Indie Author Job Description

Recently, I was trying to explain to someone what my days look like as an indie author. What came out of my mouth sounded sketchy (at best) because saying I sit in my office (which is really a corner of my kitchen or – even shadier – my couch) and make up stories that I hope people buy just doesn’t describe it in terms I’m comfortable with. So here’s the tongue in cheek version of what I do:

Job Description: Indie Author

An Indie Author (I.A.) makes up fantastic tales which are well written, exciting, and peopled with memorable characters. He/She must be able to sit for hours in isolation working out complicated plot twists and building believable worlds out of nothing but imagination. Accurate recall of facts (or be able to develop a system to record facts in minute detail), knowledge of grammar, and excellent computer skills are all required. An I.A. must be able to dress casually (if getting out of pajamas is required) and put all aspects of real life on hold while completing outlines, stories, and manuscripts. The ideal I.A. is also able to rewrite any sentence in multiple ways and format paragraphs and chapters in a logical sequence paying particular attention to story progression and pacing.

Knowledge of human behavior and relationships is essential. I.A.’s must be able to create people who behave in a consistent manner and allow those characters to interact in their environment in a manner which is consistent with the time and space of the plot. A detail oriented, obsessive-compulsive personality is sometimes required because I.A.’s often need to re-write, revise, and re-work certain aspects (and sometimes entire chapters) until near perfection is achieved.

In addition to writing responsibilities, I.A.’s must be able to market, blog, perform basic mathematical operations, track sales and trends in the book market, and spend time on-line posting relevant content to social media and internet groups that attract readers, reviewers, and other authors. A successful I.A. is able to cultivate multiple channels of exposure to ensure book sales. He/She must be ethical and maintain a professional, trustworthy image.

An I.A. must not be tempted to post fraudulent reviews, participate in the bashing of other authors, or engage in any activity which may alienate potential readers. Ethical conduct is critical to an I.A.’s success, so self-control and patience are key characteristics in maintaining a positive presence and persona.

Pay is based on quality of product and the ability to maintain focus and produce multiple works. Patience is necessary to build an audience and good self-esteem is required to weather the storms caused by bad reviews and slow sales.


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