The 10 Steps to Becoming a Successful Indie Author

The Indie Author Show on BlogTalk radio

The Indie Author Show on BlogTalk radio

You want it, don’t you?! I mean success as an author!

What does that mean to you?

To me, it means fame, fortune and giving my readers a satisfying and memorable experience that they want more of!

You are already writing at least your first manuscript, you write fiction or nonfiction, or both, and are curious about publishing on your own book and being an indie author.

Indie authors mainly publish in ebook and format and use print-on-demand services like Lightning Source (which I prefer) or Create Space.

What I share with you comes from my own experience as an Indie Author in both fiction and nonfiction, and from helping other authors bring their books to publication as a book editor, book shepherd, book midwife, and independent publishing consultant.

Here are my 10 Steps to Becoming a Successful Indie Author. These tips are organized in a somewhat logically order.

1. Write a book you love and that people want to read.

To do this you need to know 1–who your audience is, and 2– what they really want.

2. Have the book well edited by yourself and others.

Hire a professional editor like myself, or have a critique group of writers that you respect and trust to critique your writing for spelling, grammar, tone, style, character. plot, flow, genre appropriateness, etc.

3. Prep for publication by reading and follow the formatting guidelines for the kindle, nook and Smashwords.

Do this yourself or have it done for you. See my post on formatting your ebook here. Calibre software for the technically inclined. My ebook conversion guy Amit Dey for those who want it done for you.

4. Design a great cover.

You can do this yourself. iStockPhotos is one place to get inexpensive images. Or hire a cover designer. Mine is Heather Smith.

5. Craft an excellent book blurb.

This blurb is designed to hook your reader, giving them a taste of the book’s flavor, arc, and content. My handout on how to craft an effective blurb, also called pitch is available for members of Get Published Now! here in the Files section. (You don’t need to be in my local area to join!)

6. Price your book to make it a no brainer.

Okay this is my philosophy. Price your book so that readers get to choose between content of your book or another and not price. For example, many novels are price either 2.99 or 3.99 as an ebook. You’d do well to do the same.

7. Be willing to do all you can to market your books to your readers and develop a fan base. Then do it!

8. Connect with and support your fellow authors, indie and traditionally published.

We all have much to learn from each other. Use online communities; go to in-person meetings and conferences, network! My online community based on the notion that journaling is the basis of an aware and successful author: We Write Books.

9. After writing and publishing your first book, keep writing and releasing books.

10. Treat becoming an indie author as a job in that you are committed, you give it your all, and stay the course. Persistence pays!

PS. Still not sure if becoming an Indie Author is right for you? Check out my report on the topic available to members of the Bestselling Authors Network here. Free to join, even in you’re not in my local area.

PPS. This post was inspired by Amanda Hocking’s post on the reality of being a successful indie author. She’s worked her butt off! And it shows!

Beth Barany is the author and publisher of the Writer’s Fun Zone blog. She is also the author of the YA fantasy novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, and the nonfiction books, The Writer’s Adventure Guide, and Overcome Writer’s Block. All available at Amazon and other online retailers at your fingertips.

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  • Really useful article, thanks. Will tweet it to our followers.

    All the best


  • Beth Barany says:

    Glad you like it, Adam! And thanks for forwarding it to your followers!

    All the best


  • Jasie says:

    This is a great article! I especially like your second suggestion. 🙂

  • Beth Barany says:

    Jasie, Thanks! So glad you liked it!

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