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Monday, April 2, 2012

Scott Nicholson Shares Tips for Indie Authors!

A lot of authors have made the same comparison: we have all found the world of Indie publishing to be like the new Wild West. It’s exciting! There are no set rules, and every author can gallop across that open plain into the sunset without an agent or a publisher telling them what they can and cannot do. Gatekeepers? We don’t need no stinkin’ gatekeepers! Yee-haw!

Maybe not… but some guidance sure would be nice. Gets a bit lonesome and scary out in the middle of nowhere, just you and your horse… er… book.

(Quick commercial insert here: As a result of the marketing tips I've gleaned from my blog guests, Base Spirits is currently on at 99 cents! )

For the next two blog posts, I am pleased to be hosting the authors of two of my favourite Indie guides. The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe by Jeff Bennington (, and The Indie Journey: Secrets to Writing Success by Scott Nicholson ( are must-reads for any Indie author. Not only are both books packed full of great ideas, practical tips and inspirational moments, they are a delight to read. The authors’ true voices come across loud and clear: these are two engaging men who approach their subject with heart and humour. You couldn’t ask for better companions out there on the Frontier.

But don't just take my word for it-- read for yourself! Scott has very kindly provided a free e-book to give away. Just leave a comment below, and Tweet or otherwise share this post to win!

Scott Nicholson is a prolific author of dark fiction, and you can find out all about his books and contact Scott here: There are too many books to list, but some of my own favourites are The Red Church, Drummer Boy, The Vampire Shortstop and Creative Spirit. Scott has been out and about on the traditional publishing route as well over the years, and that background certainly informed his own Indie journey. His invaluable experiences are generously shared in The Indie Journey: Secrets to Writing Success.

Welcome, Scott!

1- First off, tell us why you decided to write this helpful guide. 

I'd seen so much attention placed on rankings and money and trad-pub hate that I wanted to present a more philosophical approach, focusing on happiness as the goal instead of the latest tricks to game the Amazon algorithms. Algorithms constantly change, but a metaphysical and spiritual satisfaction with your career never fades.

2- Let’s jump back in time: if you were just starting out on your own Indie journey, what are the top three things you wish you had known from the outset?

1. Jump in earlier and with both feet. 2. Be fully committed. 3. Don't get caught up in the noise.

3- a) What was your biggest misstep? 

I sat on the sidelines for at least six months waiting to see where the Kindle was headed, trying to get agents to sell my books and all that. And I was still talking with agents the first six months after I put in a couple of books, and I was holding out books to try to sell the old way. That was foolish in retrospect.
b) How did it make you feel? 

My generation of writers was trained that only hacks self-publish and that it kills any chance of a "real career."

4- a) What was your greatest triumph? 

Fulfilling my only real writing goal of being able to do this for a living.

b) You’ve had some great success along the way. What makes this the most outstanding example? 

Because I never required stardom or the ego baggage, only the satisfaction of the universe making room for the thing I loved to do. I accept that as proof that my writing has enough value to others to be worthwhile.

5- What is the best thing about being an Indie author? 

Wearing ratty sweatpants to work.

6- There’s a dark side to everything in life… so how about the worst thing? 

The firm belief that this digital era will not last in its current form, and the uncertainty ahead. Of course, that is also a joy, too.

7- Obviously, you have the experience of having been published traditionally as well as going Indie. What do you think are the top benefits of each route? 

Trad? Your book in a store, which is still cool even if less useful to sustaining a career. Indie? You get paid every month and the boss doesn't suck, hopefully.

8- Last but not least… what’s next for Scott Nicholson?

I am launching a Kindle giveaway site because I believe free books are not only here to stay, they are going to become the dominant model. And writers might want to figure out how to monetize the next era if they want to continue writing.

Thanks for your time, Scott! 

Remember to leave a comment/share this post to enter the draw for Scott's book... and for more great swag and free books, drop by !


  1. Really enjoyed the interview and the post. Thanks for the tips and wishing both Scott and Ruth every success.

  2. Scott's a class act. I've contacted him in the past with questions and he's always been terrific with insights. Great article.

  3. Great post! You mention that you feel the digital era will not last in its current form. I'm curious about your predictions on that.

  4. I read a few early Nicholson books in paperback and his Kindle collection Missing Pieces was one of the first items I got for my Kindle, and also the collection he edited, Write Good or Die. Scott is now one of my Indie Heroes!

  5. Great article; makes me want to get off my butt and get my books finished!! Thanks.