You Don’t Know Until You Ask – An Indie Author’s Tale




I’m a firm believer in asking the question!

You will occasionally hear NO, and sometimes you will receive no answer at all, but you’d be surprised what can happen when you ask the damn question.

As an indie author I always have questions to ask. Sometimes I can find them online – via Blogs and Twitter, Facebook and more… – but sometimes it requires me to dig deeper and ask others.

This can be a daunting task, especially for an indie author, who more often than not is somewhat introvert. We feel vulnerable. We’re worried of the outcome. The whole idea makes you shiver and shake.

I want to share some of my own experiences recently. Below are a few ways I’ve asked the question, and in my opinion made my debut novel, Beyond Parallel, a great deal better.


Community Support

I believe all authors, especially indie authors, should be part of a community or two. I’ve recently joined the conversations on the Kindle Boards, and despite it being a quite chaotic world, the advice on hand is excellent.

A couple of weeks ago I shared a few ideas I had for the Beyond Parallel Book Cover. The feedback I received was invaluable, and it has helped me refine my ideas into something MUCH better!

You don’t always have to have a direct question, rather ask for opinions on your cover, blurb, description, sales page, etc. As you well know, an indie author has a great deal to consider.

Of course the Kindle Boards is just one community in an ocean of online communities. I urge you to search for a couple that are perfect for you, but don’t forget offline means, either.

Book Clubs, Workshops, Critique Circles, Courses, and Events…that’s right, the world is just waiting to help. Should you ask the question that is 🙂


One-on-One Support

A community is great, but don’t forget about the individual.

As an indie author I’ve met, connected with, and established several relationships. Each person has his or her own skill set, so I often send a cheeky email asking for feedback.

I’ve done this for my Book Cover (designers and artists), Book Description (copywriters) and Book in general (fellow writers). It’s quite amazing what feedback you can receive. In my opinion it’s often the difference between good and great.

However, don’t only ask the question to those that you know. I know it’s hard, and I know it’s cheeky, but don’t be afraid to ask the question to someone you have followed but never contacted, an author you REALLY admire, or someone you simply have to ask.

There’s a difference between this and cold calling everyone via a mass email. I don’t endorse the latter, but asking a cheeky question from time to time is great. You’d be surprised just how many people will reply and help


Readers Support

Some indie authors have many readers, and others have very few (aka those who are just starting out – like me 🙂

Whether you have 4 or 4,000, I urge you to involve them in your process. If you have a question, ask them. If you need feedback, ask them. If you’re unsure about something, ask them!

These people are, after all, your readers. They devour your work, follow your blog, and choose to be part of your journey. Asking them will not only make them feel part of your world, but provide you with some excellent ideas. 


Ask The Question

Here are just three ways to ask the question. I’ve used all three of these methods in recent weeks, and it has helped me take Beyond Parallel to the next level. I suppose time will tell how high that level is, but it’s certainly higher than it was a month ago 🙂

Sometimes you have to be cheeky…sometimes you have to put yourself out there…sometimes you need to be vulnerable and imperfect. Don’t worry, no one is. We all have questions. We all need answers. There is always someone out there who can help

You simply have to ask

Speaking of which, if you have a question for me, ask it in the comments section below.

Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million

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