Saturday, December 29, 2018

3 Tips to Indie SUCCESS from 3 Successful Authors

Asking successful Indie Authors:

Indie Author Tip
We’re a few years into the rocket ship that is independent publishing, so most of us have read countless articles and books on the ‘how to’ and ‘what not to’ and ‘try this’ types of tutelages. The Indie Author has become a successful one-man and one-woman show. We’re educated in the fields of production and marketing. So of course many of these tips and articles have proven effective! But because our industry has grown with so many success stories out there, we can now start asking deeper questions on the motivation that has driven these successful authors.
As cover designer, illustrator and writer I’ve worked with countless independent authors and publishers. On this journey with them all I’ve seen some authors enjoy incredible achievements.
However, how do we measure an author’s success? Is it the amount of books sold, awards won – or is it the mere fact that so many authors have to overcome various challenges to complete a book, or even series?

‘Success’ is NOT just one thing. Its many things.

In my humble opinion, I would say it’s all of the above. ‘Success’ is NOT just one thing. Its many things.
It has been my privilege to work with these three authors, from diverse genres, who have gone onto publishing numerous books, won awards and even kick-started a whole product range!
So I asked them this question: “How did you go from ‘Wanting to write a book’ to now having published and doing so much more?”
All three answered generously (and authentically), and it’s my honor to share their insights with all authors out there, new or established. Each of these answers resonate with me, and I KNOW every author will find an echoing thought and driving inspiration.


A.J. CULEY -Young Adult and Children’s Book Author

Tweet-worthy: “It’s not about reaching the peak. It’s about the journey to get there and then the journey to the next one.” – A.J. Culey

Author A.J. Culey
Author A.J. Culey
I think for much of my life I was waiting for the stars to align – for me to have the energy, the time, the inspiration AND the motivation all in the same moment. This is how years passed with plenty of ideas and tons of story starts but no finishes. Eventually I realized the stars would never align, at least not perfectly, for me to ever feel like this was the one moment I had to write. And that was my big lesson – realizing the moment had always been and always would be now.

So I started taking classes and I joined writers’ communities and I began to take my writing seriously. I think that's the big thing. We have to take ourselves seriously, as artists, as writers, as creative thinkers. And in that process of taking myself, my craft and my dreams seriously, one book led to another and another until one day I woke to the realization that I was an award-winning author with twelve published books in three different genres and several more on the way.

But to say “I woke” to that realization is to somehow imply that it just happened, which really isn’t the case at all. The truth is I invested the time and money in developing my career. I focused on the goal, invested financially in amazing book covers and illustrations, not to mention promotions, and committed my time to writing quality stories. I just plain did the hard work. And I think the big thing for me moving forward is to keep doing that hard work. I can’t stop to rest on my laurels. I have to constantly work at developing my craft and reaching for that next great story.

It’s not about reaching the peak. It’s about the journey to get there and then the journey to the next one.

A.J. Culey is an award-winning author. Having won Gold in Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for “Tyrabbisaurus Rex”, she has since been nominated multiple times, most recently for the Ozarks Indie Book Fest. Follow A.J. Culey’s rocketing success story at

SHAUN D. GIBSON - Author, Product Developer, United States Patent Owner, Farrier and Public Speaker.

Tweet-worthy: “We mustn’t allow the thoughts of yesterday to discourage us as individuals from the possibilities of today, and the future.” – Shaun D. Gibson

Author Shaun D. Gibson
Author Shaun D. Gibson
For many of us, writing is an outlet. I love the notion of inspiring others through the words of the mind and heart. Creating something that is of personal brilliance, powerful, and life changing. Some writers take you on a magical ride of mystery, while others create fantasies that leave you in suspense. Other creators tell tall tales of mythical creatures that revolutionize your thoughts of imagination. For me; it’s all about shining the light on a path that will lead someone to an existence of intrigue, possibility, passion, and overall happiness for not just life, but for all that exists within what one would call, their reality.

If I could only share 4 tips with not only writers, but the general masses at large, they would be this:

1. Know Why You Are Following Your Passion: If there is clarity within your mind’s eye, you will be UNSTOPPABLE within all endeavors.

2. Always Be Yourself: When you come from a place of authenticity all that you do will be delicately woven into the fabrics of space and time, changing not only your life, but the lives of others.

3. Level Up: Always be willing to experience MORE! As you rise to one platform of success, begin to reach for something new that challenges you once more.

4. Never Allow Yesterday To Stop You From Today’s Visions Of The Future: Each of us experience things within life that have the power to keep us bound, shackled, and imprisoned by fear. We mustn’t allow the thoughts of yesterday to discourage us as individuals from the possibilities of today, and the future. We all have free will. All that you do is indeed nothing more than a choice. Do you choose to write a masterpiece? Do you choose to change the lives of others through the words that exude from the core of your being? Do you choose to write a tall tale of mystery and mythical creatures? Do you choose to be your most authentic self and follow your passions, no matter what they should be? It all comes down to choice dear friends.

What do you choose?

Shaun D. Gibson has launched an incredibly popular product range stemming from his first book. For more about Shaun and his unique style of ‘Motivation With Attitude’, follow him on Instagram @shaundgibson or visit his site at:

STEPHEN RANDORF - Creator and author of the Detective Bass Mystery Series

Tweet-worthy: “I realized that I could type more words, complete more stories while sitting at the computer than I could sitting on the couch thinking about it.” – Stephen Randorf

Author Stephen Randorf
Author Stephen Randorf
For me, the desire to write showed itself in fits and starts, wondering if I could do it and if I was any good. While others may know right from the start that they want to write, what held me back was the thought that I needed a well-conceived story before I could type the first word, as if all books were born whole and complete. Although starting out with a good story will definitely make the process easier, it should not be used as an excuse not to write.

Eventually, I realized that I could sit at my computer and create my stories that all the words and ideas would come to me then, as I typed. This gave me confidence. Details of my characters’ would appear moments before I wrote them down. I was recording their dialogue as they spoke. I was seeing their actions as they were experiencing them, as well as each turn and twist of the plot, which I could not have imagined before. Yes, everything would need revisions, editing, and so forth, but I realized that I could type more words, complete more stories while sitting at the computer than I could sitting on the couch thinking about it.

What I did not have before was confidence, and once I had that, I trusted myself and knew that the time and effort I put in front of my computer would be worth it. It was then that I began to write on a consistent basis, improve on a consistent basis, and turn out good stories consistently. I have always thought that I would write novels, but it was when I realized how a good routine would help me creatively as well as propel me forward that I decided to take on the challenge of writing my Detective Bass Mystery Series.

To date Stephen Randorf has completed five ‘Detective Bass Mystery’ novellas and two novels, and their popularity is growing as fast as Stephen manages to produce his books! Follow Stephen at:

About the Author of this Article: Jeanine Henning (Twitter: @JenVinci)

Author Jeanine Henning
Jeanine Henning
Jeanine’s extensive professional background includes 20 years’ experience in cover design, children’s book illustration and publication, comic book publishing and editing, console game design, and writing. She has worked with editors, authors and artists on many continents over the span of her career, adding to her diversity and flexibility as artist and designer. Jeanine works closely with Indie Authors on cover and book art.

For more information on Jeanine’s background and testimonials, visit her site at: and author testimonials at:

Click here to visit JH Illustration website now to learn more and find lots of sample covers.

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