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Blog by Ron A Look at Indie-Publishing

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Today I am taking a look at Indie-Publishing. There are three types of publishing: Traditional, Self, and Indie. Let’s take a quick look at the first two.

Traditional Publishing is a term referring to the way we used to get published. Nowadays, it is represented by the big publishing houses, although it is possible that smaller publishing houses are traditional as well.

A brief understanding of Traditional Publishing is as follows: (modern version) The author writes a book, finds an agent who submits the manuscript to one of the big publishers. It used to be that an author could send an unsolicited manuscript to the publisher, who would read it, then either reject or approve. If approved, the publisher would publish the book.

Moreover, in days gone by the publisher would control the marketing. As far as the author was concerned, he or she had little control over the publishing or the marketing. And nowadays the average author gets only a small royalty. And the author does some of the marketing, such as book signings. A recent change, primarily in the 21st century, Traditional publishing houses are requiring that the author have an agent.

Self-Publishing came along and opened the door for the author. This was how I got into writing. My first three books were all self-publishing. One attractive difference between that and Traditional publishing was that I now had a semblance of control. But the publisher still had ultimate control and still got the biggest share of the royalties. And the author does most of the marketing.

As with the traditional houses, self-publishers are moving towards requiring an agent. This doesn’t appear to be large scale, but it looks like the day is coming.

Indie-Publishing is relatively new. You might call it the baby of the family. This is real self-publishing. When we come back from the break, we’ll take a closer look.

More on the other side of this break.

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Now back to the article.

What follows is a brief look at the advantages of Indie-Publishing.

Advantages: (same as self publishing)

  1. Virtually able to have book published. Rare that a manuscript is rejected.
  2. Author owns the ISBN, unless received free ISBN from KDP or similar.
  3. Royalty paid.

Advantages in addition to above:

  1. No signed contract. (Terms of Service usually act as contract).
  2. Published within days
  3. Growing number of publishing formats
  4. Kindle Direct Platform (KDP)
  5. Others
  6. Select either 35% or 70% royalty
  7. Control throughout the process
  8. Minimum requirements by platform
  9. Ability to retire a book
  10. Ability to edit and republish a book
  11. Ability to not only set prices but to change prices
  12. FREE (KDP, for example, gets paid through selling the book).
  13. No agent required.


  1. You don’t have an editor telling you what to do.
  2. You don’t have to wait months to be approved and/or published.
  3. You make all the marketing decisions (inc. hiring marketers).
  4. You handle all the editing and proofing

Some of the disadvantages listed are actually advantages. While being my own editor is hard work, it is also part of having control. Indie Publishing is all about control and greater profits. You control close to 100% of everything regarding your precious book.

In 2014 Teresa and I formed our own publishing company: TR-Independent Books. Although getting up and running was time consuming, we have not regretted it. Since that time, I have purchased the rights to and republished Perished: the World That Was plus others. As publisher, I have republished another book under a new title; and I am publishing new books.

And it is not costing me $400 (back in 2003) or $800 (now) to publish a book. Yes, there are costs associated with doing it yourself, but the cost is much less.

As an Indie-Publisher I also handled the marketing. I can turn it over to a professional (which I may do in the future), but whichever way I go the ultimate source of authority lies with my wife and I. One of the things I may do in the future is publish a catalog. This would help to develop and expand local marketing.

I would recommend to anyone that they seriously consider being an Indie-Publisher. Yes, it will require more work, but it also gives you control throughout the process. And that is important.

Try this simple quiz:

  • Do I control the editing services? Yes
  • Do I control review time of a Proof before returning it for correction or publication? Yes
  • Can I pull the book, edit it, and republish after I have already published it and do it for free? Yes
  • How much help do I get marketing the book? Various free tools
  • What do the marketing tools cost? Some are free.

These and other questions need to be answered. And I think you’ll be pleased with the answers. Perhaps the biggest advantage that Indie Publishing has, other than control, is the cost. You can publish an entire book free of charge or you can pay a little. Again, you have control!

Here are some facts to consider:

An Indie Publishing company is the author who now has virtual control over every aspect of publishing. That includes the cover, the back cover, any pictures within the book, and, to some extent, the text itself. Basically, the author has the power.

(note: If you use a publishing venue, such as KDP, they may have minimum requirements that you must meet. Even so, you decide which venue to use and you are the one agreeing to the requirements.)

Self-publishers generally don’t do marketing. But they do provide tools at a cost that you can use. This may include such things as banners, magazine ads, newspaper ads, and more. All for a price.

But Indie Publishing is different! You, the author, become your own agent, publisher, and marketer. This means you have greater flexibility in choosing who prints your book. You control virtually all aspects of the printing process.

In addition, you control the marketing. Let me point out that you have greater responsibility as well as power. But when you become your own publisher, doors of opportunity open allowing you to use the same tools you have been paying the self-publishers to use. You not only do the work, you make the decisions!

Happy Indie Publishing!


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Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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