How to Publish an Indie Book

Colin Wright
Posted on July 9, 2013

Joshua, Ryan, and I started Asymmetrical with a few guiding principles in mind.

The first was that we wanted to build a company that kept authors in control. They take the majority of the profits from their work, they have final cut on editing, covers, and anything else that has their name on it, and they are also in control of (and responsible for) the growth of their audience, platforms, and brand.

The second was that we wanted to be able to experiment within the publishing space and see what we could push or bend, and what we could change completely. We’ve been able to dabble in this area so far—especially in ensuring our authors are able to be multidisciplinarians with their craft, while still improving their mastery over a core focus—and have engaged in a multitude of small experiments thus far, with slightly larger ones just over the horizon.

And finally, we wanted to build a company that would sustain itself as a business, but also allow us to invest in the publishing community as a whole. This was a tricky principle to fulfill, and we’re still not certain what the best way to approach it is, but we’ve built a decent-sized (and thriving) Community of publishers and authors, which has proven to be a hot-bed for ideas and inspiration as to what we should do next.

More than anything else, we’ve had people asking for a cohesive overview of how to publish a book. They might understand how to write, but not how to produce an ebook file from their work. Or maybe they have the file, but don’t have a cover. Or know how to convert their ebook to a print book. Or know how to build an audience. Or understand how they get paid.

It’s a complicated world, publishing, and especially difficult for authors and would-be authors who don’t have the time to spend doing an immense amount of research and engage in the (sometimes troubling) amount of trial-and-error required to really understand the subtleties of the process.

To that end, we decided to write down everything we could think of that might be worth knowing. We wanted to share our entire process, and to make it as accessible, actionable, and comprehensive as possible. We shared it as a blog series, each (sometimes massive) post focusing on a different step in the indie publishing process. And each post has an accompanying podcast episode of 20-30 minutes where Joshua and I expand upon that part of the process, sharing our personal experiences with it, and other tidbits that it might help to understand beyond the write-up.

The sections are as follows:

Let us know if we left anything out—or if there’s anything unclear that you’d like to hear more about—in the Asymmetrical Community.