Indie Methodology

Dear Reader,

Let’s talk about the indie methodology. That is, the method in which an author decides to indie publish. This is largely inspired by Kait Nolan’s recent post about Kickstarter (I’ll admit, my heckles were raised), but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

I realize I am taking a very different path along my indie publishing journey. Let me break down the “traditional indie method” for you, as I understand it.

Author wants to self-publish. Author has little-to-no money, and no followers. Author decides they need to cut corners in self-publishing. How? By releasing to eBook first (or only). Maybe hire an editor. Maybe hire a cover artist. Use free services like Amazon DTP, Smashwords, PubIt. Send out coupons and giveaways to attract readers. Solicit reviews. Attract followers through social networking. Earn money from purchases. Save up to maybe release a print book, set up a micropress, etc. Or not.

This works for many indie publishers like Kait Nolan, Zoe Winters, Susan Bischoff, Amanda Hocking, etc.

It doesn’t work for me. Why? Because I published in high school and made a profit even though I used a vanity service. I continued to write for the next seven years, but put schooling first and didn’t publish.

Now I’m back. I’ve been at this for three concentrated months, and I decided to use Kickstarter to build up venture capital because I intend to indie publish a little differently.

Author wants to self-publish. Author has little-to-no money, and a number of followers. Author has a print book out, and short stories on Scribd. Author wants a micro-press and to dual-release the eBook and print versions. Author needs venture capital. Author applies to Kickstarter to reach new readers, gain support and excitement for new book. Buy ISBNs. Design cover and interior layout. Register micro-press. Use services like Amazon DTP, Smashwords, PubIt, CreateSpace. Send out coupons and giveaways to attract readers. Solicit reviews. Attract followers through social networking. Earn money from purchases.

The process is very similar. But the reason why I’m talking about this is because there was a lot of questions, even negativity, about authors using Kickstarter, as if they were trying to cheat the system. As if they’re clinging to the traditional method of getting an advance and then receiving royalties, etc.

Independent, as I understand it, means to go your own way. Do your own thing. March to the beat of your own drummer. Who cares if I’m using Kickstarter to raise money? Who cares if I decide to go print and eBook, rather than just eBook? As long as I follow through with my promises, it should be all gravy.

I admire and respect Kait, Zoe, Amanda, and Susan. I love what they’re doing for the indie publisher reputation. I’m taking my own spin on the indie publisher’s path, though, because that’s what an independent thinker does.

What am I trying to say? I guess all I’m trying to say is that if you’re deciding to go indie, read up on it. Learn who the big names are, and study how they are doing it. Make note of the methods that will work for you in your situation, and throw the other methods away. The indie world is too small for negativity about how you’re doing things if you’re producing quality work.

All the best,


P.S. We made the Kickstarter goal! Huzzah! We’re still accepting pre-orders for Haunting Miss Trentwood through Thursday Oct 14.

4 thoughts on “Indie Methodology

  1. I do want to make it clear that it wasn't your project I was lambasting in my post the other day. You actually uphold the totally professional goals, appearance, and end product and you provide something to all those who donated your venture capital. This wasn't at all true of the other indie projects I'd chanced to come across (whether those folks were uneducated, taken to the cleaners or were themselves shysters, I don't know, but their final products were not what I'd call professional or assets to the indie name). You're absolutely right that independent does mean going your own way, which I (obviously) fully support. I just hope that others follow your example and educate themselves about what they're doing so that investors can be proud of what was done with their donations.


    1. It was after my ranty comment on your blog that I realized you weren't talking about me. And I appreciate so very much that you came to my blog to make that point clear.

      I get annoyed by indie authors who don't take the time to educate themselves. As much as I love the fact that it is easy to indie publish, I dislike it for the same reason, because like you say, there are so many projects out there that are not assets to the indie name. It takes a lot of work to put a good product out there! Anyone who has been following my Kickstarter progress would know that.

      The thing I like about Kickstarter was that it was almost like a safe way for me to learn about marketing. As the deadline loomed, I learned how to cater my message. Make it tighter, more interesting, more directed. This was a lesson in marketing that was so valuable…

      ❤ Thanks for your support, babe. It's just been such a long time since I've had an opinion that wouldn't just let it go until I wrote a blog post about it, I had to jump on the topic.

      Do you have links to the projects you were referencing? It would be interesting to try to critique their process and figure out why it didn't work, and how it could be improved.


      1. No, I'm afraid I don't. They were stuff I'd seen tweeted over the last couple of months and I didn't save them. I probably wouldn't post them even if I had, since the internet is an incestuous little community and I really wouldn't care for my lambasting to start a THANG because those authors got offended. 🙂


      2. Very true. It's difficult to critique without coming off as a jerk. But I am curious about these other projects. I might just scroll through the Kickstarter archive.


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