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Top 5 Ways to Always be Taken Seriously as an Indie Author | Revealed by a Professional Book Editor

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

How to Become an Indie Author | Achieving Indie Author Success

Professional UK book editor explains the top 5 ways indie authors can always be taken seriously in the literary world!

Too many writers use the self-publishing route to publish anything, even if it lacks quality and professionalism, but if you want to be taken seriously as an indie author, you need to publish a product people actually want to purchase.

That means investing in professional services to ensure that your novel is of high quality, and doing things the correct way to make sure your book is worth publishing and promoting.

Keep reading to discover how you can be taken seriously as an indie author and how to achieve success by self-publishing your novel.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decide to make a purchase through the products and services I recommend. I only recommend things that I truly love and use, so I hope I can recommend something to you that you can love too! :)

1. Hire a Professional Book Editor

A lot of writers don't want to hear this, but if you want to be taken seriously as an indie author, you need to invest in a professional editor BEFORE you publish your book.

Too many writers believe they can make it big without having their work edited at least once, but you'll only be disappointed if you refuse to have someone else polish your novel.

If you want readers to actually enjoy your book without being interrupted by structural issues, inconsistencies and errors, and also leave a positive review, you need to hire a professional book editor.

Readers will then be more likely to take you seriously as an indie author and seek out your future books!

2. Ensure Your Book is Properly Formatted

Whether you choose to format your novel yourself or hire someone to do it for you, this step needs to be done if you want to be taken seriously as an indie author.

If your novel looks like a draft that's just been pasted from a Word document, readers will instantly think less of it, so you need to make sure it looks professional.

Think of it this way, if you walked into a bookstore - Waterstones, perhaps - and opened a traditionally published book only to find that it had not been formatted correctly, you would probably avoid that author, literary agency and publisher, so as an indie - ESPECIALLY as an indie author - you need to format your book properly if you want to be taken seriously.

3. Hire a Professional Book Cover Designer

I see TOO MANY indie authors trying to promote their book even though they clearly haven't bothered to hire a professional book cover designer, and I can't help but roll my eyes and wish that more people would take the indie route more seriously.

Yes, hiring a book editor AND a cover designer costs money you may have to save up for, but being an indie author is much more expensive than being a traditional author.

If you truly want to be taken seriously as an indie author, you need to LOOK professional, and your book needs to create a good impression before someone picks it up to read.

It sounds harsh, but not many people would buy a crap painting, but people will spend thousands on quality art, so make your book LOOKS the part by hiring a book cover designer who knows what they're doing.

Don't just rely on apps like Canva to make an amateur book cover!

4. Don't Spam People to Buy Your Book

I get it, you want people to buy your book so you can receive more reviews and make more money, but potential readers won't appreciate being spammed via DM (Direct Message) as soon as they've followed you, and they'll probably unfollow you if you spend every hour promoting your book in the same, boring way.

Readers aren't likely to buy your book if they don't know you and therefore don't care about you, so you need to encourage people to follow you and get to know you WITHOUT forcing them.

For example, Jenna Moreci (successful indie author) spent YEARS uploading writing advice to YouTube (here's her channel) before she found success, but she used that time to build an audience who cared about her enough to buy her future books, and her career is booming more than some authors who took the traditional publishing route.

So, instead of posting content that's all about you, think about how you could benefit your target audience with useful content.

5. Don't Publicly Complain About Every Bad Review You Get

Getting negative reviews is inevitable as an author, and all bad reviews hurt in different ways, but readers are less likely to take you seriously as an indie author if you use social media to complain about each one you receive.

It's a great idea to post and celebrate the positive reviews you get, and it's also a good way to indirectly promote your book, but you should avoid publicly drawing attention to the bads ones.

Firstly, some people will think you're attention-seeking or fishing for sympathy, and others will avoid your work based on the bad review you've posted everywhere.

Think of it this way, you never see businesses posting bad reviews online, you only ever see their good ones.


Because they want to progress and move forward, not give potential customers a reason to avoid them.

So, if you want to be taken seriously as an indie author, don't publicly complain about bad reviews!

I really hope you found this post helpful, and I wish you all the best with your independent journey as an author!

- Chelsea x



Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm the book editor at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent editorial business in the UK. If you would like to have your manuscript thoroughly edited by myself, please get in touch!

With my book editing and proofreading services, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!

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