Recently, I was asked to define an indie publisher and what an indie publisher can offer beyond that of a regular publisher. In my opinion, the term indie publisher is rather broad. It can mean an author who publishes his or her own books or it can define a small house such as Martin Brown Publishers. It can also mean a publisher/writer alliance in which the author is responsible for part or all of publication costs. Vanity publishers, those publishing houses that require the author to either pay for publication or those who require the author to buy a certain number of novels after publication, also seem to be interchangeable with the term indie publisher. Confusing? Yes. Very.
To alleviate some of the confusion, let me say that Martin Brown and Ampichellis Ebooks, our ebook imprint, are, first of all, indie publishers. To go further in defining us, we shoulder all production costs, which include cover art, editorial, copy edits, conversion and all other costs associated with initial publication. In other words, we charge nothing to publish a book and authors are not required to buy books from us after publication. We are not a vanity press. Also, if you've written an outstanding, highly commercial novel and have an established name brand, we will pay you an advance against future royalties.
The term Indy publisher comes from independent publisher, which means we are not part of a larger publishing house. We are also traditional in that we operate in the same manner as any other publisher. If you were around in the 1970's, you understand that all publishers used to be traditional smaller publishers. It was only in the 1980's that the Big Six became the international, corporate monstrosities that exist today. Mom and Pop, Indie, Traditional—handles such as these were what all publishers were at one time. Those days are here again because fully half of all novels produced in this country come from indie publishers, and this is good news for those seeking publication.