Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR QUICK START GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING and to be notified when the 3rd Edition of the Indie Author Survival Guide releases!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Indie Author Survival Guide

So, I think I'm going to blog a book.
Not the real cover.
Although I do kinda like it.

NegativeNellie: Yeah. Like no one's blogged a book before.

PositivePolly: But people keep saying you should publish your blog content!

NN: I have no interest whatsoever in making money off my indie author friends. Besides, it's all free on my blog.

PP: Well, yes, it's all there. But it's a mess. And some of it's out of date.

NN: I thought you were the positive one.

PP: I'm saying it will be more useful to your friends if it's organized. And up to date.

NN: That takes too much time.

PP: Right. Because blogging doesn't take any time whatsoever.

NN: That's different! That's stuff I want to share! And it's helpful. That's worth the time.

PP: And this way, it will reach even more people.

NN: *blinks* Because it will be on Amazon. Not my rinky dink blog.

PP: Precisely.

NN: I hate it when you're right.

PP: You love me. Admit it.

NN: No.

This book is for every author who's thinking about indie publishing, or has already taken the leap, and wonders why no one told them about the sharks, the life-sucking social media quicksand, or the best way to avoid coming down with sales-checking, yellow-spotted fever. This is a guide for the heart as much as the head. And because I promised myself that I wouldn't write a book about how I made a gazillion dollars publishing ebooks, I would write about the fear: owning it, overcoming it, facing it. From a person who didn't pursue a creative life for a long time, and then discovered that creativity can set you free.

Note: gazillion is a technical term, which in this case means something less than a million and more than the average median income in my state.

So, here's the plan: I'm literally going to blog each chapter of this book, recycling and updating old content, organizing as I go. Eventually, I'll put it all together in a book that will go up on Amazon, but it will also be free here on the blog. Which is awesome. I like free.

I'm working on an outline, but please leave suggestions for content in the comments.


  1. I love the idea, and I look forward to reading it.

  2. As someone on the Indie path currently stuck in the wave of wanting to publish more yet slightly fearful of doing so (I can't help myself so I'll continue publishing the stories in my head) because I've not reached my audience (What's it like to price a book at 2.99 and lots of people actually want to buy it?) or something...I don't know. Maybe that could be a topic. How to reach and grow your audience/readership. It's odd to think on this because Gwen and I received huge compliments on our breakout blog tour last year. Lots of folks kept up with each stop but after the tour, things just didn't go anywhere. Seems we did a good show but didn't do so in front of an expanded audience.

    Sorry for the ramble. I look forward to what you share :-)

    1. I think you're saying, "How do you keep going when sales don't meet your expectations?"

      This is a great question/topic and I don't think I've covered it explicitly before. Although everyone thinks about my "first book" selling well, it really isn't true - my "first book" was my small press book. Which... did not. :)

      Thanks for the great question!

  3. Great idea for us newbies. I would love to have it in my hand to refer to whenever I want. The blog posts are always so helpful! I'm sure compiling them would be well received. But what about Faery Swap? Has it gone to the back burner????

    1. No, no, Faery Swap is still front burner! I have many burners. :) The key to making this work was to do it during my normal time I have set aside for "blogging."

  4. This is a lovely idea, and I look forward to seeing your book! I've read many of your posts, but it would be very nice to have them all in one place.

    It would be nice too if this would get you more exposure for your awesome books. :)

  5. I was going to tab away disinterestedly until "...the life-sucking social media quicksand, or the best way to avoid coming down with sales-checking, yellow-spotted fever"

    With my first book having been out for almost a year, that's where I'm at now. Consider me interested.

    1. Awesome! I hope it will be helpful to you. Heaven knows I've been exactly where you are (and still recovering). :)

  6. Ooo I love this idea. I think I've read every single one of your writing articles, but I'd read them again if they were updated and put in order.

    So, some topics:
    *Writing a series
    *Writing a serial
    *Working with an editor
    *Your favorite craft books and courses
    *Which marketing efforts work and which don't.
    *Reviews and how to get them / deal with bad ones
    *How to know when your work is "good enough" to take the plunge and publish
    *How to find your own author group or get invited to one (like you have with the Indelibles)
    *Working with ACX and narrators
    *How to work well with other creative professionals, like book cover designers.

    You already have a lot of info on your blog about other things I'm interested in. Off to catch up. I just noticed I haven't read the last few posts!

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It's so awesome to be able to learn from indie writers who are already in the trenches. ;)

    1. Wow! Thanks for all the great ideas! I think that will be enough for several books...! LOL But I can see some of that is already covered in what I have planned - plus the book is a survival guide, as much about surviving as the nuts and bolts of how to make it work. There's a lot of books out there that are just nuts-and-bolts - I'd like to speak to the fears and emotional journey that goes along with this crazy journey!

    2. I'm trying to expect that my first story won't sell. I'm trying to prepare my husband for that, too, so he doesn't assume I'll be getting my investment back as soon as it goes on sale. I know I likely won't.

      I was thinking a lot about self-doubt last night, so I wrote a post about it this morning.

      That sounds like what you mean-- dealing with the fear of not being sure you're good enough / ready-- or if anyone will want to read what you're writing or buy it. It's scary, but the possibilities are thrilling at the same time. ;)

    3. Yes. It is really hard to know if you're ready, and there's lots of facets to that question. And it's not like the doubts stop once you push the publish button!

      Having low expectations is a good strategy. :) You can always readjust your expectations up later on!

  7. This is great, Susan. And I'm glad you got into Emblazon too. I added your Mindjack trilogy and the Noah Zarc books to a post sent to me from with a YA summer reading list. It'll go up Friday at 3pm CST, but there weren't any indie titles so I added yours. I owe you a lot for the editing referrals because now those clients are bringing even more. Thanks a bazillion!

  8. This is a great idea. You're so brave and ambitious -- a real, live Positive Polly! :-)

  9. I blogged my first book and it was an amazing experience. I built a following in over twenty-five countries from friends sharing the link with other friends.

    One drawback was that fans became a bit frustrated waiting for the next chapter... even though I posted almost daily they wanted to read it all in one or two sittings (your books are like that too!)

    I found it to be an excellent experience though, and can't wait to follow you on yours !


    1. Terry - Thanks for sharing your experience! I can understand people wanting the next chapter, but in this case, a lot of the material is already available on my blog. The impatient need not wait. :) But hopefully putting it in order and updating it will add value, so people don't get lost in the wilds of my blog.

      Just a warning to my peeps, though: I won't be posting daily for the book. In fact, it will only get posted when I have time (around my other, regular, writing). That was the only way I could justify spending time on it at all!

  10. Cool idea, Susan! I think you need to put in your book about finding freedom in your creativity and independence in the indie path.

  11. I think it will be fantastic! A good way to organize the blog too! :)


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