Indie books are often where I look for most of my books. Not just because I write indie books myself and want to support fellow writers, but because I find so much diversity and so many hidden gems. So, without further ado, some indie books I’ve added to my list that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into:
I thought I’d share some links and communities for indie authors looking for resources as I know it can be difficult to even know where to start. Starting off without a reader base makes getting one challenging, but there are ways to showcase your works from the start!*
*I have not used all of these websites personally, as some of these have been recommended to me, so do let me know if anything needs amending!
I try to update this page pretty regularly. Most recently updated August 2022.
There are a number of freelance editors that work with authors in the indie book community. A recent Twitter thread (as of March 2022) of editors that indie authors recommend is here.
I have personally worked with a variety of wonderful editors and writers on my books to date: Elizabeth Tanner worked with me on the first two books of The Outlands Pentalogy; Daniela Tarlton-Rees has been my editor for a number of my books, most recently These Violent Nights; Meredith Anderson was my editor for the third-fifth Outlands books; and Kristina Decker and I co-published an anthology back in 2019 (Spellbinding: An Anthology of Magic) that has since been unpublished, however my short story in the collection, The Man and the Crow, is now available as an ebook.
I started out with CreateSpace, which merged with Amazon KDP a while back, thus my current books are all published through Amazon KDP, which includes paperbacks. There’s also an option for hardbacks! I haven’t used it myself yet, but I’ve seen several other indie authors publishing hardbacks and they all look great! So the options are all there.
In my personal, subjective experience, Goodreads and Twitter are phenomenally helpful tools for marketing yourself as an author. In addition to having a Goodreads Author Page, if you have a Twitter account and engage with hashtags like #WritingCommunity, #booktwt, #SPFBO, #SPSFC and #BBNYA, you’re going to find thousands of authors, readers and bloggers interested in the indie book world. My Indie Book Spotlight page on Twitter is here, for anyone interested!
There are also places like the self-published/indie authors community on Livejournal where you can post about your book.Voracious Readers Only is another option, where they advertise your book to readers seeking indie options. In my experience, VRO is a truly fantastic resource and I definitely recommend giving it a go. The trial period is free and you get to send ARCs to readers themselves, thereby adding readers to your newsletters!
There are several yearly competitions: There is the wildly popularSPFBO, hosted by best-selling fantasy author Mark Lawrence. Hugh Howey, a big name in the self-publishing community and an international best seller (with a show coming soon!!), is now hosting SPSFC, styled after SPFBO.
In 2021/2022, my debut novel, A Touch of Death, made it into the semi-finals of the first SPSFC competition and placed 8th! It was such a fun experience and I definitely recommend taking part in one of the competitions in the indie community. The semi-finalists even got a badge for their books, which I was delighted by!
Below are the 30 SPSFC semi-finalists and how the final rankings broke down for those that are curious. I definitely encourage checking out the other books in the competition, too!
In terms of other popular contests, there is also the fantastic BBNYA. I’ve entered it three years in a row and have always had fun and found so many amazing books in the process.
Getting freelance/indie artists to draw the characters in your novel is not only fun, but helps readers visualise the characters. There are numerous artists showcasing their work on Twitter. I was lucky enough to get Libra Illustrations to draw some of my characters from my book These Violent Nights and am delighted by the final result!
My absolute favourite programme to use is Adobe Spark (now Adobe Express, I believe). I found it really user friendly and it’s easy to use and figure out. Here are some of the graphics I’ve made in it (with the help of DIY Book Covers in the case of the first two):
I made these for advertising my books on Twitter! They’re fun and colourful, and you quickly get a sense of what’s in the book and what the reader can expect. Take it from someone who is not great with making graphics, only a few hours on Spark made these possible. It’s a lot easier than you might think!