by Gillian Nicol

The publishing world is changing and that’s a fact. Gone are the days of piles of rejection letters and agents; 03KINDLE_35437745_35438356_620x433being replaced instead by on demand eBooks and indie author sensations.

Okay well, that’s not entirely true. Traditional publishing is still going strong. Where would we be without Penguin, Harper Collins and authors who have made their mark with other traditional houses? But when asked where does the advantage lie? The answer across the board is quickly becoming independent publishing.

The digital age is changing things and it’s showing us that it’s here to stay. It’s easier than ever to write a book to build upon your business model and expand your brand. People who have always found themselves with a passion for the written word are able to become authors through independent publishing. Chefs write cookbooks, CEOs write about business; it just makes sense. My cat (appropriately named Mac after the computer) could even write a book, considering how much time he spends pounding on my keyboard. That’s a slight exaggeration but I wouldn’t put it passed him.

And there is more than one avenue for potential indie authors. Kindle Direct Publishing, PubSmart, Createspace, and Lulu, among others, each provide their own benefits and services to experienced authors looking to take a different path as well as those that are up and coming. Blog tours, radio features, book cover design and eBook formatting are a small portion of the packages that PubSmart offers to authors to help promote their writing projects. Industry experts can now act as publishing liaisons, keeping authors on the independent track while also providing necessary insight into the competitive industry. This isn’t to say that independent publishing is easy; a vast amount of work is required by the author in order to succeed amongst the crowd.

When asked about her thoughts on self-publishing versus traditional publishing, author of the popular children’s series The Adventures of A.R. Achnid, Sandi Smith conceded, “I think either way is great. The important thing is to get them out there for people to read and enjoy.”

But getting “out there” is changing too. Social media and online networking is improving the reach of writers and would be authors every day. Twitter is among the top contender for indie authors to promote their books. If they market themselves in the right way and are able to build a substantial fan base in the way of “followers,” their book sales have a strong potential to soar. Interaction with readers and fellow authors is key here and can create an impact. Free eBook giveaways on Amazon, such as those promoted on Freebooksy, could even land your book the #1 spot on Kindle or in its genre. This type of exposure is huge for authors both indie and traditional alike. Becoming a Kindle bestseller is extremely noteworthy and the digital times are making that evident to everyone involved in the expanding e-reader industry.

So when faced with the decision of which path you will take on your journey as an author, consider the changing times of the 21st century. Research other authors in a similar situation as your own and reach out to them for advice if you feel comfortable. Consult with an industry expert to get their opinion on what your next move should be. And finally, consider your familiarity with social networking and determine your reasoning behind becoming published; are you fulfilling a lifelong dream or driven to create book sales…or both? Times are a changing…how will you make your mark?

Happy Writing!

Image courtesy of