What are Indie Authors? 7 Bestselling Indie Authors in 2023

Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

You might be wondering what an Indie Author is if you’ve never heard this term before. This article will discuss the definition of an Indie Author and how they manage to become bestsellers.

What is an Indie Author?

The word “Indie” comes from the word independent, which means that an author has published their book without the help of a publisher or agent. This contrasts to traditionally published books, where professionals carry out all stages of producing the book.

An Indie author saves time on looking for a publishing house, as they can easily publish their books online by themselves. Indies also manage to keep more profits rather than sharing them with an agent or publishing house.

7 Bestselling Indie Author in 2023

#1 Sean Platt

Sean Platt is a prolific author of more than 30 novels. He has co-founded the successful Collective Inkwell imprint, which publishes work in all genres for young adults and adults.

In addition to his many indie hits such as Yesterday’s Gone, WhiteSpace, ForNevermore, and Available Darkness, he has been nominated for Audie Awards for Science Fiction and Audie Awards Paranormal.

He loves writing books, but he also enjoys reading them – even more so when they are really good! Sean’s favorite genre to write is science fiction/fantasy, but his true love is children’s literature under Guy Incognito.

#2 Johnny B. Truant

Johnny B. Truant is an author, blogger, and podcaster who has written over 100 books across many genres. Johnny first made his name with the bestseller Fat Vampire series of books adapted by NBC/Universal in 2022 as a SyFy Channel show starring Spider-Man’s Jacob Batalon. Other well-known works include Pretty Killer, Pattern Black, Invasion, The Beam, Dead City, and more!

Johnny’s other accomplishments are numerous, but he can be summed up by one word: prolific! He is the only author to have published 30 or more novels each year for three years consecutively (2012–2014), making him one of the most successful indie authors ever.

#3 Amy Rivers

Amy Rivers is a writer, editor, and award-winning novelist. As Director of Northern Colorado Writers, she helps writers develop their craft through writing techniques and personal essay coaching workshops.

Amy’s debut novel All the Broken People was selected as the 2020 Colorado Author Project winner in adult fiction. She has been published in We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor; Flash! A Celebration of Short Fiction; Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses; Splice Today; Novelty Bride Magazine and ESME.com.

#4 James Wade

James Wade is an accomplished writer and musician. He has written widely on music for various periodicals, and his symphonic and chamber music has been performed in many countries. In addition, he completed an opera based on Richard E. Kim’s best-selling novel of the Korean War, “The Martyred.”

More recently, James has turned his hand to writing short stories. His work has appeared in Space and Time, Eldritch Tales, Crossroads, The Sorcerer’s Apprentices, and Innsmouth Tales.

#5 Oby Aligwekwe

Oby is the award-winning author of Nfudu, Hazel House, and The Place Beyond Her Dreams—her third novel and Young Adult debut. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family and supports her community through her charity, Éclat Beginnings.

In 2021, her novel, The Place Beyond Her Dreams, won the National Indie Excellence Awards in the Young Adult Fiction category. Oby also enjoys traveling to exotic locations worldwide, bringing pieces of these trips with her back home to Canada.

5 Reasons You Should Consider Indie Publishing

There are many talks these days about self-publishing versus traditional publishing, and that may be the wrong way to look at it. Rather than self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, let’s consider indie publishing vs. traditional “gatekeepers.”

What are gatekeepers? For years they were the only source for getting your book into the market and made publishing it a difficult and treacherous road.

Today, we’re seeing fewer gatekeepers with fewer hoops, easier access to ebook distribution, print on demand (POD) services, and many other options for indie authors. Never before has it been so easy to get your work out there without any gatekeepers getting in your way.

By self-publishing or indie publishing, you can be your independent publisher—and for many reasons, that may just have huge benefits.

Here are five compelling reasons why you should consider indie publishing:

#1 You decide the cover art and book design

There’s no better marketing than a beautiful book cover. In the world of indie publishing, we have total control to create that cover ourselves. We can use an inexpensive premade one or fashion our own from pictures and graphics we find online. If you don’t like it, make another one—until you get it right. You can even hire a freelancing designer or illustrator to make a custom cover. Then you upload the file to Amazon (for Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Smashwords, etc.

#2 You decide the format and retail price

We have more control over our book files than ever before, so why not use them? With editing services like Kindle Create or Scrivener, you can easily reformat your manuscript for any ebook device. For print, you can use the free Adobe Acrobat PDF converters. The sky is the limit.

This means you don’t have to lock your manuscript into a set page count or format because of traditional publishers’ printing margins or other restrictions. You can set the pricing of your book anywhere you like, and if it doesn’t sell without DRM (Digital Rights Management), you can easily remove it in a day.

#3 You decide when and how fast to publish

You could argue that this is true for any publishing option, but the control is in your hands with indie publishing. Traditional publishers take months before they release your book into the market, and with indie publishing, you decide when and how quickly your book gets out there. If you have a topical or seasonal book, you can get it out in a week—maybe before Christmas!

#4 You decide the marketing and promotion

This is one of the most compelling reasons to indie publish your work. Traditional publishers don’t market books very well anymore; they just put them into catalogs and hope they sell. Even when they market them, they are marketing to bookstores—not end-users.

Indie authors become their marketers and promoters. We connect with our readers in ways that used to be left up to publishers. With social media, blogs, email lists, fan pages, online groups, and organizations, indie authors have the tools in hand to make a difference in the success of their books.

#5 You keep all your rights

This is a huge one for indie authors. By not signing an Exclusive Rights Agreement, we don’t give up our rights to most formats and markets. This means we can do whatever we want with most of our book without fear of retribution from the publisher. We can let libraries purchase it; we can sell foreign rights or even make foreign language translations—all without the publisher’s permission.

What is the difference between an indie author, a self-publisher, and an authorpreneur?

An indie author is an author who publishes their work without the aid of a publishing house. They may choose to go down this route for many reasons: they don’t want to spend time querying agents and publishers and waiting for a reply, or perhaps they feel that traditional publishing houses hinder their artistic freedom and control over their work.

A self-published author is an indie author who has opted to go the route of publishing their book traditionally but without the involvement of a traditional publishing house. They may opt for this route for financial reasons such as wanting to retain more sales profits than they would have if they went through a publisher, or other times it may be because their work doesn’t quite fit into a traditional genre and therefore wouldn’t attract readership from within the publishing house.

An authorpreneur is a hybrid of an indie author and a social entrepreneur. An authorpreneur uses their book to build up their name as an author and then uses that platform to create other income-generating products.

This is all quite confusing. Let’s break this down further…

When most people think of authors, they often picture them sitting in front of their typewriter or laptop fingers flying across the keys churning out masterpieces. Still, in reality, it’s a lot more complicated than that. There are many other aspects to being an author these days, and we’re going to break those down as well as give you examples of people who have successfully turned their love for writing into a business model.

We’re not just talking about books here – there are so many different income-generating products indie authors can create to make a real business out of their writing.

8 Benefits of Being an Indie Author

There are many benefits to choosing to be an Indie Author. One of the main benefits is that you get to keep more of the profits from your book sales, as no publishing houses are taking a cut. When an author gets published traditionally, they only make about 15% on each book sale as royalties (before expenses like agent fees, marketing, etc.). If you’re an Indie Author, you can price your book at any price point (even free), and you get to keep the majority of the profits.

When it comes to creative control over your work, Indies also have the advantage of having more freedom. You don’t have to answer to a committee that doesn’t understand the vision you have for your book. If you’re publishing independently through online platforms like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, a lot of the choices are up to you. You get to choose the title of your book, the cover design, what category it is filed under on retailers’ websites – all without having to go through a team who may not be able to understand your work.

I think one of the most exciting benefits that come with being an Indie Author is that you can build a personal relationship with your readers – something that is very difficult to do if you’re published traditionally. Indies often communicate with their readers directly through social media and other channels and give out free or discounted content to their readers. Indies also have the advantage of building their marketing platform, which is beneficial when you want to sell books. You can start marketing your book on social media long before it comes out and extends your content’s life by continuing to publish posts about related topics.

Authors who are published traditionally don’t have control over how their book is marketed. Publishers want to sell as many books as possible, which means that they have a marketing plan for each book that will help them reach the biggest audience. As an Indie Author, you can choose when to start marketing your book, share with readers, and the outlets where you want to reach people. For example, I’m currently sharing my new book on Instagram before it’s released in stores because this is a platform that my target audience uses every day.

Authors who go through the traditional publishing business often have to wait months for their books to come out and often have very small time windows when they are available. As an Indie Author, you can publish your book whenever you want, which means that you’re able to increase profits by getting your book out faster. With my last two titles, I released them within seven days of one another – doing this allows me to continue selling both books because shoppers are still looking for content related to my last release. You can even spread out your releases, which means that you could publish a book every quarter and keep your book available in stores all year round.

Disadvantages of Self-Publishing and becoming an Indie Autor

The first and most important disadvantage of becoming an Indie Author is that you miss out on some funding opportunities that those who sign with publishers receive. This means that you will have to develop your way of getting your book into print.

You will also not receive as much public recognition as those who sign with publishing companies, as they will dedicate their efforts to promoting you and your work. This means that even if someone finds your book in a shop, they may not notice it, which is why Indie Authors typically market themselves by building direct relationships with readers online.

Another disadvantage of becoming an Indie Author is that you will have less flexibility over when and where you publish. Publishers often have deadlines to meet, but as an Indie Author, you are responsible for all decisions about your book.

Final Words

The benefits of becoming an Indie Author and self-publishing your work outweigh the disadvantages. You get to keep more profits, have creative control, and build a personal relationship with readers that you otherwise might not be able to form through traditional publishing houses. The only real disadvantage is that you miss out on funding opportunities and public recognition from publishers who will promote your book for marketing purposes. However, this article has shown many advantages of being an indie author, such as keeping complete control over when and where you publish content. What’s holding back? Get started today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do indie authors make?

Answer: Many indie authors make a good living. Some earn as much as $10,000 per month.
The best way to make money as an indie author is to write several books and build a audience who loves your work. Once you have a following, you can start charging more for your books and sell more copies.
It’s also important to be active online and connect with readers. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are great ways to promote your work and connect with fans.

What is considered an indie book?

Answer: An indie book is a book that is published by an independent publishing company as opposed to one of the “big six” publishing companies.
Indie books can be self-published, meaning the author publishes the book themselves without the help of a publishing company. Or they can be published by a small publishing company that is not affiliated with one of the big six.
Some people consider indie books to be inferior to books published by the big six, but there are many great indie books out there that are just as good, if not better, than books from traditional publishers.

What counts as an indie author?

Answer: An indie author is an author who publishes their work independently, without the help of a publishing house. This can be done through self-publishing, or by using services like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Indie authors often take on all aspects of the publishing process themselves, from writing and editing to marketing and sales.

What is the difference between self-publishing and indie publishing?

Answer: Indie publishing is self-publishing, but with more muscle behind it. With indie publishing, you still do all the work of self-publishing – editing, designing, marketing, and so on – but you have a partner who helps you reach a larger audience. That partner could be an online bookseller like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, a library distributor like Baker & Taylor or Library Services Corporation, or even a traditional publisher who offers an “indie” deal.
Self-publishing is great if you want complete control over every aspect of your book and don’t mind doing all the work yourself. Indie publishing gives you that control plus some extra help getting your book into more hands.

Can a self-published book be a bestseller?

Answer: Yes! A self-published book can become a bestseller, but it’s not easy. It takes a lot of work and dedication to market and promote your book effectively.
Self-publishing has become a popular option in recent years because it offers authors more control over the publishing process. But it’s important to remember that self-publishing is not a shortcut to success. It takes just as much hard work to sell books through traditional publishing channels as it does to sell them through self-publishing channels.
The key to becoming a bestseller is to have a great book and to market it effectively. You need to create a platform for your book and build buzz around it before its release.

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