10 Things Every New Indie Author Should Know

1.  It takes time to build a fan base – Go into your journey remembering why you write.  Most of us write because it makes us happy, because we are compelled to do it, and because there are people who love our stories.  People will be attracted to your enthusiasm, but give yourself and your work time to grow a following.

2. The odds are, it will be difficult to sell books, at first – Remember that you are not with one of the big six publishers who would throw money and advertising behind your work.  YOU have to do it all.  However, you will get a longer shelf life being on your own, and get to interact with amazing fans.

3. You will get bad reviews – There are many reasons for this.  Maybe the person just didn’t connect with your work.  There is even a small group of authors who try to sabotage each other.  You can’t make all of the people happy all of the time.  I promise it will hurt, but keep in mind that you evoked enough emotion to make someone take time out to write something negative.  Have a pity part, but move on.

4. Cover art is important I was recently asked by an author if he really needed to hire a cover artist.  The answer is always a resounding, YES! The cover is the face you will present to the world as far as your book is concerned.  A lot of people choose the books they read based solely on cover art.

5. Editing is not the place to scrimp – I made a rookie mistake and contracted with a publisher who refused to edit my work.  In the end, I pulled the book and had it edited myself.  Most people can not edit their own work.  Find a publisher that does both content edits and proofreading because bad editing equals bad reviews.

6. Don’t jump on your first contract without reading the contract – Also have someone you trust review it before signing on the dotted line.  This seems like common sense, but in the excitement of receiving your first offer you can make huge mistakes that take away your rights as an author.

7. Surround yourself with AWESOME – We are very fortunate to have a community of caring and talented indie and small press authors that are willing to help out newbies. These people can make or break you.  Forge genuine symbiotic friendships and you will go far!

8. Research your work – Most of us write fiction, so we are free to create our own worlds and twist and tweak the one we live in. Regardless, it is important to know the subject that you are manipulating. We living in a glorious time when you don’t even have to leave your house to get reference materials.  Use them!

9. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – Last Halloween, I wrote a horror short.  I usually write spooky, but this story tested my abilities, because I wanted to scare the pants off my readers without being gory.  That short story was über popular, and I got great feedback. Try not to ever pigeon-hole yourself in one genre.

10. Don’t be afraid to give your books away – Keep in mind that the more people who read your work, the more others will hear about it.  You can also write those giveaways off on your taxes! Another quick word about SWAG – there is nothing wrong with doing giveaways, but you will probably be struggling to make money for a while.  Make sure that you are getting your fans addicted to your words and not just what they can get from you.  True fans will want to read your books.  Having said that, I do other types of SWAG giveaways a couple of times a year, but don’t break the bank trying to buy fans.

I hope these little tidbits help, and I’m always available to answer questions or help out.  Most of all, have fun with your writing journey.

Don’t forget to check out Bayou Brew Publishing and give us a like on Facebook.


Monique O’Connor James

Author of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy with Cajun Flavor!

Please check out my latest novel Black Water Bayou on Amazon!


Gabe was raised to trust his intuition and rely solely on himself. Troubled and alone, he’s spent his life haunted by night terrors, and turmoil over where he came from rages in his soul. Always the lonely hero, he never saw Frannie coming. Under the fury of a southern storm, she blew into Gabe’s life and changed it forever.

Can she tear down his walls? Can he save her from herself and the demons that are after her family?

As the past catches up to the present, long kept secrets are revealed and families are salvaged while evil pours into the waters of an abandoned bayou. No one could have seen the dark forces true power, but one man was marked to battle them.
Can Gabe make amends with his past, or will the devil win his soul?





Other titles available from Monique O’Connor James – The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Musical Scares, Becoming Jolie and Magia Rising


Astraea Press Books and Author’s Favorite Lines!

Stephanie Taylor had a vision of a publishing house that provided fans with books anyone could read.  Her goal was to take in all genres from authors who had no sex scenes or foul language in their stories.  These kinds of stories could be read by people from 15 to 115, and gave kids and parents alike a safe place to find clean fiction.

Stephanie wasn’t sure at first if the public would take to this kind of fiction.  Most of the television we watch, music we listen to, and movies put out, are filled with four letter words and sexual inuendo.

It turns out there is a very large market for this type of fiction.  And, Stephanie has found an ever growing group of authors who prove a great story doesn’t need cuss words and romantic tension can be created without premarital sex.

Her authors are proud of her for taking the leap of faith, and I would like to introduce you to these amazing writers.  Below is the covers from some of our authors and one of their favorite lines from a book which is currently for sale at www.astraeapress.com.  Hope you enjoy!

The Legend of Ocenia Dragon by JF Jenkins

“If you’re my husband, that means I love you more than life. I need you to love me. I want you. I feel safe now. Love me and protect me from the dragons.”

Matching Wits with Venus by Therese Gilardi

In the valley below the thirty foot white block letters that spelled out HOLLYWOOD, between Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” museum and a string of psychic reading rooms, sat a glass-front shop with a rose-colored door.

Dangerous to Know by Nell Dixon

“Yes, sir.” She snapped a mock salute as she tried to calculate how many pairs of knickers she could fit into her backpack and still have room for chocolate. It didn’t sound as if there would be a corner shop where they were heading.

Lifeline Echoes by Kay Springsteen

God help them all! How could she tell someone he wasn’t going to be rescued? What could she say to a man when her words were likely to be the last he’d ever hear?

The Keepers by Monique O’Connor James

Dealing cards at the casino kept his mind from lamenting on things over which he had no control. Cards distracted him from the examination of mankind. They held no surprises and fell in predictable patterns. The stability comforted him. The notion that something so simple calmed him was ridiculous, but the serenity he found behind the table was the reason he returned to the casino night after night.

Glazier by Bri Clark

“Well you don’t see me rolling metal back like popping a tuna can.”

Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights by Jean C Joachim

There was something about his voice, something she recognized. Caroline stared at his face, peering into his eyes…those eyes seemed familiar. She gasped. “Mickey, is that you?”

The Perfect Rose by Felicia Rogers

“Who is that?” A small, trembling finger pointed in her direction.

“That’s Ariel.”

“No, it isn’t.”

Caleb frowned at his son. “Joshua, yes it is. Her name is Ariel.”

“She doesn’t look like a mermaid to me.”

Maya’s Vacation by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

She looked over at Dean, alone and struggling with the cleaver. He was trying to saw his way through a leg bone. It was too much; a utensil that beautiful should not be manhandled in that manner, whatever game fate was playing with her. She wouldn’t let that cleaver pay the price of her reservations. Beside, frying chicken was hardly a romantic activity.

Deal with the Devil by J Gunnar Grey

“Please tell me whatever you can,” Stoner said.
Mercer drew a deep breath. “We found her in the Dark.”
“Was it an accident?”
“No, sir.”
“Some wild beast?”
“A male one.”

Sucker for a Hot Rod by Joselyn Vaughn

“Judi Montgomery, will you marry me?” He opened the box and a square cut diamond winked at her against the cushioned white satin.

“What?” She hadn’t meant to say it out loud, but it slipped out. This was a bit more than an oil filter.

Blackbird Flies by Chynna T. Laird

“He didn’t want to think about his dad, Katie or even Lily…not  then. There was a concert grand piano calling for him.

And he needed to answer.”

Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks for doing such an  amazing thing. You are an inspiration.

A New Dream by Elaine Cantrell

Violet thought some of the tears on her cheeks belonged to

Matt, but no, a pro football player wouldn’t cry just because a

 woman said she loved him.

Spellbound by Samatha Combs 

“Serena, when are you going to get it? I’m in love with you. I

told you. Demons, witches, freaky dudes turning into rats, I don’t

care. I’m not going anywhere! This thing is bigger than I can

control, I get that, and I am still smack in the middle of it. And you

know what? As long as I am there with you, that’s exactly where I

want to be. So stop being surprised about it, stop questioning it,

and just accept it. You’re just stuck with me!”

I had never been spoken to so passionately and by someone

so sure of himself. He was right. I was going to have to get used to

it. I couldn’t help but smile as he put the car back on the road and

we continued driving home. Elizabeth was right too. I had chosen


You can purchase any and all of these books at www.astraeapress.com.  Thanks for taking the time to enjoy our covers and quotes!
Monique O’Connor James
Author of The Keepers – Now Available
And The Mulligan Man Novelette Available 7/11/11
Monique O’Connor James
Author of:  “The Keepers”