Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Creating Opportunities as an Indie Author

5 min read

Indie Authors need to make connections to open doors for themselves

Indie authors will always need to wear numerous hats to allow their books to achieve the success they deserve.

What are these hats?

  • Marketing

  • Editing (Before it goes to an editor and after edits are received)

  • Design

  • Research

  • Coordinator

  • Social Media

  • Planner

And when it’s listed out this way, it feels like it’s a lot of hats to wear.

The hard truth is that self-publishing had a bad spell where authors rushed to push out books without doing the proper work to ensure their work was the best quality.

Because of this, there was a stigma around self-publishing for a long time. However, I believe that through some indie authors’ hard work and dedication in recent years, we are slowly inching self-publishing back toward the right side of things. Both in the industry’s and readers’ eyes.

So the question remains, what should Indie Authors be doing to help themselves other than publishing the best quality products?

Indie Authors should be creating opportunities for themselves both in their community and in the communities around where they are.

For example, back in November, I was part of an Indie Author book sale at Lititz Public Library and I had the chance to connect with other authors in the area. After speaking to one author who had a book on plants (just like me), she disclosed that she makes most of her money by being a vendor at festivals and events that have to do with plants. She’d even traveled to Maryland for an Apple Festival and her books sold out.

This is a prime example of creating opportunities for yourself.

So, I followed her lead for my children’s book Dandelion and I began searching for Spring events in my area. Lo and behold I found one, Lancaster Native Plant & Wildlife Festival, and they were still accepting vendors. Thankfully I was accepted and am excited to see what this opportunity brings me at the end of the month.

Indie authors can search their communities both around their area or online to see what opportunities there are for their books.

The first step is determining what topics you can derive from your work and seeing what events, groups, or businesses in your area work with them.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say your book is a romance book where a woman and a man meet at a local coffee shop one of them owns and lots of their time is spent there. Are there any coffee shops in your area that would be willing to let you set up a table? And could you sweeten the pot for the business by telling them you’ll advertise for the event?

Let’s try one more example, this time online.

If you have connections in the writing world, could you join together to create an online Indie Author book event for books in the same genre? Perhaps you all plan to go online at a specific time, find someone who can ask each of you questions in a panel-style sit-down, and lower the price of your books slightly prior to the event to increase the chance of sales. And everyone involved promotes it to their audiences to increase visibility.

One of the most powerful tools we have is using the community as an asset and forming relationships that last and are mutually beneficial.

Another way for Indie Authors to create opportunities for themselves is to make connections with book bloggers/ reviewers.

These reviewers are the most underutilized in my opinion.


Because too many authors don’t build a relationship with these people before asking for their review. When in reality they should be building a relationship with these people and showing how reviewing your book can be mutually beneficial.

See Ways to Build Relationships with Book Bloggers for more information.

Once you build a relationship with a few book bloggers/ reviewers, you open up the opportunity to do a blog tour. This is when you ask book blogs if they are willing to receive an ARC copy of your book and review it before release.

How does this work?

  • Send out requests to book blogs with the book title, cover, description, release date, and places to review months before the book release date

  • Create a list of who you submitted a request to

  • Send an ARC copy to those who replied

  • Share on social media that you will be participating in a blog tour and which blogs are participating

  • Share the reviews as they come out and where they came from

  • Send a thank you to each book blog

When Indie Authors create opportunities for themselves, they show they are capable of so much.

And because of it, your readership will grow in your communities.

For more about Networking Locally and Online, see 3 Key Elements That Help an Indie Author Career