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Indie Author Survival Guide

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  216 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
**UPDATED SECOND EDITION** (25% more content, every chapter updated) This book takes first-time authors through their first leap into indie publishing and gives already-published authors a jump-start for their lagging sales or new series. Inspirational and nuts-and-bolts practical, the Guide helps you tackle your fears, plan for success, market without feeling like a slime ...more
Kindle Edition, Second Edition, 374 pages
Published May 26th 2015 (first published October 4th 2013)
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Nikki Jefford
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m a lazy researcher. I love information, but I don’t enjoy scanning scads of writing blogs or author boards. I like it all in one tidy digital package and that’s just what Susan Kaye Quinn’s Indie Author Survival Guide is. It works equally well for writers looking to get in the biz along with seasoned veterans interested in personal, financial, and professional growth.

Here are some (of the many) reasons I loved the guide. It motivated me to:

- Recognize & celebrate my successes (something I
Kara Jorgensen
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Best book on indie/self-publishing I have read thus far. This is the book I wish I read before I published my first book instead of diving head-first into the publishing pool.
Okay, enough gushing. Susan Kaye Quinn is an experienced indie author who knows her stuff. She takes prospective and established indies through the process of publishing, formatting, looking for editors or cover artists, dealing with sales, marketing, and anything else an indie author could possibly have questions about. No
Anna Tan
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'd heard a lot of good stuff about this book, so when the second edition came out and I had money (i.e. Amazon gift card balance), I decided to get it. Also, I was there as a book blogger when she first released Open Minds, and then she started becoming like this big name in something like 2 - 3 years, and I'm thinking, dang, how did she do that?

Then it sat in my kindle for ages and ages and ages until this month (Jan), when I'm working on releasing my novella (Coexist) and getting the jitters.
Nina del Arce
This is encouraging - but also realistic! While the web is full of blogs and free resources touching on many of the same concepts brought up in this title by Susan Kaye Quinn, this book has a more personal perspective and what I found to be a very sympathetic tone. It's more than just a survival guide; it's getting a friend who has been there, done that, and is willing to show you how. Recommended for anyone who wants to make their dream of a career as a self-published writer something more than ...more
Marian Cheatham
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life. It was a revelation and a must-read for anyone considering self-publishing. Susan Quinn gives the reader concrete step-by-step instructions on how to self-publish a book. She has an easy to understand style flavored with personal insights into her own publishing hits and misses. The Appendix at the end is a wonderful resource of editors, cover designers, and more!
Martin Rinehart
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-marketing
If I had to pick just one of Grahl, Penn, Gaughran, ... this is the one I'd pick.

A five star book, save for the two star format. Cutesy Aheads (My, That's a Cute Backpack). The author's name on every page (but not chapter names, Ahead names,...). Graphs with solid information (I hope) two small to read. (Mine's the print edition. Apparently not the best.) Worst, she actually has two chapters on formatting. (And assumes that we use the expensive MSWord instead of the equally capable, and free, Li
Siobhan Davis
This is a fantastic blueprint if you are an aspiring or debut author as it's jam packed with tons of relevant information which will guide you on your new self-publishing journey. Even though most of it was stuff I already knew at this stage of my career, I still came away with a few little gems. I love the writing style - it's warm and personable and full of humor as well as being clear in instruction. Most of all what I enjoy about Susan's books and posts for authors is how much they motivate ...more
Jade Eby
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gah. I just love Susan Kaye Quinn. I've been following her for years since she first started blogging and of course I've followed these chapters on her blog religiously. I loved them so much I wanted to help support her by purchasing and re-reading the book. I believe this is a must-read for indie writers. I'd say it up there with The Naked Truth about Self-Publishing.

When I get a free minute, I'll update with a proper review.
Katja Vartiainen
I give it 4and 1/2 stars. This book is a must read if you are an indie writer. Lot of helpful tips, about writing, the 'scene', marketing, and thinking patterns. Quinn knows what she's talking about and luckily shares it with us. Half a star away, because of slight repetition towards the end. Just get it, there is no pint of me rambling more about it.
Great info for newbies

Thanks so much for this Susan! It helped me to realize that indie publication is the route that's best for me.
Christine Fonseca
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
Hands down one of the most INSPIRATIONAL reads this year. THANK YOU Susan...
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful addition to any author's personal collection of writing and publishing books. Quinn's section on writing the back of the book blurb is priceless and practical!
Samantha Sterling
Are you a new writer wondering if you're ready to share your work with the world? Are you a seasoned, published writer looking to explore publishing on your own? Are you just a writer looking for some new ideas? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is a great read for you!
What I like about this book is that it is an accumulation of Susan Kaye Quinn's experience and insights that she's organized and made available to one and all. It is not necessarily a how-to manual, but it i
Shelley Sly
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I originally bought the Indie Author Survival Guide in 2013, back when I was still deciding whether or not I wanted to self-publish. I took handwritten notes on the Guide (filled up half a notebook!) and after going through my notes, I decided 100% that I was meant to be an indie author. Not that I was brainwashed, but that I was now well-informed by Susan Kaye Quinn's detailed explanations on everything from where to publish, to formatting, to everything post-publication, including sales and re ...more
The best thing about Indie Author Survival Guide is how clear-headed and enthusiastic Susan Kaye Quinn is about the world of self-publishing. It's like having a very smart cheerleader (a rocket scientist cheerleader, no less!) sitting on your shoulder. Quinn reiterates time and time again that it's writing (and writing well) that matters in self-pub, which is heartening, considering how easy it is to get mired in marketing and formatting hell.

However, this is another one of those "blog posts bun
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aspiring indie authors, this one's for you! Seriously, if you're considering a full-time writing career, then go get this book right now. It's a steal for the price and it's one of the best self-publishing books I've read (which is saying a lot, because I've been devouring them lately).

Indie Author Survival Guide is an ideal mix between a writing self-help book and a how-to publishing guide. This isn't the kind of book that focuses on exploiting Amazon algorithms as a success strategy: it focuse
Thomas Gallo
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is unlike any other guide I've ever read. Not only does the author have a keen grasp of the subject matter, but she also has a very clear, and very fun personality which kept me entertained while I was being educated.

With witty and memorable metaphors and reliable references, this book pointed out and pulled me back from the perilous pitfalls that await the indie author... Definitely saved me a lot of trouble!

Highly Recommended!

~Thomas C. Gallo author of Sphynx: The Story of the Star P
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Indie Author Survival Guide is quite possibly the best guide on indie pub I have ever read. No joke. It's not gimmicky, "get rich quick", or a hate letter to traditional pub like a lot of indie pub guides are, but exactly what it says it is--a indie publishing survival guide. IASG was practical, conversational, easy to understand, and at times spit-your-coffee-out funny. There wasn’t a part of this guide that wasn’t helpful, but for me the most helpful sections were the 5-year plan and marketing ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Susan Kaye Quinn's Indie Author Survival Guide is the perfect starter book for any author seeking to navigate the waters of self-publishing. For me, the best part about this book is that it isn't a "how-to" on making a ton of money. It's about writing your mission statement, making goals, and finding your way to be a smarter writer and publisher. Written in 2013 and amended in 2015, Indie Author Survival Guide does now have some out-dated information, but don't fear! Susan Kaye Quinn has since r ...more
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone thinking of self/indie publishing
I am SO glad I bought this book! The Indie Author Survival Guide is practically the Hitchhiker's Guide to self-publishing, in that it might as well have "DON'T PANIC" in large, friendly letters on the cover. It's practical, straightforward and easy to understand, while being entertaining and understanding of the fears that so many of us have going into this. It answered many questions that I had, and more than I hadn't yet thought to ask. I feel much more confident after reading this book.

This i
Quinn Fforde
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is exactly for people like me--people on the verge of self-publishing. There is so much information out there that you can drive yourself crazy trying to read and distill all of it. Ms. Quinn gives us the benefit of her experience in clear terms. This is not a rehash of everything else that is on the internet already. It is useful information that can help you grow as your skill improves and as the market changes. This second edition adds even more information and experience. There is ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Indie Author Survival Guide, Quinn offers great words of inspiration as well as sage advice on the nuts and bolts of indie publishing. This book is a great value and an excellent read from a successful mid-list indie fiction author. In case you missed her credentials, she has a PhD in engineering and is a former rocket scientist for NASA. She replaced her engineering income by publishing indie books. If that doesn't provide sufficient motivation, you must be dead. But do not worry...her metho ...more
Eliza Jones
WOW. Anyone who loves to write HAS to read this book. Not optional. I would have paid $100 for it and still got more than my money's worth.

Not only does this book talk about the business side of things, but it's extremely helpful in the creativity and writing habits area, too! After finished it I'm so excited to get back to my writing and put off the pre-launch planning and nitty gritty stuff for my true love: writing.

This isn't just for indie authors, I think it has a lot to offer writers in ge
Lisa Harp
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great Book for Indie Authors!

This book gave more useful information than any I have ever read. Whether it dealt with reviews, sales, how to work with Amazon, or a multitude of other helpful tools, Susan Kaye Quinn helps emerging authors navigate the overwhelming task of being an Indie Author! I bookmarked so many pages, I am sure I will have to go back and read it again. Thank you, Sue, for helping me and never letting me feel I am second best or should pursue a traditional publishing avenue. Su
Suzanna Lynn
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: informative
This book was SUCH a help to me. Not only was it super informative for a newbie indie author like myself, it also made me feel like I was not alone in this 'lost' feeling that comes with being the new kid on the block.

Susan wrote this book in a way that makes you feel like a friend is giving you good advice, instead of a list of 'to dos' that most books on this subject offer.

This is definitely a valuable piece of equipment for anyone wanting to be (or who has already started the journey into) an
Jacqueline Mudge-Cooke
While I really enjoyed this book for all of it's tools and bits of encouragement. I think the only thing that bugged me (Before going any further, note that I read the print version) is that the lines of the links were underlined on the page. While great to just click and go if it was the e-book. I just would really like it if they tidied the book up a little bit.

Otherwise great book for a writer who is thinking of going Indie and does not know where exactly to begin. For the world of Indie pub
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
This is a good, solid introduction to the world of "indie" publishing and writing. I feel like I've read dozens of these -- I can't seem to stop myself. This didn't add a huge amount to the sum of my knowledge but I would recommend it for beginners, especially because it seems to point the reader towards more realistic, less flashy goals (i.e., break even, rather than making the NYT bestseller list). It actually made me want to turn my sights to more modest goals, which is probably a good thing.
Nicki Elson
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great guide for all authors, even those who don't self publish. For me, the sections on marketing and productivity were particularly helpful and inspiring. Quinn shares her personal publishing experiences so we can learn from them. This guide is written in a down-to-earth manner that's easy to relate to with practical advice on every step of the writing, publishing, and promotions process. Susan Kaye Quinn is a realist as well as a dreamer -- a perfect combo for a writer who prefers to ...more
Kristy McCaffrey
I found Ms. Quinn through her short story in the anthology 'Synchronic', which led me to this book. For anyone thinking of independent publishing, or if you're already in the midst of it as I am, there's a wealth of information here. She addresses practical considerations such as marketing and formatting, but what I really appreciated was her emphasis on maintaining creative flow. "Make time for your creativity, protect it, nurture it, build it, sustain it: these are the most important things yo ...more
Natacha Guyot
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must read for the indie published author, whether before or after they took the leap. Susan Kaye Quinn's book is easy to read and filled with many good advice. I enjoyed how she had an uplifting approach but didn't shy away from problems that might happen along the way. Her tips are practical and deal with writing, publishing and marketing aspects, so you can either read it in the given order or go to the topics that interest you at a given time.
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Susan Kaye Quinn is a rocket scientist turned speculative fiction author who now uses her PhD to invent cool stuff in books. Her works range from young adult science fiction to adult future-noir, with side trips into royal fantasy romance and middle grade. Her bestselling novels and short stories have been optioned for Virtual Reality, translated into German and French,
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“admit it, name it, and take action in the face of it.” 1 likes
“Occasionally you may want to break with expectations and do something different, that will stand out.” 0 likes
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