FAQ

1. What is an “indie” author?
Because the term is somewhat nebulous, we’re asked from time to time about our definition of an “indie author.” At Indies Unlimited, we support a broad and inclusive definition that encompasses authors whose body of work is not obligated to a single large publishing company. Authors who are exclusively self-published, those who work with small print or regional presses, or small digital publishers, and those who may do some of each, or even have only some work published by traditional publishers are welcome here. The bottom line is that if you consider yourself to be an indie, you most likely qualify.

2. Does Indies Unlimited pay for content submitted by other authors?
No. The main benefit for indie authors in submitting content to Indies Unlimited is increased exposure. IU gets a lot of visitors, referrals, page views, and click-through traffic. This increased exposure can help raise an author’s profile, steer readers to the author’s website or blog, and book purchase links. The ultimate object is to help increase awareness of the authors and their work.

3. What does it cost to be featured on Indies Unlimited?
There is no charge for being featured on Indies Unlimited. We exist for the benefit of the indie author community. We do offer advertising for books and authors at affordable rates.

4. What different types of features does Indies Unlimited run?
Indies Unlimited provides announcements, articles, and opinion pieces to benefit all segments of the indie publishing industry. We provide a platform for authors to receive advice from industry veterans; access to writing contests and magazines which accept submissions; and opportunities for authors to showcase their own works to the public.

5. Are all genres of literature promoted on Indies Unlimited?
No. The main genres we promote are listed in the masthead. We also feature some children’s books. As a general rule, we stay away from sex, religion, and politics. We rarely feature poetry or business writing (except as it relates to the business of writing).

6. How can I submit a guest post to Indies Unlimited?
The guidelines for submissions are provided on the submissions page.

7. I really want to submit something but I’m not sure what.
Frankly, that’s not a question, but you should be able to find some guidance in our recent post “Help Us Help You.”

8. How can I help support Indies Unlimited in its mission to promote the indie author community?
Money is always nice. There is a PayPal button in the sidebar. If you’d like to toss a couple of bucks in there, we’d be grateful. If you’d like to promote your work on Indies Unlimited, we do offer low-cost advertising. Purchases of cool Indies Unlimited gear and buying through our Bookstore is also a help.

More importantly though, you can help spread the word about Indies Unlimited – pass links to interesting articles on to the friends in your social networks (we make that very easy with share buttons at the bottom of each post), subscribe to Indies Unlimited on Facebook, add Indies Unlimited to your own blog roll, and encourage your friends and fans to visit and comment. You can subscribe, comment, or offer a guest-post. On a less direct note, if you want to help make our lives easier, if/when you do submit something, we greatly appreciate it if you follow our guidelines – more detail on why is here.  There are lots of ways to help us promote indie authors.

9. Can I have my book listed in the sidebar under “Featured Titles?”
Yes. The sidebar featured titles are part of select premium advertising packages.

10. How can I advertise on Indies Unlimited?
Information on the packages available can be found under the “Advertise” tab.

11. Will you run articles by non-author members of the writing community?
Yes. We will feature content by editors, agents, publishers, publicists, reviewers, readers, cover designers, book formatters, writing teachers/professors, and beta-readers.

12. How can I become a part of the Indies Unlimited regular staff?
You do know this is not a paying gig, right? Staff additions are made by invitation of the Evil Mastermind himself. We are not recruiting at this time, but when we do, we will take into consideration a person’s quality of writing, and whether they are a good fit with the tenor, style, and attitude of Indies Unlimited.

13. Do you offer promotional services/packages?
We do offer select advertising packages. Other than this, the only “promotional” services we offer are right here on the web site through the submissions process.

14. Do you do book reviews?
We do not do book reviews. We have two contributors who are respected reviewers with their own review sites. Rather than posting reviews here, Cathy and Big Al provide valuable advice and insights to authors from their unique perspectives. If you are looking for reviews, you may find this resource page helpful.

15. How do we contact one of your contributors?
The best way to contact any IU staff is through the contact form.

16. I have a topic suggestion, how do I get that to you?
Submit any suggestions for topics or features you’d like to see by using the contact form. We are always open to suggestions, and want to meet the informational needs of the indie community. In some cases, we may be able to direct you to a previous post on the topic.

17. I have a story I’d like to submit, but it needs editing. Will IU do that for me?
No. We are here to showcase your finished and polished product. We will not engage in editing your work, and will not accept poorly edited material. One of the whole points of being here is to show the world what YOU can do. Think about how you want to be represented, and submit only that level of quality.

18. What’s the deal with the weekly contests? What are the rules?
The weekly writing exercise competitions are another way to raise your profile and add another credit to your portfolio. The rules of participation can be found here.

19. Are you really going to publish a book at the end of the year? Is Indies Unlimited a publisher?
Indies Unlimited is NOT a publisher. We do not accept manuscript submissions of any kind. One of our purposes is to help Indie authors add to their resumes, so at the end of this year, we will publish a collection of the works which won the weekly contests. We hope to make that a yearly occurrence.

20. I need a publisher/editor/ghostwriter. Can you recommend one?
Sorry, no. Indies Unlimited doesn’t make such recommendations. We do, however, provide lots of good articles, advice and insight to help you make these decisions yourself, in an educated manner.

21. Can I submit an article I wrote that has appeared elsewhere?
No. Indies Unlimited no longer accepts previously published material.

If you would like to re-publish something you wrote for IU on your own blog, please make sure to run a disclosure line at the end, linking back to the IU post: A version of this article first appeared on Indies Unlimited on (Date) with link back to the article on Indies Unlimited.

22. I’ve started or am working with a charity, will Indies Unlimited donate money, blog space or services?
Indies Unlimited does not endorse or recommend any specific charity or cause. While we wish you the best with your endeavors, we cannot publish every charity-related announcement we receive. Furthermore, we recommend due diligence on the part of anyone who chooses to participate in any fundraising event through donation of time, money, services, or material goods. Any such causes or activities featured here on the site are for the purposes of illustrating the involvement of specific members of the indie community and are presented for informational purposes only.

23. I am an agent/publicist/publisher seeking exposure opportunities for my author clients. What is the best way for me to have them featured on Indies Unlimited?

f your clients would like to take advantage of any of the free promotion opportunities provided by Indies Unlimited, please have them contact us directly through the form here. Lead-times normally range from 2-4 weeks depending on the feature and our backlog of material.

If you wish to purchase publicity for your clients, we offer several packages. For further details, please see the information under our advertising tab.

24. My book is brand new. I don’t have any reviews yet. Why do I need to provide you with a purchase link when I query?

It’s not just about reviews. Indies Unlimited does not promote all genres of writing (see item #5). In addition to making sure your book is right for this venue, we also want to see how your book is presented. Are there typos in your book description? Does your book blurb go in circles? Do you even have a book description? We’re here to help, and before we can commit to featuring your work, we want to make sure that when our readers click through to your book that they will be happy with what they find there. Poor presentation reflects badly on the author AND us.

25. My book isn’t out yet. It’s going to be released next month. Can I do an announcement, book brief, or video trailer feature now?

No. It might be out next month and it might not. There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip. We’re here to help you get exposure (and that means sales – right?) for your book. If your book is not yet available, impulse buyers can’t click through to purchase it or even look at it. (Yes, we get a LOT of click-throughs!) So doesn’t it defeat the purpose to raise interest in something that isn’t yet available? Also, we need a purchase link from Amazon.com in order to put your book through the IU Vetting Process.

26. My book is going to be free. Can I do an announcement feature?

No. We do have a weekly feature every Thursday at 5 AM US Pacific Time. The Thrifty Thursday post allows authors to post links to their bargain and free books. Further information is available here. Please do NOT submit your freebie information via the contact form. Thrifty Thursday is a self-service post.

27. I submitted a query/materials to be featured on your site a week ago. How come I haven’t heard back? What do you people do all day?

Indies Unlimited is staffed by lovable but snarky volunteers. We respond to queries in the order in which they are received. Sometimes there is a bit of a backlog, and your patience is appreciated. Here’s the deal though: Sometimes people just send in a query that says, “Here’s my book.” We appreciate that you believe we’re clairvoyant, but since we have a lot of different features, it’s really best if you tell us which one interests you. If you don’t give us what we need to help you, then your query and/or submission goes to the end of the line while we take care of the folks who were more assiduous about following the instructions.

28. I participated with a Sneak Peek, Book Brief, Book Trailer Video, or Guest Post feature – why can’t I find my book in the IU Book Store?

The book store is updated twice a month, more often if time allows. Unfortunately, the store is not searchable by title, but you should be able to find your book in the “Featured Authors” section. The “Indies Unlimited Authors” is reserved for members of the IU Staff. If your book falls into one of the genres in the store’s left side-bar and you would like your book added, use the contact form, include a link to your book on Amazon.com, and the name of the genre. Of course, you must have participated in one of the qualifying IU features in order to be eligible to have your book listed in the store.

29. I submitted a comment on a post. Why hasn’t it shown up yet?

If your comment does not appear immediately when you hit “submit,” it may be due to any of several reasons:

  1. If you have never left a comment here before, your comment will automatically go into the moderation queue. Comments in moderation require an administrator’s approval. We do check the moderation queue frequently, but it may take a few minutes before you see your comment appear. Once you have been approved to comment, the blog software will recognize your IP address, and additional moderation won’t normally be required.
  2. If you have previously been approved to comment, but are leaving a comment from a different IP address than the one you used in commenting before, your comment will automatically go into the moderation queue because the software will think you are a new commenter..
  3. If your comment contains more than two external links, it will automatically go into the moderation queue. This is an anti-spam precaution. Once an administrator has determined your comment is not spam, we will clear the comment.
  4. If your comment violated the comment policy, it may have been deleted by an administrator.
  5. If your comment does not appear and none of the reasons above apply, it is because the blog is haunted. Yes, the ghosts in the machine sometimes do weird things we don’t understand.

Please let us know if you have recurring difficulties leaving comments and we will try to work with you to resolve the issue. Thanks!