BE MY GUEST: How to become an “Indie” Author by Author Lorena Bathey

As we all know that this hot topic is making waves all over the publishing market and authors are indecisive as to whether to go indie or not, I can’t thank Lorena enough for sending me this brilliantly written piece about the ins and outs of independent publishing. Grasp the pearls of wisdom from this extremely talented and confident indie writer and publisher, Lorena, who explains the process of self-publishing in a step-by-step manner. For all those writers out there, who are hesitant to become an Indie Author or who do not have the clue where to start from, this article is a must-read! 

Guest Post: 

How to become an “Indie” Author 

By Author/Publisher: Lorena Bathey 

Today there is a huge new arena in the area of publishing. With the advent of eReaders and eBooks, a new type of writer and publisher has emerged on the scene. This person has decided to take the bull by the horns and make their writing accessible now, instead of waiting for the more traditional route of publishing. They are the “Indie” authors and publishers of the new age.

The advent of Indie has created some amazing new writers who are giving their words flight by utilizing companies that do everything for you except write the work. Once you have something to publish then you need only have cash and find the right company that fits you, to create not only an eBook but a physical manifestation of your inspiration.

However, there are issues in the world of what is called "Indie" publishing and that is access. Because anyone can publish, anyone does. This means that Indie publishers and works are many times ignored or dismissed because they don't have the expertise behind them.

Without the expertise, it is the attention to detail and professionalism that gives a self-published book the same quality as a corporately published book. Because anyone can write and now anyone can publish, there is a lot of work out there that has not been properly edited to become a good piece of work. This is the first stumbling block to self-publishing, not taking the time to make it a professional piece of work. It doesn't matter how many times you, as the author, reads over the writing a professional editor is paramount to a work being worthy of being published.

An editor is important for a few reasons. They are impartial and do not know the blood, sweat, and tears you've put into your work, they only do their job and see how it reads and flows. This impartiality means that they are looking at your work with an eye to construction, character flow, and the overall feeling of the story. An editor can see places where the work is sluggish, too wordy, and give you a heads up to clean it up where you might miss it. An editor also checks punctuation, grammar, and spelling which is vastly important to a work you are going to send out into the world. Hiring an editor is important and is a step that should not be skipped.

The next aspect that is important to self-publishing is to understand that amount of time it will take you to get the work out into the world. Since the first word here is "self" it is you that will be not only bringing the work to life but also finding a designer to develop a title page for you. There are too many self-published works out there whose cover design is a dead give-away that it is a self-published work. The book should look "shelf-ready" which means that you could safely see it on the shelf of your local book store.

That means you must do your homework. Go t o your local bookstore and see what covers look like. What does the copy on the back look like and how are the guts of the books set up? Then find a designer, and most of the print on demand publishing companies offer this service, and utilize them to create a cover that will please your audience. Do not scrimp on this aspect as it is the calling card that you will be showing to individuals and will sell your work to many people. So many individuals buy a book based on the cover art and too many self-published works look like they didn't take the time to create a professional cover.

The next part you will be responsible for is marketing your work. While again, many of the print on demand companies offer to market your work, you are the salesperson for your new book. That means you must spend time on the internet with social marketing building a platform to sell your book, you have to visit bookstores to get your books on their shelves, and you must find locations or events where your book could be sold. This takes time, energy, and sometimes some money to build up the buzz around your book. Be creative and find out of the box ways to showcase your work. Make sure that you ask your friends and family to be your best advertisers.

When you decide to become an Indie author or publisher it is a good way to decide to be in control of your works future, but remember that you have a responsibility to create professional work. This is the way that Indie authors and publishers will develop even more credibility and be a force in the industry. But even more, this is how you can create a career for yourself. With hard work, determination, and great inspiration you can have books that many will enjoy and that will bring success to your door.

About the Author:

Lorena Bathey is an Indie Author and Publisher. After writing her first book, Happy Beginnings, she found that characters were visiting her mind and would not leave. She was introduced to Marissa, Andrea, Lily, Deidre and Beatrice and her first novel, Beatrice Munson, came to life. After finishing that book, she was inspired to write more novels and she knew that pursuing her passion was the best way to live her life. So, she became a writer.

To know more about her and her writing, visit her website, www.LorenaBBooks.com

About her Book: 

Beatrice Munson

In Vista Heights, the women of the neighborhood have started to look like their homes, varying shades of beige. Lost in this world of suburbia, Marissa Lyons learns her high school nemesis has bought the house right across the street from her. Afraid that her arch enemy, Beatrice Munson, will arrive with Marissa’s high school crush as her husband and cause Marissa to relive the insecurity of high school in her forties she decides to face the music and heads to Beatrice’s house with warm cupcakes. But what Marissa finds is something she never expected.

How will Marissa and the rest of the women of San Martino deal with someone like Beatrice Munson, whose defining moment in her life was to get a boob job or go on a trip to Egypt.

This story is about friendship, love, learning to look at things differently, and great parties. Step into the world of Vista Heights where you might recognize the women, or you might be one of them. - (Courtesy: Amazon.com)

To buy her latest book, Beatrice Munson, click here.

To read my detailed review of this book, click here.

If you are an Indie Author/Publisher, then leave a comment telling me about your experience. If you are an unpublished writer and want to go by this route, then let me know how helpful this article was for you. Even if you have any questions regarding self-publishing, then drop them in the comment box and I will forward them to Lorena, who would be more than happy to respond!


  1. This article is right on the money. I have "gone indie" with my book THE F WORD: Tales of a Fat Girl and although I have gotten a great response and very good reviews on Amazon.com, it's been a bit of a struggle to do it without a large publisher name behind it. I think hiring an editor is a great idea Just like Lorena suggests: they are impartial and they read it the way it's intended on being read, not the way you, the Author reads it.
    This is a very helpful piece on self-publishing. Thanks!
    Gregg Alison Suchow

  2. @Gregg: Thanks so much for sharing your publishing story with my readers. I wish you all the best for your book. Being a reviewer, I agree that a book without typos makes a lot of difference in reading pleasure, so professionally done editing is always important!

  3. I am going indie (publishing in November). This was so helpful to me ;)


  4. These are great reminders and tips. Although I was recently thrilled to receive an offer from a traditional house for my novel, I fully see the pros on the indie side of the fence. I think both paths offer different yet real advantages.

  5. I have gone indie as well. It's difficult; I won't lie. But it has been so fun. Editors are a must. Beta readers are also imperative in my opinion. Then you have to shoulder the brunt of promotion yourself. I think the key is to go at a reasonable pace. A book has a readership. It may take longer to gain that readership through indie publishing rather than a large spike with traditional publishing, but word of mouth about an excellent yarn will always win no matter who publishes it.

  6. All very helpful advice. Thanks.

  7. @Jenny, Heather and Sheila: Thanks for enjoying the post and sharing your story with my readers. Stay tuned in for more such helpful articles on writing and publishing!:)

  8. Nice piece. I have taken the plunge also. After years of working as an editor, writer, publishing associate, and book promoter, I'm finding I have all the skills I need to put out a book. What a shock. I ordered a small quantity (50) of books from the excellent printer www.48hrbooks.com (they have an incredibly easy template and process). I gave away about 13, and I really didn't know if I could sell the rest. After a week of emails, I had to re-order. People are reading the book and coming back and ordering multiple copies. I'm jaded enough not to believe "this is it!" I'm still sending out emails to lists of potential readers that I spent years researching for book promoting jobs. But, hey, I didn't know I could sell 40 books. It feels so good to use all my skills for my own work.

    My book is "Conversations with Mom: An Aging Baby Boomer, in Need of an Elder, Writes to Her Dead Mother" (http://www.betsyrobinson-writer.com/conversations_with_mom_108329.htm)

    One boo-boo I made (other than being unable to turn off the italics here) is that I didn't charge sales tax in my home state. I just learned the requirements for selling anything from the Authors Guild. I'll rectify the problem this weekend, I hope.

  9. Lorena, thank you for this article. It's so true, and as a proud indie author, I agree with every word. Yes, I'm an independent author and publisher, and I wouldn't have it any other way. And yes, it's hard work, responsibility, and sometimes even sleepless nights, but it's also extremely rewarding, fun, and just so much more personal. At the end of the day, you look back and see what you have achieved, knowing that your success is only in your hands. If you persevere, there's nothing better than that.

  10. Great Post! Super basic info. I've researched both ways always learning something new. My goal was to query agents until November with indie publishing in my back pocket. Professional publisher is editing my last groups of chapters, while I'm busy establishing a core reader base. I have oodles of marketing ideas to initiate . . . all I need is time!

    Nancy @http://blogofavetswife.blogspot.com/

  11. @Batsy, Barbara and Nancy: Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with my readers. Being an indie author is difficult and I salute all of you who choose this path and get successful! I bet each one of you have a great story to tell...and when I say "story", I mean "how I became Indie author story" :)

    A big Cheers to you all!:)


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