The Return of the Indie Author

It’s April again and that means it must be Indie April! Let’s talk indie authors.

Here are some answers to questions that readers often ask.

Image of a couple in a park with stacks of books.
Photo by Mental Health America (MHA) on

What is Indie April?

It’s a month-long virtual book festival showcasing the work of indie authors. You can follow the hashtag on social media to get involved.

What is an indie author?

Indie authors are either published by a small press, or are self-published. The term applies to any author who isn’t signed with one of the large traditional publishers.

Why do authors choose to publish independently?

It’s much quicker to get published, the author retains control of their work, and they don’t have to deal with mountains of rejections.

Sounds great. Why would anyone choose not to be indie?

Traditional publishers usually pay for professional book covers, professional editing, book review services and advertising. So as soon as the book is on sale, the author starts to earn money. Indie authors have to fund all that themselves, as and when they can. So it can take a while to get anything back.

Why is it important to support indie authors?

Retailers only promote books once they are doing well so it can be difficult for indie authors to get any visibility.

Where can I find indie books?

Independent bookstores offer a selection of independently-published books. And many high street bookstores have indie ebooks available on their websites.

You can find loads of indie books on Amazon.

How can I tell which books are indie books? 

Check the publishing information. This is found either at the front or back of the book, or on the product page if you are buying online. 

You can search for independently published books on Amazon just by typing it in to the search box. Instead of searching for ‘mystery books’, you could try typing in ‘independently-published mystery books’.

What is the best way to support an indie author?

Reviews are really important to indie authors. They help other readers see our books. So once you’ve found and read an indie book, please leave a review. You can do this on the website of the store you bought the book from, on Amazon and on Goodreads. 

You don’t have to have bought the book on Amazon to add a review there. But they do have guidelines your review will need to meet. Look out for my forthcoming post on how to ensure your review isn’t declined!

How do I review an indie book?

The types of things to comment on for an indie book are no different to a traditionally-published book. Characters, setting, dialogue, description – whatever stood out for you. 

My blog post 10 tips for writing book reviews has more ideas if you need some help.

What other ways can I help readers discover indie books? 

Put some indie titles on your Goodreads Want To Read shelf. Or post a picture of an indie book on social media. Small actions really do have an impact!

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