What Is An Indie Author?

An Indie Author is one who chooses to write and publish a book independently rather than use the traditional approach to publishing. They choose to be sole directors of their books from the idea stage straight through to the conclusion. Depending on the type of book, they determine what path they will take in writing and publishing the book. For instance it makes more sense to self publish a simple book, while a novel will require the help of other professionals, such as editors and designers, in order to produce quality work.

Indie authors, while going it alone through much of the process, recognize the need to work in collaboration with other professionals as long as they are acknowledged as the creative directors of their book.

Why Did Indie Publishing Begin?

Indie publishing began with the need to make it possible for any author to publish their books and earn from it without going through the traditional publishing industry. The traditional publishing industry was not being supportive of emerging authors, and they collectively sought a way to bypass the big publishing companies.

Smashwords, a publishing site, was founded by an author who wanted to change the culture of the publishing industry. They did this by providing a platform where authors can publish, distribute, and sell their books at no cost. In the year 2012 it became evident that being an Indie author had become a big trend when the number of books published in a single year increased from 140 in 2008 to 230,000. This trend was favored by changes in book publishing that made it easier and cheaper.

The following factors contributed to the rise of indie publishing:

  • The cost of publishing an e-book is cheaper compared to print; this lower cost is transferred to the consumer, who pays considerably less for the purchase of an e-book versus traditional print books.

  • A faster and wider access to the market, without the many stipulations placed on writers by the big publishing companies.

  • Indie publishing allows authors more control over their work, with the books published being a more accurate depiction of what the author themselves original intended (versus numerous changes traditional publishers often have for the story in order for it to be published).

  • Better payment. Authors are allowed to keep a higher percentage of their sales.

  • E-book sampling and purchasing is made convenient due to internet access as compared to physically going to a bookshop to purchase a print copy.

  • There is a large selection of books that readers can now choose from.

Today more indie authors continue to emerge as they take advantage of the available free resources that help them to put their ideas together, and share them with the world. The demand for e-books is becoming larger. This will attract more investment in writing to meet this demand. However this should not compromise the quality of books being released into the market. Indie authors should always ensure that best practices are carried out in their writing, editing, design and distribution of their books.


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