To Read or Not to Read Indie Books

Photo by  Aliis Sinisalu  on  Unsplash

Authors choose to independently publish (aka self-publishing or indie pub) all or some of their stories for a variety of reasons. Like our old friend Will Shakespeare, indie publishing authors are often trend setters, trail blazers, and talented storytellers.

“I love writing Indie for the freedom to write the things I love the way I love them - and then design the story from start to finish.”
— Pepper Basham


“I enjoy the freedom to write the stories in me, no matter what they are.”
— Crystal Walton

Most authors who shared their indie pub experience with us agree that having control over the creative and financial aspects of their books is an important factor. By self-publishing, authors set their own pace and can write without the stress of deadlines or produce quality stories at a much higher rate than publishing house production schedules can accommodate.

Photo by  Alisa Anton  on  Unsplash

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

“I like the control that Indie publishing affords me. I get final say in cover, formatting, everything.”
— Toni Shiloh


“Being indie allows me to bring together the best team for my story… [and] allows me to reap the most benefits financially for my family.”
— Sondra Kraak

Photo by  Alex Geerts  on  Unsplash

Photo by Alex Geerts on Unsplash

While it’s true some indie authors have been turned down by traditional publishers, it isn’t necessarily because their book isn’t “good enough.” The bottom line is often the bottom line, publishing houses must bring in enough profits to pay all their departments and sometimes that means not taking a chance on something new, different, or even the same! Perhaps that publishing house already has an author with a similar style or storyline. Maybe the publisher isn’t marketing books in that time-period, genre, location, or books whose characters are or do (insert a culture, lifestyle, or profession here).

“Indie works really well for me, especially with small children because I don't have to have the stress of a deadline.”
— Sarah Monzon


“I love the freedom of writing whatever I want on my own schedule.”
— Rachel McMillan


“I went indie because pubs said they couldn’t market my Viking book and I knew I could.”
— Heather Day Gilbert


It's definitely an undertaking to do it right. I was starting my own business [as an indie author], so I did a good bit of research. Thankfully indies help each other.”
— Janet W. Ferguson


Yes, some indie books are poorly edited, have crummy covers, etc. but there are traditional books which fall in that category as well.

Independently published books like The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof and Then There Was You by Kara Isaac have won major awards like the Christy Award and Rita Award, respectively.


“Indie is not for every author, but it’s a good fit for an increasing number of authors who, having learned the writing craft well, are willing to invest the time, effort, and finances to retain control of their work—especially those whose publishable writing is simply not a fit for publishers.”
— Tamara Leigh


“Now I can write the books I want the way I want them, call them what I want, have full say on the covers, set the prices where I want, and try all kinds of creative marketing ideas that weren't options before.”
— Dan Walsh

Whether an author signs with a big-name publishing house, takes charge of their story destiny with indie pub, or utilizes a combination of independent and/or traditional publishing, readers win.

Want to find more indie authors? We’ve compiled a printable list to get you started!

Beth is an Associate Editor of Hope By The Book, a Christian fiction enthusiast, book reviewer, and the blogger behind She is passionate about encouraging authors and fellow readers everywhere.