Thursday, October 29, 2015

An "Indie" Publishing Glossary

Last year when I first embarked on this indie journey, I was green as could be. I joined groups and heard all these terms and places bantered about, but I had NO clue what any of it meant.

I thought I'd do a bit of a "indie cheat sheet" today to give you a leg up if you ever want to stick your toe into the fast growing indie-publishing sector!

Although, as in all things publishing -- keep in mind that everything is constantly changing and morphing. This list could very well be out-of-date and obsolete in a year or two! But for now, I hope it's helpful!

Indie Author - What IS an indie anyway? It is short for independently published author, basically. It means an author who is their own publisher. They may outsource bits of the process (such as cover design, formatting, editing) but they are the publisher who handles the whole process.

Self-pub Author - Indie authors used to go by this term as well, but most are distinguishing themselves as Indie authors rather than self-pubbed. MOST (not all) people who say they self publish now mean that they went to a publishing company and hired them (and paid a tidy sum) to publish their books. For that fee, the publisher usually handles the cover, sometimes the editing, and coordinates getting the book into the various markets (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc) as well as prints the book. Some authors still use "self pub" and "indie pub" synonymously, though, so it can get confusing!

Hybrid Author - ME! This is what I am -- or aim to be anyway. This is an author who indie (or self) publishes, but also is or intends to publish in the traditional publishing world as well. 

KDP - Kindle Digital Publishing - Amazon's ebook publishing arm. What many indie-published authors use to list their books for sale on Amazon.

KDP Select - NOT to be confused with the above. Select is a extra service you can elect when you publish with KDP. It lists your book in the Kindle Unlimited program, which is to books what Netflix is to movies/shows. The BIG caveot is -- to enroll in KDP select, you must not have your book for sale anywhere besides Amazon, and you must commit to being in the program for 90 days. There are a ton of pluses and minuses to be discussed about the program, but that's for another blog post!

Smashwords - Similar to KDP, but it is a site that will publish your ebook to multiple venues such as Barnes and Noble, ibooks, etc.

D2D or Draft 2 Digital - Smashwords competitor

Nook Press - Barnes and Noble ebook publishing arm similar to KDP

Kobo - ebook/epub site that sells most in nonUS areas, especially Canada and I believe Europe.

POD - Print On Demand - a book printing publisher who prints book as they are ordered instead of large batches. (costs more per book but saves on warehousing/inventory concerns)

Createspace - Amazon's company you can utilize to print/sell paperbacks - a POD printer

Lightning Source - Ingram's POD printer (Createspace's competitor basically)

ENT - Ereader News Today - a fairly economical site (~$30-$50) to advertise your on-sale ebooks that (currently) seems to get fairly decent results.

BookBub - A fairly EXPENSIVE site to advertise your on-sale ebooks that (currently) gets very GOOD results -- but the price is very high ($300-$500+) and it's hard to get excepted. (EDIT: The $300-$500 was an approximate and NOT exact. Some genres are as little as $55 to list a free book -- but most genres are much higher. Christian fiction starts at $210 for a free listing)

Permafree - Listing your book for free on a long-term basis. Not as easy as it sounds! (Amazon doesn't allow you to list for free long-term, but they DO price match, so you basically have to list for free everywhere else and hound Amazon -- and get your friends to hound them -- to price match.) Authors use freebies to gain new readers to help sell their rest of their books. Lots of mixed opinions on this method.

This is by NO means an all inclusive list, but I thought it would be a good start!

Any other "terms" you've heard that you aren't exactly sure what they mean? Or any indie/hybrid questions I can answer? I don't know it all -- but I'm publishing my third indie book NEXT WEEK so I feel like I'm finally starting to get a hang of this publishing thing!

That said -- look for A (kinda) Country Christmas next week on Amazon, ebook or paperback! OR get it now in the Christmas collection, Love's Gift. (Had to add the plug!!)

Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and author of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance, A Side of Faith and A Side of Hope. She blogs about finding JOY in the journey of LIFE at She is represented by Sarah Freese of Wordserve Literary.


Marilynn Byerly said...

The advertising prices at Bookbub run from $55-2300 according to the price of the book and the number of readers signed up to receive emails on that genre.

Two other sites are FussyLibrarian and Bookdaily. Bookdaily is a free service.

Krista Phillips said...

Marilynn, good catch! Since most of our readers write for the Christian Fiction genre (not all though!!) I was leaning toward that catagory and more going for an approximate idea than exact figures! Thanks for posting a link! There are SO SO SO many sites for marketing on-sale ebooks, I should probably do a post just to list a bunch of those and their general requirements! Bookbub is just one I heard about the most when I first started -- then got the $$$ sticker shock, LOL.

I believe for Christian fiction, it starts at $210 and goes up :-)