The Indy Author

Explorations of the craft of writing, the mechanics of publishing, and ways to discover and engage our audience

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Practice Safe Blurbing

I recently bought Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door, in part because of its Gone Girl-esque cover but mostly because it had some of the most impressive testimonials I've ever seen: NPR ("Exquisitely torturous tension"), Booklist ("hard to put down"), Sue Grafton...

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Be the Captain of Your Author Voyage

I just read Heather Demetrios's Medium article "How to Lose a Third of a Million Dollars Without Really Trying." It begins: If just one person had sat me down when I signed my first book contract and explained how publishing works ... I would have made much sounder...

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From Dead in the Water to Favorable Winds

Wade and I recently returned home from two glorious and relaxing weeks on Mount Desert Island, Maine, home of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. While we were there, we visited friends who live on a small island off MDI, a location I was particularly excited to...

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Professionalism and The Indy Author

A local library is soliciting applications for an author expo that invites participation from both “professionally-published and self-published authors.” Who can guess why that caused me to sit down at my laptop and hammer out this blog post? You may already be...

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The Scalability of Your Craft and Your Voyage

A common discussion point in the project management world is the scalability of a process or operations or technology. For example, if you’re installing an email system for a company with twenty employees, will the system be sufficiently scalable to handle the email...

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An Epic Review … and Author Etiquette

On November 21, 2017, Russell J. Sanders left this epic review of The Sense of Reckoning ...   Matty Dalrymple’s The Sense of Reckoning is apparently the second in a series featuring main character Anne Kinnear, a woman who is quickly developing psychic powers. I...

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Happy Independents Day! Navigating Indy

Welcome to my annual Happy Independents Day post! Today I'd like to discuss one of the first obstacles you will navigate as The Indy Author: the potentially keel-scraping shoals of describing your publishing approach. I recommend you do not describe your approach as...

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Getting Past the Fear of (First Draft) Commitment

Bernard Malamud once commented, “The first draft of anything is suspect unless one is a genius.” I am suspect of the “genius” caveat, and am more in agreement with Ernest Hemingway that “the first draft of anything is rubbish” (although he expressed it more...

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Preparing for Author Blurb Requests

Have you ever been reading a book and thought, “I love this book—and other readers who love this book would love my books, too!” In the past, when I experienced this, I would make a mental note to remember the author as a candidate for providing an author blurb for...

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Reading Your Work Aloud

I highly recommend investing the time to read your work aloud before you send it to your editor for the copy edit (your editor will thank you). What are the benefits? The slower pace that reading aloud forces enables you to catch content mistakes you might otherwise...

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Audiobooks – Part 6 – Prep & Production

Once you’ve selected a narrator, here are some tips for preparing for the production process Ask the narrator to read the entire book before beginning recording. I don’t believe this is standard procedure, but it can’t hurt to ask—my narrator agreed to this, and said...

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Audiobooks – Part 4 – Who Will Narrate?

One of the most important decisions you will make about your audiobook is whether to narrate it yourself or whether to hire a professional narrator / producer. Each approach has its pros and cons, based on my experience with ACX … As an author narrator, you know...

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Audiobooks – Part 2 – Picking a Platform

In my last post, I discussed how you can Maximize Your Reach by adding audio in addition to print and ebooks formats in order to cover all the ways that your audience may want to consume your content. In this post, I’ll discuss picking a platform. This was actually a...

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Audiobooks – Part 1 – Maximize Your Reach

When I published my first novel, The Sense of Death, in print and ebook formats, I thought I had all my bases covered. Then my mentor, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, encouraged me to consider audio, and I discovered a whole new way to Maximize My Reach to my...

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A Price Too High, A Recommendation Missed

I was in the middle of Tom Harper’s Zodiac Station, a thriller set at a research station in the Arctic, when The Blizzard of 2016 hit Chester County, Pennsylvania. What better time to be reading a book with scenes like this? The wind roared like it was sucking the...

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Swearing, Violence, and The Fussy Librarian

I just signed up for a promotion through The Fussy Librarian, which proved to be an eye-opening experience. The Fussy Librarian has an interesting spin on the business of providing readers with book recommendations—readers can sign up to receive email notifications of...

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The Craft and the Voyage

I recently participated in a writers group meeting that was attended mainly by traditionally published authors. One attendee mentioned that she had asked a self-published writer how she knew when a book was ready without the input of a publisher. The response was that...

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