Friday, November 16, 2018

Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Aren’t All Indie Books Bad?

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

#2 in a series where I answer questions I suspect you are asking. Below is a link to the rest of the posts in this series:

Indie Author: If I indie publish people will know I couldn’t get a book deal, and if they know that, they will think my book is bad, plus, there are a mcBillion terrible indie books out right now---way more than there are good ones, so everyone will think my book is terrible. And it probably is. I’m going to burn my computer now, forget I said anything at all. 

Don’t burn your computer! That’s terrible for the environment!
And don’t delete your book.
And don’t give up on writing.
And don’t publish a bad book! 

I must address the elephant in the room before I get to the useful stuff. Are there literally a mcBillion terrible indie books out there? Yes. Did I just make all the self-appointed guardians of language have a stroke by saying a literal mcBillion? Yes.

But forget about the bad books. You can’t do anything about those. They exist. Move on.

The thing to keep in mind is that there are thousands of pieces of great literature being published directly by the author as well. These books are winning the big awards in the Christian marketplace. They are selling by the thousands. They are changing lives. No one is saying Joann Bischoff’s The Lady and the Lionheartis terrible because it was indie published. In fact, it won last year’s Carol for historical fiction. Just another terrible indie novel? How about best Historical Fiction of 2o17!

So instead of worrying what people will think, focus on how to prove them wrong—how to become the next Joann Bischoff.
And that’s no different for the indie than any other author.
Write an amazing book that you love. Then get reader feedback. Then rewrite the book. Then get editorial feedback. Then rewrite the book. Then get finessed feedback like proofreading. Then get more reader feedback. When the book is the very best it can be, publish it. Those are the steps it takes to create a moving, award winning piece of literature no matter how it is published. Those are the steps that separate a Joann Bischoff from the mcBillion terrible self-published titles.

If you want more specific steps about how to publish, sell, and polish your image as an indie author, check out my other blog series at The Write Conversation: How Authors can Build an Indie Empire and Professional Polish for the Indie Author.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten about how to write a great novel?

Answers to some of the questions authors ask - @TraciTyneHilton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

An award-winning #indieauthor answers the question posed by a lot of writers - @TraciTyneHilton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Other Posts in This Series
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—What If I Can't Do It? (Part 1)
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Aren’t All Indie Books Bad? (Part 2)
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—But Everyone Else is Cheating, Why Can’t I? (Part 3) 
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Help Pirates! (Part 4)
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—I'm Ready for the Big Time! (Part 5)

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. I didn't comment when this came out because I was offline to work on my book for a couple of days. Thanks for the encouragement. It's good to hear positive comments about self-publishing.

    1. You are welcome! There are many wonderful books by incredibly talented writers being published independently. :D