Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to Support Your Friendly Neighborhood Indie Author

Making the decision to become an indie author hasn’t been an easy one. It has caused me to look at my writing career in a different light, sometimes a terrifying and overwhelming one. Since I committed to being an indie author, I’ve noticed that the learning curve is pretty high, but not impossible to mange. I’ve learned that this is a tough road to walk (although with the changes happening in the publishing industry, it’s getting easier). I’ve also learned that this process is easier with support.

There is an innate sense of loneliness with indie publishing. In essence, you’re breaking away from the norm and deciding to go it alone. Instead of the team of industry professionals making decisions, you have to make all the decisions yourself. It’s daunting, but not impossible. Support becomes a balm to the soul for indie authors.

With the popularity of independent publishing, most of us know at least one person who has self-published. I know many since I’m a graphic designer and have done layout and cover design for years. These indie authors are our friends, pastors, coworkers and family…the people we care about.

It goes without saying that the best way to support your indie author is to buy their book. But your support doesn’t have to stop there. Here are some simple ways you can support an indie author.

  1.  Pray for them. I can’t say enough about the value of prayer. Even the simplest prayers can be very effective. It can be great encouragement to know that someone is thinking of you and petitioning the Father for your needs. If you don’t pray, encourage your indie author. Trust me, they’ll need both.
  2. Don’t treat them like they’ve grown a third eye and a horn. I must admit that when I first announced that I was going to become an indie author, I got some unexpected critical feedback. It threw me for a loop. Independent publishing is not a cop-out, a way to circumvent the system, a mark of laziness or low-quality writing. Independent publishing is an option that some have chosen to take, plain and simple. I think the stigmatism of independent publishing is quickly fading, but until both traditionally-published authors and indie authors are on the same social standing, don’t treat your indie authors like second class citizens.
  3. Write a review. This can be very helpful for indie authors since they don’t have a marketing team to promote their books. A good review helps readers decide whether they want to take a risk on an indie author. But a word of caution: please be honest with your review. If you didn’t like the book, say so. Give reasons why you did or did not like the book. Don’t worry about giving negative review. They can be just as helpful to a prospective reader as a good one. Here’s a previous post about how to right a helpful review.
  4. Tell a friend. Word-of-mouth is the best and cheapest marking an indie author can get. If you like a book, recommend it to a friend. They may love it, too.
  5. Share resources. An indie author has two choices when it comes to successfully producing and publishing an excellent book. They can either learn to do everything themselves or they can hire someone to do the things they can’t. This is where resources come in. If you know a great copyeditor, graphic designer or marking professional, let your indie author know. I’m sure they would appreciate all the help they can get.

What are some other ways that you use to support your friendly neighborhood indie author?

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Terri, I'm here at your blog because I just read "Love Simplified" and LOVED it! I will be doing all of the tips you mentioned above to support you: I will pray for you, write a review on Amazon and tell my friends about it. I am also an independent author so I know how you feel.

Eileen Sanchez
Author of "Craving the World"