Becoming an indie author can make a rewarding first choice


Literary Lightbox, writing, writer, indie author, indie spotlightBrad Matthews, author of Era Sinistra – The Shadow and other books, rose early to write and was quick to decide that he wanted to go indie when he was done. Here, he talks about what he’s learned through publishing his books and why going indie makes a great first choice.

Rising early to write

Early mornings aren’t for everyone but Brad discovered that rising at 5.00am in the morning to write, even on the coldest days, was a great way to get down a few thousand words most days. The quiet freed his mind think and, although his family thought he was crazy, he says it helped him turn out his best work.

The process felt smooth but he did come across several challenges. He discovered, for example, some of his sentence structures had become too repetitive because he wrote very fast and had got into a rhythm. He fixed these issues during his rewrite, creating variety.

The outline for Era Sinistra – The Shadow came in spurts, but once he had the basics of the plot down, outlining became much simpler.  The initial writing process took a few months, rewriting and editing several more, with much time invested in characterisation in particular.

Brad’s vision for the final book kept him going through the early mornings and challenges. It seems to have been worth it. He’s delighted with the result.

Deciding to go indie as a first choice

The reason why Brad chose to go indie early was because he wanted the freedom to publish all his novels the way he wanted even though he had no idea how to go about it initially. He was disappointed with the reception of his first book and, after a period of self doubt, put his energy into the follow-up, Era Sinistra – The Shadow. He enjoys writing so much that he had to keep going and feels his writing improved as a result.

Learning from his first publishing experience, Brad was determined to make the launch of Era Sinistra – The Shadow more successful. This time, well ahead of publication, he knew when he wanted the book to be released, how he wanted his characters to develop and how his story needed to grow. Indie authors are responsible for a lot, from prose to production to promotion. Brad found it hard but enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment.

Indie authors don’t have to be alone

Brad wasn’t completely alone as he headed toward publication. He knew when to call in the experts. He worked with a professional designer, Jeanine Henning, on the cover, giving her the same creative freedom he’d given himself as the writer. He felt trust was crucial to enabling her to do her best job. And, even though book reviews have been limited so far, he’s received some positive comments which have given him a boost.

This has spurred Brad on to write more. His latest book, Decay is an honest story about human struggle and mystery which he has written as an honest, heartwarming, tragic and thrilling story. Brad says he has several ideas for future books in his mind, some conventional, some more daring. So, I’m sure there’ll be more stories to come from him.

Advice for other authors for indie publishing

Brad says that writing and publishing independently is hard work but the reward is worth it. One of the best things is that it’s an opportunity to learn as you go and continually develop your craft in the way that you want. He recommends setting attainable goals to keep you going. Try to stick to them as much as possible in order to keep reminding yourself that you can do it.

Writing is only half the task – maybe not even that – so ask others to review your work and give you feedback. Be open to what they have to say and objective as to what you take on board. You’ll be putting a lot of honesty into your story so be open to accepting equal honesty from your peers. It’s great to have their company on your path to publication.

All of Brad’s books, including Era Sinistra – The Shadow and Decay, are available on Amazon in the UK and US as well as other digital bookstores. If you read his work, please take a moment to leave a review. Reviews make a big difference to every author, especially those who have chosen to go indie.

Was becoming an indie author your first choice? What did you learn? Share your experiences in the comments below to help inspire other authors. 


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    By: Loretta Milan

    Loretta Milan is the founder of Literary Lightbox. She works as a professional writer and is working on a psychological thriller. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy and Curtis Brown Creative’s three-month novel writing programme. Her writing is fuelled by liquorice and marshmallows.

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