For a career that is often portrayed as a lonely endeavor—one in which the author sits at their desk late into the night, a cup of coffee (or something stronger) beside them as they feverishly tap away at a keyboard or scratch pen against paper—writing rarely seems to be a solo act.

Author coaches, editors, cover designers, and beta readers work alongside authors to turn a rough-around-the-edges manuscript into a true book. Virtual assistants and accountants keep businesses running behind the scenes when writing takes priority. ARC teams and distributors help share the finished story with others. Other authors offer encouragement and advice for navigating the publishing industry, and readers sit at the helm of it all.

These connections have been building blocks for many self-published authors’ careers, so it’s no surprise many feel that community will remain important to the future of independent publishing for the same reasons. “Community matters because we are all that we have,” says author Ines Johnson. “Traditional publishing, they have their empire in New York, where they have their floors and their buildings and their people. But we have each other.”

Community doesn’t just inspire individual writers, however; it also incites growth in the industry. In the past several years, self-published authors have banded together to influence changes in distributor policies, leveraged social media to foster online connections with readers through BookTok and Bookstagram, and grown in number and influence within the larger publishing world. Still, it’s their relationships with readers, writes author Anthea Sharp, that ultimately remind many authors why they pursued this career.

“Pretty much every author I know writes to tell a story. Without someone on the other end, to tell the story to, this path gets cold and lonesome and can lead to burnout,” Sharp writes.

Author Jonathan Yanez agrees. “The art drives us to do it, but the commerce drives us to do it better too, right? So we’re always striving to make it a little bit better. But I think ultimately you wanna make it better for the people that are reading or consuming it or watching it,” he says. “I think that’s the difference—those that are successful, they have the right ‘why.’ They do it for the right reasons, and they’re passionate and they love it.”

Nicole Schroeder

Nicole Schroeder

Nicole Schroeder is a storyteller at heart. As the editor in chief of Indie Author Magazine, she brings nearly a decade of journalism and editorial experience to the publication, delighting in any opportunity to tell true stories and help others do the same. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and minors in English and Spanish. Her previous work includes editorial roles at local publications, and she’s helped edit and produce numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including a Holocaust survivor’s memoir, alongside independent publishers. Her own creative writing has been published in national literary magazines. When she’s not at her writing desk, Nicole is usually in the saddle, cuddling her guinea pigs, or spending time with family. She loves any excuse to talk about Marvel movies and considers National Novel Writing Month its own holiday.

Start or Join a Conversation About This Article:

When Writing Means Business, Storytellers Read Indie Author Magazine

Read Indie Annie's Latest Advice:

Dear Indie Annie,

Despite my best marketing efforts, my backlist just isn’t selling. How do I decide whether to go back to the drawing board and refocus the series or cut my losses and unpublish it?  At a Crossroads Dear Crossroads,  I feel your frustration, love. When a backlist underperforms, it’s like owning a vintage auto that sputters more than it purrs. Do you tune it up or trade it in for a new model? Let’s hash out

Read More »

Dear Indie Annie,

I’ve only ever written in one particular genre. I have an audience built there, a decent backlist, and a few ideas for future books. But I just recently got an idea for a story in an entirely different genre—one that I don’t even know I’ll continue past this book. Do I write the new idea or stick with what I know?  Pestered by a Plot Bunny Dearest Plot Bunny, The temptation of an off-brand manuscript

Read More »

Dear Indie Annie: Seeking More Sales

My biggest obstacle in my career is profitability. I have a full series of eight books, with great read-through. I do everything I’m supposed to do to advertise them: Facebook Ads, freebies, group promos, daily posts on social media. But I’m still not earning much. How do I make money in this business? Seeking More Sales (Aren’t We All?) Dearest Seeking Sales, Oh, my little crumpet, this profit pickle has so many of us in

Read More »

Follow Us

Weekly Tutorial

Sign up for our Newsletter

We’ll send you our best articles, special offers, and industry updates

Would You Like a Free Issue?

Hello! I’m Indie Annie, and I would love to send you a copy of this month’s issue of Indie Author Magazine. Just join our email list and I’ll drop it in your inbox!