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5 successful indie authors and what you should learn from them

5 minute read

Publishing a book on Amazon is not enough to become a successful indie author. Here you have to take risks and work even harder than writers who traditionally publish their work.

Today we will talk about 5 famous indie writers and their secrets on the way to success. Keep reading to learn about their schedule, motivation, and marketing tips.

Shanti Hershenson

One goes to writing for life, and Shanti Hershenson became an indie author at a young age, publishing ten books by the age of 14. She wrote her first two novels in the sixth grade. How did she do it?

Shanti has always loved creating stories and decided to become a writer at 4. Since then, holding a pencil, marker, or crayon in her hand, she has developed her fantasy worlds. At first, these were drawings, which turned into fascinating fairy tales over time.

However, writing a whole book was more difficult than writing short stories. Also, Shanti Hershenson had scheduling issues. But one day, she realized that she could write 1,000 words in a day, and this was the beginning of her disciplined writing, which helped her finish more than one book.


What should authors learn from Shanti Hershenson?

  • Discipline is the key to success.
  • Each new book you write improves your writing skills.
  • A debut novel is far from the best story you’ll write.
  • A playlist made specifically for writing will help you stay on schedule and write a set number of words each day.
  • If you’re confident you’ll publish your book, start promoting it as early as possible.
  • TikTok is a great marketing tool for indie creators.

ib: @Bin | YA Dystopian Author #BetheReasonVisa #IntuitTouchdownDance #books #AEHolidayCard #booktok #writing #writertok #teenwriter #writingabook #writingtips #shantihershenson #writer #teenwritertok #author #publishedauthor #teenauthortok #teenauthor #writersoftiktok #authorsoftiktok

♬ original sound – <3

Where can you find Shanti Hershenson?

Katherine Macdonald

Katherine Macdonald always had a deep love for literature, which was instilled by her parents. It is not surprising that she went to work in the famous bookstore Waterstones, where various novels constantly surrounded her. She later attended Lancaster University and received a BA in English and Creative Writing.

Katherine worked as an English teacher, but she remained a writer at heart. After the birth of her son, she decided it was time to write her book. Her superpower is rewriting and retelling famous fairy tales with solid characters. However, Katherine Macdonald does it in her way, making readers fall in love with her stories.


What should authors learn from Katherine Macdonald?

  • It’s never too late to fulfill your dream of becoming a writer.
  • No education will prepare you to publish your book. You just have to do it and learn by doing.
  • Writing a book must have a detailed schedule with deadlines; otherwise, it can drag on for years.
  • Set clear goals, not abstract ones. Don’t say, “I want to write a book”; instead, say, “I will write 500 words daily”.
  • If you can’t find a suitable good word, leave the usual one. Then you will come up with a better idea, but for now, you should not get stuck at one point.
  • Working full-time and caring for a child will not prevent you from becoming a successful writer.
  • Fairy tales are a great source of ideas for books.

Where can you find Katherine Macdonald?

LJ Ross

The literary path of LJ Ross is a story about how you can take a risk and leave a brilliant career as a lawyer to fulfill your childhood dream. After all, the author always wanted to write books; her mother even found her first attempts in childhood.

LJ Ross was a successful lawyer in the field of financial law. The writer says that when you have spent many years studying, you feel obligated to work in this field. However, over time, she realized that she did not like it and decided to take a break. Later, she discovered she was pregnant, which became an excellent opportunity to take a break from work and devote time to creativity.

When she finished her first book, Holy Island, her husband offered to publish it on Amazon. The book soon topped the Kindle Store, displacing Paula Hawkins’ Girl On A Train. It was a good sign that meant the success of the writer.


What should authors learn from LJ Ross?

  • You can always leave a brilliant career to pursue your dream.
  • Our education does not determine the occupation of our whole life.
  • The support of loved ones means a lot to indie authors.
  • You can use your professional experience to create realistic novels.
  • LJ Ross starts writing only when she has formed the story and characters in her head.
  • Self-publishing is not for everyone, but it’s worth the risk.
  • According to the author, chocolate and coffee are the secrets of her fruitful creativity.

Where can you find LJ Ross?

Abbie Emmons

Many indie authors know Abbie Emmons as a writing coach, as her YouTube channel has over 260,000 subscribers. She goes into great detail about all aspects of writing, from creating a solid character to how to world-build. Abbie knows how to make every story matter and believes there is a whole science behind a book’s success.

At the same time, Abbie Emmons is a successful indie author of two novels. Her book, 100 Days of Sunlight, is the #1 Amazon Bestseller and has over 1,503 reviews. The writer worked hard every day before the book’s publication and engaged in its marketing, so it immediately blew up the entire reading world.



What should authors learn from Abbie Emmons?

  • Behind every great book is a tremendous amount of research.
  • Writing a fiction book is a whole science with its rules and foundations.
  • Self-published authors should share their knowledge.
  • Clear goals and regular writing sessions will help you confidently achieve the primary goal.
  • You can do it all as an indie author: create a book cover, an audiobook, and publish a novel without outside help.
  • Interaction with the audience is a crucial tool in book marketing.

Where can you find Abbie Emmons?

Jamie McGuire

Now Jamie McGuire is a New York Times bestselling author. Who would have thought that at the beginning of her writing career, she would receive many rejection letters from publishers? The author got tired of this and decided to self-publish her novel, Beautiful Disaster.

She used the self-publishing platform Smashwords. Since then, Jamie McGuire has published three books there, and Beautiful Disaster has sold more than 30,000 copies and become a New York Times bestseller.



What should authors learn from Jamie McGuire?

  • Be stubborn on the way to your dream.
  • Traditional publishing houses cannot always see bestselling authors.
  • Focus on your audience and engage with your readers.
  • Find a time in the day when you are most productive at writing and build your schedule around that.
  • Always finish your book because it helps you learn to write better.

Where can you find Jamie McGuire?

Summing up

Each indie author has their secrets of success, but one thing unites them: hard work, self-belief, and the risk of trying. Some writers have to leave brilliant careers to pursue their childhood dreams. But the risk is worth it.

Be disciplined like Shanti Hershenson, risky like LJ Ross, and stubborn like Jamie McGuire. Find inspiration in fairy tales as Katherine Macdonald and learn how to make your story matter as Abbie Emmons.

And which indie authors inspire you? Share in the comments.

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Vasylysa In her spare time, Vasylysa likes reading books, writing fiction, gardening, and walking. She hopes to publish her own book and become a famous author one day.
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