How Indies Unlimited Works – 2015

Indies Unlimited LogoOver the short time since its inception, Indies Unlimited has become one of the most heavily trafficked websites for people interested in indie writing, publishing, marketing, and reading. We’re honored that so many people are saying such great things about us.

With the word spreading, this means we encounter a lot of new folks who have never seen anything quite like Indies Unlimited and who don’t know quite what to make of it.

We thought it might be nice to provide a sort of guided tour, so people could get a better handle on what our site is about, what we do, and what we don’t do.

Our Ethos
Indies Unlimited was established to help independent authors in both honing their writing craft and promoting their work. We are a mainstream site, featuring material about writing and the business of fiction and nonfiction books for all age groups. We are a safe-for-work site and do not feature books that have themes that are predominately erotic, political, or religious in nature.

We will not feature material we feel is a poor fit for the site, or material we feel is not ready for prime time.

The site is staffed and run by unpaid volunteers. Everything here for authors is free. We have many demands on our time and attention. Your queries will be answered, though it may take some time, depending on our workloads. Getting snippy with us will not help you.

Our Staff
The site was founded in 2011 by indie author Stephen Hise and is administered by award-winning novelist and photographer, K.S. Brooks. Readers will often see Hise referred to as the Evil Mastermind, or E.M., for short. Do not be alarmed. It’s just a work title. The administrators are responsible for responding to queries, recruiting guest posts, developing the schedule, vetting content for the site, researching and writing posts, moderating discussion, and developing and scheduling non-staff content (such as like-fests, Thrifty Thursdays, etc).

The staff contributors (sometimes referred to as minions – again, just a work title) are the regular article-writers for the site. The majority of these are other indie authors. All of the authors on staff were selected because of their reputations in the indie community for being knowledgeable and helpful. Two of the staff are book reviewers. The book reviewers do not do book reviews here. They have their own sites for that. Instead, they are on staff because we believe it is important for authors to understand various facets of the craft from a reviewer’s point of view.

Our Content
We have a lot of different kinds of content, all aimed at different things.

Articles, whether staff posts or guest posts, are generally about some facet of writing, editing, or marketing, market analysis, technology, or trends. Most of our articles are either informational or humorous (or both).

Tutorials are  informational posts that guide the reader through a specific process, such as setting up an Author Central page, writing a book description, or using various social media.

Like-fests are posts that invite readers to participate in growing their social media followings by posting a link to a specific social media platform, and “liking” others in the thread who do so in return.

Promotional opportunities abound on Indies Unlimited. There are free promotional opportunities, like our Thrifty Thursdays (featuring books priced from 99¢ to free) or our Print Book Paradise, featuring print editions priced at $15 or less. These are self-serve posts, and provide authors a no-cost opportunity to list their books so readers can pick up some great reads on the cheap.

Once a month we feature “Indie Reads” which are picks by a couple of our industry’s top reviewers.

The popular Flash Fiction Challenge is a post that contains both a picture and written prompt. Participants are invited to write a 250 word flash fiction story using the prompts provided. All are welcome to participate. The rules are provided in the body of the posts. These posts run every Saturday at 9 AM US Pacific Time.

Polls or Voting posts ask readers to vote on a specific issue, such as the best flash fiction entry of the week or to solicit opinions or preferences.

Everything on Indies Unlimited is FREE for authors.

Searching the site can be daunting. There are several thousand articles in our database, and that content grows every day. We provide several different ways for readers to find what they are looking for on Indies Unlimited. There is a search bar in the upper right-hand corner of the site. In the right sidebar, there is a list of staff members – if you want to see all the articles by any particular staff contributor, you can click their name and all their articles will appear. There is a category list – you can look at all the posts assigned to those categories. There is a calendar widget. You can hover over a date and see all the posts for that day, or click on the day and it will take you to that page so you can read the posts.

We have put a lot of time and effort into our Resource Pages which you can find in a drop-down window in the menu bar. You’ll find everything from legal resources to how to spot a scam to how to design your own book covers there. Also on the main menu bar is our KnowledgeBase page. This page is a work-in-progress, but you can find many helpful topics there. Click on any subject, and you will find results for all the articles containing the specified tag.

What we are not:
We are not a social media platform. You can’t post content here – only we can post content here. If you would like to write a guest post, or have your book featured in some way, query through the contact form and follow the submission guidelines. Comments made in posts on the site should conform with the comment policy. We encourage reader engagement, but comments should be courteous, on topic, and appropriate.

We are not a review site. Do not send us your book and ask us to review it.

We are not a publisher. Do not send us your manuscript and ask us to publish it.

We are not an editorial service. While we may fix the occasional typo, if you send us material that is shot through with errors, we will reject it.

For additional information, please see our new ABOUT page or our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

Thanks for being here, and we wish you much success going forward.

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.

9 thoughts on “How Indies Unlimited Works – 2015”

  1. Oh cool – I just found out about the calendar thingy!
    The Resource Page is fabulous. And the tutorials. And the articles. And everything.
    But you forgot to mention something Very Important: The Tip Jar!
    Calendar thingies and resource pages and all the rest do not grow on trees. Just sayin.

  2. As a newcomer to this site, the descriptors that pop up in my mind regarding IU are: practical, cohesive, and relevant. If I thought about it for a while longer, the list would grow. Please keep up the good work. I’m a fan. Thank you.

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