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10 Successful Independent Publishing Behaviors and Traits

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Independent publishing has been around for hundreds of years. Whether it’s a small indie press that sees value in an author’s work or an author using a contemporary platform to self-publish, it takes a truly entrepreneurial spirit to achieve successful independent publishing.

Much like a successful CEO, you won’t find these individuals hiding behind closed doors or waiting to be discovered. Self-publishers take their work out into the world and won’t take no for an answer. Nurture these 10 behaviors to become a successful independent publisher.

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Independent publishers know the publishing industry. They’ve reviewed publishing models and understand price points and value propositions. They master online book marketing and the platforms necessary to gain attention for their work. Self-publishers have an intimate knowledge of the industry for which a piece of writing has been developed.


This goes hand-in-hand with preparation. Generally, successful people are willing to learn, make mistakes, and continue moving forward. They ask questions and add new skills that set them apart from the competition.


Successful independent publishers are often avid readers and writers themselves. They deeply understand the point of publishing and promoting work, and it is often for the benefit of the work itself. Publishers understand what a book means to a reader, how to meet a reader’s expectations, and how readers buy books. Most independent publishers read and write the materials they publish, so they can speak about their product on a personal and engaging level.


The publishing industry is in flux. The mark of a truly successful publisher is that he or she will get knocked down on a regular basis, but it doesn’t stop them. There are always new techniques and avenues to try when publishing. One forum may be attempted repeatedly, or a publisher may try a few different routes before gaining traction in the marketplace.


Successful individuals wake up every morning with a sense of purpose. They don’t languish in bed or procrastinate. These individuals take carpe diem literally and approach each day with a vigorous plan of action. Many will balance their day with communication, research, planning, and execution.


Passion is how successful individuals stay driven. Many successful independent publishers wouldn’t be in the business if they didn’t have passion for the written word. They care about what they do, and they understand the commitment needed to see results. They stay true to what they believe and won’t compromise if it leads to loss of quality.


Leaders in any field are assertive. Successful independent publishers understand when they need to take the reins and when to take a step back to reevaluate. Sometimes, they may be the only one who believes in a book’s merit, but that won’t stop them. Many famous writers were rejected before finally being published.


Rejection, failure, and mistakes are part of the publishing process. It means that a publisher won’t take the bad times to heart. He or she will understand that several different factors are involved in any given situation, and it won’t destroy the confidence needed to persevere.

Risk Management

Successful independent publishing means taking calculated risks. A publisher who understands when and how to take a risk will always be able to recover and grow with the results.


Positivity is contagious. Seeing the bigger picture and approaching each day with a positive attitude will impact those around a successful independent publisher. A publisher with a positive outlook will naturally encourage the same behavior in others, shortening the path to success.

Some of these behaviors and traits are innate, but everyone can focus on incorporating them one at a time. For most, a changed mindset will be enough to modify behavior and create movement toward a successful experience with independent publishing.


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IngramSpark Staff

IngramSpark® is an award-winning independent publishing platform, offering indie authors and publishers the ability to create, manage, and globally distribute print and ebooks.