Indie Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

Surreal Estate, a story about Palm Beach real estate corruption, was written by Sugar M. and published by Graham Publishing Group.

You’re heard the stories about the incredible success that The Martian and 50 Shades of Grey had after their authors chose to launch the books via self-publication. You’ve very likely heard of Hugh Howey and A.G.Riddle. They earned their wings via self-publishing as well. But if you asked these four very successful authors if they preferred the term “self-published author” or “indie author,” they would probably tell you that it all depends on your approach to the industry.

In some people’s eyes, self-publishing implies a less professional approach to the publishing world, where the authors do pretty much everything themselves. Some would say it infers a hobby, not a business.  Whether this is true or not is debatable.

Indie publishing implies that you have chosen to independently publish your book as well, but that you have also chosen to work with professionals in the areas of book design, book layout, marketing and sales, as well as distribution and fulfillment.  You’ve chosen to make the publishing and sale of your books a business from top to bottom.

There are several points to be considered in either case.  As an independent publisher, you have total control over the design of your book and, yes, the content. You don’t have an editor at a traditional publishing house telling what works and what doesn’t work with your book, and you don’t have someone deciding what your cover should look like or how the interior of your book should be laid out. That’s on you, and this is a lot of responsibility.  It doesn’t hurt to have a professional book designer and marketing person consulting on these important matters, but an indie author still has the final say.

Not everyone is meant to be in business for themselves, and independent publishing is exactly that. You are in business. You have a product – your book – and you are in charge of the quality of the product and getting that product to market.

At Graham Publishing Group, we partner with indie authors and self-publishing authors who want the expertise of people who have designed and marketed hundreds of books. You are an author who has written what you hope is a commercially viable book. You are an artist who now wants the freedom and challenge of being an entrepreneur.  Excellent. Now surround yourself with a team who can make your dream a reality.  Whether you call yourself an indie author or a self-published author, you’ve chose the world of independent publishing, so take the bull by the horns and go for broke.

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