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  • Writer's pictureLouise Wise

Confessions of an Indie Author: Rejections, Revisions, and Revelations

Updated: Jun 9

It's been years since I stumbled upon the wild world of being an indie author. Honestly, it's what kickstarted my writing career. Without Kindle, Nook, and the rest of the e-reader gang, I'd still be grovelling at the feet of agents and publishers, waiting for their oh-so-elusive replies. Remember those days when you couldn’t send multiple submissions? What a nightmare!

But you know what? I'm glad I slogged through those early days of submissions and rejections. Nothing builds character like having your dreams crushed by your MS coming back with ‘rejection’ written in black marker pen across your cover letter! It made me dissect my work, figure out what clicked and what bombed, and develop that tough writer’s hide. Anyway, there's something almost poetic about receiving a rejection letter—if your idea of poetry involves curling up in a ball and crying into a pint of ice cream (wine).

So, when Kindle made its grand entrance, I felt ready and dove in headfirst and published Eden. A few months later, I followed up with A Proper Charlie (the books I'd unsuccessfully shopped around to agents). Eden floats gracefully, but A Proper Charlie often needs a life vest. Ten more books followed, including those penned under my alter ego, T. E. Kessler.

Writing is bloody hard work! You won't hit it big overnight (or probably at all), so don’t hold your breath (J.K. Rowling and E.L. James’ ‘overnight’ success took many years). Expect to wear many hats during your writing journey:

  • Promoter – No one knows about you or your book, so you’ve got to toot your own horn. Scream it from the rooftops if you have to! You’re basically a one-person marching band.

  • Financier – You'll have to bankroll your own promotions, pay for artwork and formatting—or become a DIY whiz. And most importantly, hire a good editor. Trust me, a well-edited book is worth its weight in gold. Or at least its weight in chocolate, which is almost the same thing.

  • Agony Aunt – You’ll need to console yourself when bad reviews roll in because no one else will care about them (and you will get bad reviews no matter how brilliant your book is. Even Stephen King gets bad reviews!). Some might even take pleasure in your misery. There’s always that one reviewer who seems to revel in tearing you apart. Probably the same person who leaves one-star reviews on books about puppies.

  • Cheerleader – To lift your spirits when you hit rock bottom. Sometimes, you’ll be your own biggest fan, and that’s okay. Pom-poms are optional.

  • Social Media Guru – Learn about email subscriptions, the importance of social media, blogs, and websites. They’re essential for promotion. Become best friends with hashtags and algorithms. You’ll be dancing on TikTok before you know it, and your friends will never let you live it down (it’ll also come back to haunt you in five years!)

  • Personal Assistant – All of the above rolled into one. You’re the CEO, the marketing team, the finance department, and the customer service rep—and security (for spammers). The only person not on your payroll is you.

Despite the sleepless nights and stress-induced grey hairs, the indie author journey is worth every moment. There’s a certain freedom in controlling your creative destiny, in crafting stories that might not fit the mould of traditional publishing but resonate with readers who find them. And the only one who can enforce a deadline is you! You’re the boss.

So, if you're considering becoming an indie author, brace yourself for the ride of a lifetime. It’s a lot of work, but the rewards, both personal and professional, make it an adventure worth embarking on.


Louise Wise

is a British author from the Midlands in England. Her foremost work, EDEN, is a critically acclaimed sci-fi romance, which was subsequently succeeded by its sequel, HUNTED, in 2013.

Wise's writing style incorporates a blend of real-life situations that encompass tragedy and comedy. She has made notable contributions to various women's magazines, including Take a Break and Woman's Own, by creating numerous short stories that have resonated well with her readers.

You can check out Louise's books on Amazon

Follow them on Instagram TikTok Facebook and their Blog

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