Friday, July 20, 2018

Professional Polish for the Indie Publisher, Step One

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

One of my “made it moments” in indie publishing was the first message I got from an author asking if Proverbs 31 House Publishing was accepting submissions. It’s not. It’s barely even taking my own work. But I knew when I got that message that I was managing to make books that felt like “real” books to other authors. 

You all know that can be a challenge for an indie!

There are obvious things that need to be done to achieve that polish, like clean editing and quality covers, but there are other little things you can do as well. 

Start by naming your business. 

Make it mean something to you and get a great logo. If you don’t know where to start with logos, check out Fiverr, it’s been around a long time and is a great source for inexpensive art work—as the name suggests, as low as $5!

Once you have that, it’s a good time to check the laws of your area to make sure you have the correct business formation, too. In my town authors are required to be licensed businesses.

Use your new business name and logo to establish your online presence. My online presence could use some work, actually, but a good minimum would be a Facebook business page and a Twitter account. I’m not talking about advertising through them, though. This is more about letting readers find something when they Google you.

Since you got a logo, why not make some affordable business cards at Vistaprint? They had a deal going so I recently ordered 25o one sided full color cards for $8.

Other places to use that business name and logo include the spine of your paperback novels, the interior of your ebooks, pinterest, Instagram, as a watermark on memes you create, or even a tattoo!! Okay, I’m kidding about that one. Don’t go crazy.

If you already have a business name and logo, what are some creative ways you’ve been using them?

Professional Polish for the Indie Publisher, Step One - @TraciTyneHilton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Establish credibility as an #IndiePublisher when you #selfpub - @TraciTyneHilton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Traci Tyne Hilton is the author of The Plain Jane Mysteries, The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries and the Tillgiven RomanticMysteries. Traci has a degree in history from Portland State University and still lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her husband the mandolin playing funeral director, two busy kids, and their dogs, Dr. Watson and Archie Goodwin.

More of Traci’s work can be found at


  1. Traci, this is interesting. I've been kicking around the idea of indie publishing, and we have a logo, but not on anything and whatnot. I'm really struggling with polishing my manuscript first. However, this might be something to set my underpaid go to guy to doing. He's already earned his first million, but we're working on (me being indebted to him for) his second million. LOL Have a good one, and thanks for the clue. I'm on the side wondering, is there some reason to have someone else print business cards? We've been printing our own for --well ever since we got our own printer...just wondering.

    1. I don't know what your business cards look like but the ones I have printed in the past on my black and white laser printer and cut at home didn't look nearly as nice as the full color cards I get from a professional press. :D

  2. I've been kicking around that idea as well. I'm sure you won't get this comment, but I discussed this w/my hubby and that's somewhat his idea.Professional printing is more classy. And the auto correct on the computer/printer changed my Deboraw into a 'normal' spelling Deborah...that was nasty of it. My son did the last ones we printed and they looked all right for the time being. I think there is a point when you figure out what you're doing to invest in quality items, ie. hiring a professional printer. ;)