March 6


How to Tap Into Indie Author Intuition When Hiring a Self-publishing Partner

By Boni Wagner-Stafford

March 6, 2018

#authors, #authorskills, #books, #indieauthors, #motivation, #selfpublishing, #Writing

When you’re in the market for a self-publishing partner, it’s time to listen to your indie author intuition.

Why? Decisions, decisions. As an indie author engaged in a self-publishing exercise, it seems like there are a million of them to make. Beware. You can drive yourself crazy searching for nonexistent data to support your decisions.

Where’s the Data?

Where's the Data?When self-publishing, indie author decisions range from the tiny (what font should I choose for my interior?) to the titanic (am I going to invest in support from a self-publishing partner?). In some cases, you can find data to analyze.

For example, you want to know how your Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) ads are performing to help you decide whether to launch a new ad or extend an existing one? Export results to a spreadsheet. (There’s a great book by Brian Meeks that explains how.)

Or, you can check references from a self-publishing partner you’re considering hiring to help you with some part of the process. Make a list of questions. Ask each reference the same questions. Carefully note the responses. Analyze them, look for similarities, discrepancies.

However, not all your indie author decisions can be data driven. Which means you must tap into your indie author intuition.

Embrace Your Indie Author Intuition

When choosing a self-publishing partner, of course it’s important how much and what kind of experience they have. As is their knowledge and expertise with critical editorial functions like ghostwriting, developmental editing, and copy editing. It helps if they rock cover design and distribution, too. And if they have  experience in your genre.

Embrace Your Indie Author Intuition

But you know what’s more important? How it feels when you’re dealing with them.

If you’re one of those indie authors who has ditched a full-time (read: safe) job in order to pursue a full-time writing career, you know all about following your intuition. Our dreams are not always rational. They cannot always be justified by looking at a spreadsheet for answers.

But our dreams – becoming a best-selling author, for example – are valid, and they exist to spur us on to be our best, most authentic selves. So, those thoughts that keep popping, unbidden, into your head? They’re driven by, prompted by, and related to your indie author intuition. Listen to them! If they’re telling you to take the plunge and try your hand at earning your living as an author, pay attention! If they’re telling you to put on your publisher’s hat and hire some self-publishing services, pay attention!  

When It Doesn’t Feel Right

You’re looking for a self-publishing partner to help you polish and perfect, present and publicize. From the very first email exchange or phone call, right through to signing the contract and paying your deposit, you have a wealth of information at your disposal to help you make the decision. It’s not on paper. It’s not on their website. But it’s there, inside your gut. It’s your indie author intuition. All you have to do is learn to pay attention to it.

  • Do you have a vague sensation that something is off, but you can’t put your finger on it?
  • Do you feel a slight pressure in your chest, or a sinking feeling in your stomach?
  • Are you experiencing heightened anxiety or an increase in stress?

These are signs your intuition is telling you something isn’t quite right with this situation. It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what it is. Take a break, rest your mind, and let a little time and space free up the connection between your intuition and your consciousness. Talk to other potential self-publishing partners and see if it feels different. You’ll soon know what to do.

Ego and Fear

Your ego might try to interfere with your decision to hire a particular self-publishing partner – any self-publishing partner – by creating fear around entering into the unknown. It’s the job of your ego to protect you from harm. If it is fear you’re feeling, this has more to do with you than any contract you may enter into with a new self-publishing partner. 


Check your thought processes here for clues you’re in the grips of fear.

“I’m afraid I will fail.”

“I’m afraid I will succeed.”

“What if I waste all my money?”

“What if I’m not actually a good writer?”

Any decision you make that’s based on, or influenced by, fear is likely to be the wrong one. Tread carefully here.

How to Know When it Feels Right

Here’s what you might experience when you talk to and/or think about working with a self-publishing partner that is right for you:

  • You feel happy and downright confident.
  • You feel excited and inspired.

Finding the right self-publishing partner can take time. Or it can be instant. What works for one person may not work for you. You may not be able to hop on Google and sign the first self-publishing partner you find. Open yourself up to your indie author intuition. Ask all the right questions. And trust what your gut is telling you. It may seem like a risk, but it will be worth your while.  

Perhaps this all just seems too woo-woo for you. Too touchy-feely. No problem. In our next blog we’ll reveal some more concrete signs your potential new self-publishing partner is prepared to tune into you, and not just the fees you’ll pay them.


Looking for your perfect nonfiction self-publishing partner? Contact Ingenium Books and feel the difference.

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