Are you a Self-Publisher or an Indie Author?

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Yes, there is actually a difference between the two!i-love-indie-authors-indie-books

Remember the term “Vanity Publishing”? And as terrible as the name was (after all, who was going to be proud to say that their book was vanity published?), self-publishing continued to grow and now there is no stopping it. Traditional publishers can label us all they want, but non-traditional publishing is here to stay.

So, back to our question: are you a self-publisher or an indie author?What’s the difference?

Self-publishing, we believe, is what you do when you publish your grandfather’s poetry and give each family member a copy. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you will sell a copy to every one who even vaguely remembers Grandpa George. But the aim of self-publishing is just that – publishing for yourself. The aim is not to make money, but to get words on paper in a nice format with your name on the front cover (or Grandpa George’s, in which case you add your name as the editor).

If your parents are nearing their Golden Wedding Anniversary, the family may want to put something together with photo’s, faded love letters found in the attic, a copy of a marriage certificate, and words of gratitude from the children and grandchildren. It is a wonderful idea that belongs in the self-publishing category. There isn’t much of a possibility for hot sales on Amazon or anywhere else, unless you are the queen of England.  Even then . . .

Indie Authors are a different breed. These are the ones who until a couple of years ago, were sending their manuscripts to agents who would reject most and pass on a couple to a publisher who would reject most and publish couple. You get the picture. The system worked, for those whose books made it to the shelf. The agent got to play a demigod in the story, the publisher became a god and the rest of the literary world bowed down and worshipped.

Well, not quite, but you know what I mean.

Except that the agents and publishers don’t always get it right. The traditional publishing industry is very small when compared to the number of people out there who can read. And the people who can read (billions of them) do not always like what the few are publishing. But that is all changing.

Firstly, the print book market is shrinking faster than the rain forests that used to feed it.

Secondly, people want convenience: fast foods, fast coffee, and the winner in the race – digital books. I can buy Wilbur Smith’s latest novel (traditionally published, of course) while I type this post.

Thirdly, writers are an independent thinking bunch of creative people. They work two jobs, go hungry, drive 20 year old cars – all so that they can say how much they ABSOLUTELY LOVE writing. So, when a writer believes they have the perfect book but no agent is interested, they make a plan. Ask William P Young.

Young wrote a little book which he loved so much that he photocopied it and gave it to friends for Christmas (self-publishing). Then he started receiving calls from strangers saying how much they loved it. So he sent it off to traditional publishers, who one by one rejected it.

So Young and a few friends started a publishing company with $15 000 and a $250 marketing budget. The rest is, as they say, Indie Publishing History. The Shack was launched and has sold more than FIFTEEN MILLION copies. I am sure a publishing god or two out there are still flagellating themselves over it. Indie authors want to sell their books so that they can write fulltime and eat well and drive five year old cars. Some of them even want to drive next year’s model.

Our point is this: If you love what you have written, there are readers out there (among the billions) who will love it too. The trick is to present it so that it can compete with any traditionally published book. That means the cover, the editing, the book description, the layout, in addition to the writing, must be industry standard.

We will guide you through the Indie Publishing maze until your book is out there, standing proudly next to any other literary giant on the shelf. And you can earn a little of the tsunami of cash that is flooding the digital book world.

And if you want to self-publish as described above, not to make money but to produce a book you can hold in your hands, then we can help you, too. But more about that later.

May the muse be with you!

Welcome to our wonderful, crazy world!

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Hi to every self-publisher and would-be self-publisher out there.elephant_dung_writing_set

Welcome to the new blog of Indlovu Publishing! This is where everything is new and exciting. Indlovu Publishing is a small team of brave, independent thinking lovers of books. We believe that everyone who has something they want to say should be able to do so. But we also know that most of us need help in some way. Not every writer can also be a brilliant editor, proofreader, cover designer, techno-savvy formatter AND still have enough of a life to write the books that just seem to pile up in our over-active imaginations.

That’s why a few of us sat around, drinking too much coffee, and brainstormed Indlovu Publishing into existence. We have put together a brilliant team of experienced writers, editors and designers. And we are here to help YOU get that long-dreamed of book into print. Indlovu is the Zulu word for elephant, an apt symbol for a South African Indie Publishing company. The elephant is the epitome of gentleness, wisdom and strength. And baby elephants are fun, silly and strong. Indlovu Publishing is still a baby pachyderm, but keep your eyes looking in the direction of this southern most tip of Africa, because all babies grow up sometime. We are going to fill the indie publishing landscape with our presence, and we invite you to join us.

Our aim is to provide a one-stop shopping experience for the indie writers (like you) who want to produce a good quality book, right from the cover design to the final release. Some critics say that self-publishing is delivering a tsunami of crap to the world, but we know that isn’t true. Never before in the history of publishing has there been such a thirst for information and entertainment. And while a lot of what’s out there is badly presented and pure sewerage, great writers are emerging from the flood, bearing readable and profitable books for little niche markets and for the masses.

Our aim is to help good writers deliver GREAT books. And our team are ready to partner with you as you embark on this very exciting and hopefully profitable venture. Regular posts will offer all the info you need, from how to edit your own work to writing a killer description for your book’s back cover. And everything between . . . We will be freely sharing everything we have learned over the years, and if you are a DIY indie writer, you will find everything you need RIGHT HERE!

So, stick around and buckle up. This is going to be a rip-roaring experience.

May the muse be with you!

The Indlovu Team