This week of Nonfiction November is about being the expert or becoming the expert. As it’s also National Novel Writing Month, and I’m a writer, I thought I’d focus on writing books this week.
Being Indie outlines what an indie author is, how to get a book ready for publication, sourcing a cover, formatting an ebook and print book, and working on an author brand.
I found the information in this book very basic. As I’ve self published three books and numerous short stories, this book wasn’t for me. I think a more fitting title would be Becoming Indie, as this book is aimed at writers considering entering the world of self publishing.
The book begins with an exploration of the differences between traditional publishing, self publishing and vanity publishing. The author puts a lot on emphasis on traditional publishers offering an advance. This is true, but I would disagree that all no advance publishers are vanity presses. The most important thing to remember about whether a publisher is a vanity press or not is if they require the author to pay towards the publication of their book.
As the author runs an editorial business it makes sense that she focuses on the importance of editing your book. All books need editing. Unfortunately it needs repeating, as some people new to writing think it is wise to finish their first ever story and immediately publish it.
However, I disagree with the author that writers can’t self edit because they would have chosen the correct word in the first place if they could. Writing is a laborious process of trial and error trying to wrestle the written word into an approximation of the vision in your head. Most writers are more critical of their writing than any editor could ever be. However, we all need help getting our ideas across at times, and every book needs a proofreader or three.
The sections on designing a cover, formatting an ebook, and putting together an author brand are solid if simple. It’s a shame that the author emphasizes the use of stock images in covers rather than contacting artists for original work. It would have been nice if she’d outlined a simple publishing schedule for an indie book as well – when to reveal cover, send out review copies, send out newsletters and whether Facebook groups and street teams are worth exploring. However, these things might be covered in her book on marketing.
A great primer for people considering self publishing, but offers nothing new to those who are already indie.
I award Being Indie…
Being Indie is available for $2.96 ebook and $10 print book on Amazon.