• Robin Lyons

Behind-the-Scene: Independent Publishing


The dreaded typo. We all hate them and try to fix them before anyone sees the finished product—whether it’s a school paper, book report, news article, book review or a book.


Have you noticed we see what something SHOULD say, not always what it DOES say?


I remember being at a training workshop when the presenter projected a paragraph on the whiteboard for all to see. She said raise your hand when you see the typo. The woman I was with raised her hand. I read the paragraph, re-read it, I couldn’t see the typo, in the middle of a sentence was the word ‘the’ twice (the the). The sentence scrolled to the next line between the duplicate words. With one ‘the’ at the end of a line and the next at the beginning of a new line—I couldn’t see the error.


Thank goodness people have relaxed a bit with typos (autocorrect may be a contributing factor). ‘Typos happen’ seems to be the attitude nowadays. This relaxed mode doesn’t mean writers should lower their standard. A perfectly edited and proofread document should always be the goal.


You may have missed my post on social media where I shared that one reason I love being an #independentlypublished author is that I can fix a typo in five minutes and move on.


There are so many more reasons I love being Indie, I enjoy being the one to select the cover and determine the publication date. It would be nice to have someone else handle the marketing, but unless you’re a big name author, even traditionally published authors don’t have that luxury.


When I first started writing to publish, I researched traditional publishing and vanity publishing (which seems to have all but disappeared). It took me a few years to have a finished product and by then independent publishing was gaining momentum. E-Books would be different if we didn’t have independent publishing (Amazon continues to dominate in this area).


Here’s a brief explanation of the differences between traditional and independent publishing:


Create the story

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author

TRADITIONAL: Author


Edit the book (may require several edits)

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays editor

TRADITIONAL: Provided by publisher


Make corrections to book content

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author

TRADITIONAL: Author


Final edit of the book

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays editor

TRADITIONAL: Provided by publisher


Make corrections to book content

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author

TRADITIONAL: Author


Proofread the book

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays proofreader

TRADITIONAL: Provided by publisher


Make final corrections to book content

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author

TRADITIONAL: Author


Format the contents

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays for service or does on their own (if they have the skill)

TRADITIONAL: Provided by publisher


Create the back cover blurb

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays for service or does on their own (if they have the skill)

TRADITIONAL: Provided by publisher


Create book cover

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays for service or does on their own (if they have the skill)

TRADITIONAL: Provided by publisher


Compile the book

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays for service or does on their own (if they have the skill)

TRADITIONAL: Provided by publisher


Publish the book

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays for service or does on their own (if they have the skill)

TRADITIONAL: Provided by publisher


Create and manage website

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays for service or does on their own (if they have the skill)

TRADITIONAL: Author pays for service or does on their own (if they have the skill)


Market the book (most often through social media)

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): Author pays for service or does on their own (if they have the skill)

TRADITIONAL: Author pays for service or does on their own (if they have the skill)


*Sales royalty (generally speaking)

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): 35%/70% of sale price (non-exclusive/exclusive)

TRADITIONAL: 10-15% of sale price


*Estimated royalty per $4.99 eBook

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): $1.75-$3.50

TRADITIONAL: $.50-$.75


*Estimated royalty per $7.99 paperback

INDEPENDENT (INDIE): $2.80-$5.60

TRADITIONAL: $.80-$1.20


*Book size, fees, taxes, currency conversions, and discounts factor into royalties.


Be sure to email me if you hear of a true-crime you think would be good in a book. I’ll research it, share it and possibly use it one of my novels.

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