Why Indies Unlimited No Longer Accepts Paid Advertising from Authors

no money from authors pixabay dollar-551932_640That’s right; IU no longer accepts paid advertising from authors. It was a decision that took a lot of consideration, and ultimately, it came down to one question: Do we really want to take money from authors? Sure, we’re drowning financially over here – operating for free means the money comes out of the admins’ pockets and from the occasional donation – but we want to stick to our guns.

Indies Unlimited has never been about taking money from authors. We go to a lot of trouble to offer all our resources for free – from tutorials, to breaking news, to resource pages, and more. The minions are most generous with their time and knowledge. Give them a round of applause.

It’s more complicated, but it basically comes down to the principle of the matter: We do not want to take money from authors.

The other edge of that sword is: We do not want to take abuse from authors. The vetting process we had instituted to make certain that only good quality books were featured here on IU was more grueling for us than it was for the author. Hours were spent on each book, meticulously evaluating everything from the cover to the categories to the sales blurb to the look inside excerpt, and honestly, it was a thankless job. If the committee pointed out typographical errors in the first chapter or even first sentence, it would be met with “Well, the book is out there, I’m not going to change it now” or sometimes, even worse. If a book passed, and there was a mistake in the book blurb that needed to be fixed, we’d sometimes get no response at all from the author. That meant that the committee – all volunteers – invested hours vetting a book that would never be featured on IU. Honestly? It got to the point where it just wasn’t worth it for us. Why do some authors resist help? It was written plainly on the submissions page that we may ask for changes/corrections in order to have a book featured. Only a small percentage of authors actually appreciated the input and eagerly made updates. It was disheartening to see so many authors disregard the feedback that took so much care and the time of so many people.

We will continue to process the books which were received prior to our cut-off date, and we will feature each accepted book until our backlog is gone. If your book is in the queue – please be patient, we are down to one admin and in order to support the blog, that involves also having to work a paying job.

So please enjoy all the free stuff you can get here on IU out of the goodness of everyone’s hearts. You can read about the free promotion features still offered at the Free Promotion tab up in the menu bar. And remember, we appreciate having you here.

Author: K.S. Brooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer, and photo-journalist, author of over 30 titles, and executive director and administrator of Indies Unlimited. Brooks is currently a photo-journalist and chief copy editor for two NE Washington newspapers.  She teaches self-publishing and writing topics for the Community Colleges of Spokane, and served on the Indie Author Day advisory board. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit her website and her Amazon author page.

26 thoughts on “Why Indies Unlimited No Longer Accepts Paid Advertising from Authors”

    1. An overdue thank-you to the Indies Unlimited vetting committee for helping me through the vetting process. A positive learning experience despite my initial grumbles, and well worth the effort.

  1. I’m sorry to hear you get negative feedback from authors. I can only say the advice you gave me for my book was invaluable and taught me lessons I can use for my others books. Thank you, Kat for everything you do for IU and for your other volunteering interests. I follow you on FB so I know how much work you have put into helping the firefighters, and you have your photography. Kepp up the good work.

  2. Good decision. Aside from the headaches you mentioned and the choice not to take money from authors there is always the risk that IU’s ethics will come into question when there is a disagreement. This way there is a clean break so that that IU’s integrity can never be attacked.

  3. Sounds like a good plan for many reasons. After sitting through one too many webinar pitches for over-priced secrets to unbelievable success, it’s refreshing to see a site that’s not in it for the money.

  4. Ugh, I had no idea IU had to put up with nasty stuff like that. Well, I for one still know where the Donate button is. ..Err, could you make it a little bigger Kat? Kind of disappears at the top of the page unless you’re looking for it. -hugs-

  5. All I can say is a million thanks to everyone at Indies Unlimited for your patience and invaluable advice to feature my Book Brief, Video Trailer and Sunday Book Showcase. Thanks again.

  6. In regard to funding, K.S.: Maybe IU could hold some fun contests or raffles for a small entrance fee? I’m sure you know “vetted authors” who would gladly offer their books as prizes, in order to help support IU. If you had a paid subscription, I’d sign up. In the meantime, how can I make a donation? I appreciate everyone’s efforts and want you to stay in business!

    1. Thanks, Linda. An easy way for people to help out is just by doing their shopping on Amazon as they normally do – if they just click through to Amazon through IU, we get a small commission. Every penny helps. 🙂 There’s a donation button in the upper right hand corner of the sidebar. Thanks for your thoughtfulness and generosity. 🙂

      1. My gosh, I never noticed that “donate button.” Guess I was too busy perusing your informative posts. Hope my small donation helps. 🙂

        Thanks again to everyone here. In the sea of writing, I think of IU as my life raft: Keeps me afloat!

  7. Indies Unlimited has taught me so very much, and with the vetting process as well. You taught me about certain things that people look for in book covers and I am employing the technique every day! I always post your articles to Pinterest under Author Tutorials or Author Writing because you have such a wealth of knowledge. I still owe you an article for The Wolf’s Moon and how I changed the cover per your suggestions! Stay tuned, I have an audiobook and a new short book just out so have been buried lately, but you are on my list! The only way I learned anything was to listen to all of you since the beginning! Thank all of you so very much! Pat

  8. It flabbergasted me to hear that you’ve had to deal with authors who couldn’t be bothered to change a blurb or correct typos after all the work you put in to HELP them!

    I’ve never run into a more generous and knowledgeable group as here on IU. It’s amazing how much there is to learn, all here on one site, for free.

    ::cue Tina Turner SIMPLY THE BEST::

    1. Some never even bothered to respond to the input, and these were for the free features! So, go figure. We appreciate authors who are open to input. Thanks for the kind words, and the Tina Turner tune! 😀

  9. Although I hate to see IU go into a position to make LESS money than it is (which is minuscule), I am so proud to be associated with a group that is tops in integrity, honesty and value. My own education, my ability to help, and my success have all shot up markedly since I joined the group. I honestly do not know of a more helpful author-oriented site anywhere on the web. While I think it is unfortunate that some authors haven’t grasped how much IU does for them, they are certainly free to move on and look for a better deal. But they won’t find it.

    1. We haven’t taken any paid ads since March, so it’s not like we’ll notice the difference LOL But thanks for the great comment. Has anyone told you lately that you rock? 🙂

  10. An excellent decision. At one point, I told another author that we do this gig for free, and she asked me why. Uh, because this is what we do to give back to indies. Because indies are generally broke. Because paying it forward.

    IU rocks! Kat, especially, rocks! Group hug! 🙂

  11. You are all so very generous and smart! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with all of us!!

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