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5 Secrets About Independent Publisher That Will Surprise You


Like most blogs geared towards authors, Independent Publisher highlights events and advice that can help authors make the most of their craft. However, there are a few things that this blog does particularly well. I'll give you a brief overview here, to help you make the most of your time on the site, as well as highlighting some of the best bits; just to whet your appetite.

(In) this issue offers valuable advice

This first category of the blog is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable, as it highlights everything from book awards to literary legal terms; all fresh and recent, and conveniently presented in a user-friendly box, inset at the upper right of the homepage. If you want a quick look at a few helpful articles, then this is a good place to start. This month's offerings include: the results of the group's book awards, guidance on how to turn a finished product into a bestseller, and key lessons learned from an author with fifty years of experience under his belt, all of which is invaluable.

Independent Publisher offers invaluable advice from an author with 50 years of experience in the industry.
Independent Publisher offers invaluable advice to independent authors. Photo by from Pexels.

As described, the articles listed in this section are timely and relevant, and most are very manageable lengths, making for quick reads (we all know how important time is these days). Here is an excerpt from author Jerry Apps' article on lessons learned from his fifty years of writing:

I also write what I don't know. I stay within my writing niche, and I combine what I know with what I don't know—which means I do massive amounts of research.

Jerry Apps

Most authors have heard the recommendation to, "write what you know." In this piece, Mr. Apps also discusses the inevitability of having to write what you don't know, and the best ways to go about that. Going beyond the standard, cookie-cutter advice that is found on pretty much every blog about writing, makes Apps' suggestions more salient and beneficial than the average commentary for new writers.

This section is exactly what you would hope to find when first perusing a new literary blog; innovative, modern articles, that can be quickly scanned for relevancy, and delved into at length without taking an entire afternoon to grasp one concept. It's a great page to add to your bookmarks list.

Book awards give writers marketing tools

Rather than just focusing on a list of award results, this section of the blog seeks to sell you on the advantages of entering into one of the group's six award categories. The usual calendars, entry requirements, and eligibility rules are included, but then there are also links to things like, "Testimonials," and, "Why Enter Book Awards?" given right on the first page, to guide you through the process. These articles are most advantageous to new authors, who are unfamiliar with the book award process, or even any of the benefits of applying for such programs.

The following is an excerpt from the, "Why Enter Book Awards," section:

Are you on the fence about entering a book awards contest? Not sure if entering is worth the money and effort? Check out these six reasons why entering book awards is one of the smartest and most effective means of marketing your book.

By discussing the pros and cons of such an endeavor, the group will both increase the quantity and quality of their entries, as well as enticing new and jaded authors alike to give this particular contest a go. With six categories, this site offers multiple opportunities for independent authors to get the marketing boost and name recognition they need. If you have never considered applying for a book award, this page will give you a few solid reasons to reconsider.

Reviews are the site's expertise

As the title implies, this section of the blog is focused on reviews of independently published books, in a variety of genres, that both provides authors with valuable reference material, and offers a very important introduction to potential readers. True to the considerate nature of this blog, though, the most salient links are right at the top of the page: "How to submit your title for review," and, "IP Notables." With infinite potential sources of reading material and helpful resources on the Internet, it is so refreshing to have a writer's blog that gets the time constraints that are a reality of working authors.

Independent Publisher's blog factors in the time constraints of working authors.
Independent Publisher's blog factors in the time constraints of working authors. Photo by from Pexels.

Sure, if we had limitless time, most of us would love to sit and read every book review, savoring the diverse styles, and learning great tips as we go. The reality, however, forces us to prioritize publishing, marketing, and honing our skills, in a fast-paced and competitive environment; the primary subjects and links available on this blog. With an extremely wide-ranging list of genres, most authors will have no problem finding worthwhile reviews in a suitable category, to help them stay current and tailor their technique to project requirements.

As to why you might want to submit your work for review, the reasons are similar to those given in the awards section, and are nicely summarized in this excerpt:

Winning a book award and getting a good review published are two of the best marketing tools available to the independent publisher today.

Enough said, really; these are very handy tools to have in your marketing and publicity box.

The events section is fantastic

Whoever is responsible for this section of the blog is doing their homework. This is a treasure trove of workshops, conferences, courses, and book fairs, to boost and enhance every aspect of your professional writing needs. The events on this page are regularly updated, and allow for planning one's schedule in advance. Although there are not an enormous number of events listed, those that are here are of a high caliber, with gatherings listed on a global level.

This page is a bit sparse on explanation, compared to the others on this site, but it makes up for it with quality postings to help you: learn new skills, network with a wide selection of industry professionals, and rub shoulders with your peers at the largest, and one of the oldest, licensing events in the industry. Take a peek at the history of the Frankfurt Book Fair, for example:

The world's largest book fair is as rich in history as it is in attendees. According to Peter Weishaas' A History of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the international importance of the fair to the literary community was established by 1598, when English scholar Thomas Bodley attended with the intention of stocking the newly refounded Oxford University Library.

They had me at Bodley.

In addition to being insanely rich in popularity and prestige, the Frankfurt Fair is also one of the best places to do that essential business of forging licensing and book rights deals. There is also a good deal of attention given to small and independently published books, thus the site's interest in it, which is given in this enticing overview:

Indie publishers are welcome at the Independent Publisher's Reading Island, a space where new releases are presented and readings held. Self-publishing is also being recognized as an emerging and incredibly important aspect of the industry; a full day's worth of events and discussions will focus on topics relevant to self-publishers, and guided tours of the fair will stop at major self-publishing companies and service providers.

Talk to any successful writer, and these types of events are likely to be a significant part of their work process.

The site offers updated news related to independent publishing

In addition to the wonderful sections already discussed, there is a "News," page. In truth, the inclusion of both a "News" and, "This Issue" page may be difficult to keep from being redundant in slow news cycles in the literary world; therefore, for the most recent stories and advances in independent publishing, I have to recommend hitting the invaluable inset for "This Issue" on the homepage first. There are some great articles in the "News" section, as well, although not as timely as the ones in the previously mentioned link.

To sum up, Independent Publisher is a useful, approachable literary blog, which does an excellent job of both catering to its niche market and offering more general industry advice for authors of all stripes. The "This Issue" section and the "Archives" page, which was not previously mentioned, contain valuable resources of past articles that have appeal for a wide assortment of writers and publishers. If this blog is not on your list of go-to literary resources, it is definitely worth considering adding it.

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