Going Indie: What They Don’t Tell You

This is one of those posts that’s going to tick off a large majority of inde writers.

I seem to write a lot of them.

Anyway, I’m gearing up to go on a fairly large publishing sprint (New Theories in Love stories and a surprise series coming out this summer.) But, with all that going on, it’s kind of a game changer.

My expenses are going up (paying editors for each series and proofers. A new cover artist. I’m going to hire a formatter because I figured out I’m talentless BUT I want to put the new stuff out on Barnes & Noble, Kobo & Apple) as well as (hopefully) more income means I have to stop, drop and roll.

I mean, stop and figure out a lot for my new business… because, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right.

But, the more I dig, the more I realize I just wasn’t ready. There’s tons everyone knows they need to do (edits, formating, etc) but the “other stuff” can really add up. I feel like you don’t see these talked about as much. You see a lot of “make sure it’s clean” and things like explanations of KDP Select, but then there’s this whole other business world side.

Here’s the things I’ve found I need to look into:

  • Finding a second editor to balance the workload (5 books in 5 months – who has the time?)
  • Finding a cover artist who really can make gorgeous covers AND brand the books (I’m SO excited about how this one is moving. I can’t wait to share in *glances at calendar* Okay… so about 1.5 months.)
  • Business structure. If I’m going to make enough to deal with taxes on a higher level, then I should figure that out now. I had no idea that some of the carriers won’t let you move your sales history from your personal tax number to your company tax number when you make that decision.
  • So, a company name to go with that business structure…. I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed this down. It makes me kind of giggle.
  • A formatter — Still looking!
  • Getting people involved in reading your stuff. I do like to have some beta readers, but I can see I’m going to burn my Invisible Posse out soon (and feel like I’m taking advantage) if I don’t rethink how I do this.
  • The mailing list. I’m really glad I set this up. It was an accident. A reader emailed me and asked to be put on my list. Of course I wrote back, Sure! No problem! Thanks for the interest, that’s so sweet! (INTERNAL: Mailing list??? Crud! I don’t have no stinking mailing list!)
    • If you’re interested, it’s not that little link on the left hand side 🙂
  • Websites: Yes, plural. I want to formalize this one a bit, make it a bit more visitor friendly and still have it tie into the one I’ll have to create for the other series (you starting to ponder the secret yet?)… Not my skill set.
  • Which means domain names and switching to WP.org and finding themes that I can somehow figure out how to put on my site and magically learn how to make them pretty and useable.
  • ISBNs – when do you need them? When do you want them?
  • Copy right – Again, when and when?
  • Barcodes – Wait, what? Barcodes for Createspace? *adds to research*
  • Oh yeah. Taxes. I have to figure that out this weekend.

Who knows what’s NOT on the list. Maybe I’ll have to come back and update it a week or two… or when I get home from work.

But the point is, to make the decision to run your writing career like a small business, there’s tons that pops up to consider. Giving yourself enough time to deal with it as it comes (and lucking out to have some go-to people for help) is vital.

If you’re even considering going indie, start thinking about these things now!

Now, I’m off to check my to do list.



  1. I’m leaving a comment in my own post! Someone just asked me what type of small business software I’m using….Adds that to the research list!

  2. I guess it really is a whole new world, especially if you have tons of books to keep up with. Good luck with everything!

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