completely responsible to find every little error in my books. That is quite a task since every time I do a run of edits I add to the word count. If I waited until my books were a hundred percent perfect, they’d never be available for the public to read. So I do probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do–turn off the inner critic that wants me to keep working on a project. I’ve come to terms with it, but I also understand that my readers have to endure a few flaws. I’m getting better managing fear of inadequacy, though.


Now if you are reading along and find something that is just outright wrong and/or full of errors, I hope you’ll take a few moments to send me a quick message telling me which book and what chapter the mistake(s) is/are in. I’ll keep those in mind when I eventually go back and the next editions. (Click the “Contact Me” link in the menu for more details.) Thanks in advance for your help!


Yes, being an indie author is quite a disadvantage; I have little in ways of a support system and I don’t have enough marketing power to promote my book in a way that I’ll be able to support myself through my writing anytime soon. However, the best thing about it is that I choose when I can publish my books. I don’t have people telling me how to write my books. I don’t have to wait for a publish house to decide when they’re going to release my books. I don’t have to wait for printing presses to produce my books. That way, I can get my stories into my readers’ hands much quicker.


Since I’m getting faster and faster at editing–and I have the beginning drafts of several books already–my goal is to finish at least two books a year. In a couple years, perhaps I’ll be in a position to write full time and get that up to one every three-four months. We’ll have to wait and see!


Happy reading!


–Amy Engle