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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

Indie Author Tag

I really wish I could've gotten to this right after Indie Author Day...however, November was so busy and I thought I'd save all my tags for here we are! #3!

National Indie Author Day was November 12-13 last month (I know, I know, two days), and not only did I do a week-long posting celebration, but my fellow author and good friend R. M. Archer created this tag in honor of IAD and entirely for indie authors! It was so much fun answering these questions and really diving into what being an indie author means!

Now, enough jibber-jabber. I know y'all are ready for the questions!


The Rules

  1. Link back to the original tag (here!)

  2. Link to the authors you mention (or their books) in your answers

  3. Tag 5 other indie authors


The Questions

Why do you publish indie?

Man, we could be here forever if I tried to list all the reasons why I publish indie, including why I chose it in the first place and why I’m content being an indie author, instead of listing them all, I will direct you to this post here, which answers the question quite adeptly, if I do say so myself.

I will say this...I have the ability and quite possibly multiple opportunities to hire an agent and seek traditional publication at this stage in my career (can’t say anything would come of it, but you get my point). I’m even considering doing that sometime in the near future (by near, I mean within the next four years). However, I have my reasons for sticking with self-publishing…

And the main one is that I don’t like the level of control and dictatorship publishers (and editors as well) exert over the novels they choose to publish. Right now, even the Christian market is being saturated by cut-up books without any heart and novels full of unrighteous content. I don’t want to be one of those authors. I want to have the freedom to produce the kind of content I believe in and not have some market expert tell me I need to remove God or tone down the romance or disregard the spirit realm—make sense?

With self-publishing, I’m able to take control of my God-given, American rights (freedom of the press doesn’t just apply to news, people) and put my heart and soul, beliefs and convictions, out there without fear of a publisher, editor, marketer—whoever—finding fault in it or ripping it to shreds.

All that said, there are publishers out there who aren’t as ruthless (at least, I hope so) and authors who have found success within traditional publishing. I’m not dissing’s just not for me at this stage.

What’s your favorite indie standalone?

You’re killin’ me, Smalls. This is SUCH a hard question!

I actually haven’t read that many indie standalones (that I can remember…), at least, not as many as I have series. So, pending further reading, my favorite is a four-way tie (of course it’d be a tie) between He Wore Brass Buttons by Hannah Linder, Fairest Son by H. S. J. Williams, Lady of Conquest by Tamara Leigh, and The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson.

Man, that was hard.

What’s your favorite indie series?

Ah, but this is WAY more difficult! I’m not even going to try to be selective here...some of my favorite indie series are as follows (in no particular order, mind you):

And...there are more...but I won’t continue on or I will have exhausted my entire “self-pubbed/indie” shelf on Goodreads.

What’s your most anticipated indie book release?

Oh my gosh, no. I can’t answer this question. AUGH. WHY, ARIEL?! WHY?! There are DOZENS of indie books coming out soon that I can’t wait to read—from Kellyn Roth’s latest to Sara Ella’s first release with Enclave to my friend E. G. Bella’s pirate novel Cabin Girl, not to mention R. M. Archer’s Calligraphy Guild and Jenna Terese’s Embers and THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PICK JUST ONE HUNDRED?

What was your most recent indie read?

Most recent indie read. That’s easy. Whew. Both Sides of the Border by Terry Overton, which took me way too long to read. It was...interesting. I’ll have a review of it coming...eventually...

What is your favorite part of being an indie author?


Um...all of it?

Well, probably the freedom and control. And the flexibility. And the simplicity. And...I could go on.

What’s the hardest part of being an indie author?

The hardest part? Answering these questions.

*cough * Probably the costliness. I mean, technically, indie/self-publishing is really cheap...if you’re making a profit off of your books. I, for one, make about $2 a month from book sales. Therefore, spending $400 dollars on each release (cover design, buying author copies, stuff like that) isn’t necessarily the best investment.

But that will change, I’m sure.

Do you ever plan to go hybrid?

Absolutely! I’m not sure when or how, but I do have a few projects on the back burner to submit to a few indie presses, as well as the burning desire to be published by Bethany House or Revell.

So maybe it’s more of a dream than a plan at this point, but it’s there.

How many books have you released?

Let’s see...two full-length novels, one novella, and five short stories...not including my short story Cursed, which was released in the Imagine anthology earlier this fall.

Where are you with your current project?

I’m about 85% through with Bound and Determined, the third novel in my Daughters of the Seven Seas series. 85% meaning I’m on Chapter 53 of 62, with 181k words written out of my goal of 200k.

I’m actually farther along than I thought I was...hmm. Whaddya know!


The Tags

Now, for my five indie authors!

I've already mentioned Hannah - who is, like, LEAGUES above most writers...too bad Barbour snatched her up; the indie community needs more writers with her level of talented - but lemme tell y'all a bit about the others!

I had the honor of connecting with Erika Mathews for the first time when I joined her and thirty-some other bloggers/writers for the #WriteforLife tour in October. Now, I have yet to read her books (Promise's Prayer is high up on my TBR, though!), but I've be so grateful to get to know her! She's a Christian fantasy (and nonfiction) author who isn't ashamed to stand up for what she believes in!

E. C. Colton is another young indie author, who I found out about through Goodreads and connected with on her blog! I'm currently reading her novella, Shards of Sky, which is so beautifully written! Her blog, Quill of Hope, is also so fun and inspiring! Y'all should definitely check it out!

Now, Daisy Torres I actually met on Kingdom Pen. We're, like, buds, but it still took her several months to tell me that she published a novel! I rushed to check it out and, lucky me, I had KU and it was on KU and BOOM! I read Era of Shadows, and Y'ALL. That girl has got some seriously gorgeous prose and amazing characterization! I cannot wait to read more from her!

Anna Augustine was another Goodreads find! Friends of friends were just raving about her book, When You Found Me, so during my three-month love affair with Kindle Unlimited, I downloaded, read, and thoroughly enjoyed her novella collection! I love how she wove Bible stories into her medieval world, and I'm super stoked for her upcoming works!

You have been tagged, my friends!


What about y'all? What was the last indie book you read? What about your most anticipated one? Top five favorite indie authors? Lemme know in the comments below! (I just love how that rhymes!)

Bookishly Yours,


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Saraina Whitney
Dec 06, 2021

Awesome post!!!! Lol, the struggles of choosing...

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Dec 07, 2021
Replying to

Thank you! I know, right? XD


Kristina Hall
Dec 06, 2021

Great post as always! I love indie publishing!!

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Dec 06, 2021
Replying to

Thank you! So do I! :)


Julie Lessman
Dec 06, 2021

Hey, Gracie,

First of all, THANK YOU for listing Isle of Hope as one of your favorite series -- SO appreciate that, you sweet thing!

Secondly, from one indie author to another -- great article! And I echo your "favorite parts" of being an indie author: freedom, control, flexibility, simplicity, and I'll throw in autonomy because of the importance of it, even though I suppose it falls under "freedom and control." But the specifics of that are I LOVE designing my own covers, writing my own copy and jacket blurbs (my agent used to tell me I could go into business writing blurbs, so I guess I have something to fall back on if I need it 😉), and just…

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Dec 06, 2021
Replying to

You are SO welcome!!!

Thank you! Ooh, yes, I love designing my covers too! And YES! You are SO good at blurbs!! Supreme being. I love that. ;)

I sure hope so!!! Thank you so much! ❤️


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