January 13

4 Self-publishing Rockstars To Follow in 2016


Rockstar Indie Authors

There’s a reason the market is quickly becoming saturated by self-published authors, and it’s a good one. It’s because of the generous nature of indie authors. A tenacious breed, forced to fend for themselves outside the nerve center of traditional publishing, indie authors have quickly become adept at sourcing everything they need to independently publish the books and stories they believe in. Some have become self-publishing rockstars, while others make a decent living, but what all indie authors do best is share the love.

Instead of hiding their secrets for successful self-publishing, indie authors:

  • write informative blog posts

  • post relevant news

  • share effective review and advertising sites

  • answer endless questions in Facebook groups

  • link to articles on the craft of writing

  • create how-to YouTube videos

  • set up training programs

  • constantly tweet encouragement and inspiration

They’ve even been known to share their personal earnings reports, all in a bid to help other aspiring indie authors learn the ropes and achieve their dreams.

Personally I’m not the type of personality to be out at the front of the herd, bushwhacking a path through uncharted territory. The only reason I took the plunge last month and published my first book, Immurement, on Amazon was because of those who went before me and made a way for me to walk in. For that, I’m truly grateful.

That being said, there are four movers and shakers in the indie world I want to encourage you to hang out with online this year, if you don’t already do so. Each of these self-publishing rockstars has helped me tremendously in different ways, and you can glean a lot from studying their websites, Amazon author pages and Facebook business pages. They are successful and influential in their own right, but more importantly, they all demonstrate a strong desire to see indie authors everywhere up their game and succeed.

1. Joanna Penn

Keyword: Inspiration

Special Power: Animation: The ability to bring inanimate objects to life. (If your writing career is stuck in a rut, or dead in the water, this indie rockstar is for you!)

Special Song: I’m A Believer, The Monkees (If you weren’t before, you will be after you start listening to her.)

Joanna is simply a delight to listen to in her weekly podcast, but don’t be fooled by her girl-next-door demeanor, she is one tenacious Brit who is a prolific writer, a powerhouse of knowledge, and connected to pretty much everyone worth their salt in the indie world. Her book, Business for Authors is a must read if you are serious about turning your writing into a viable business.

2. Nick Stephenson

Keyword: Enlightenment

Special Power: Telepathy: The ability to read the thoughts of others. (Read my blog post evaluating Nick’s course Your First 10K Readers if you don’t believe me. This guy answered every self-publishing question I ever had, before I knew I had them.)

Special Song: Janet Jackson, The Knowledge (If Janet Jackson and Nick Stephenson agree that information keeps us strong, I’m all in.)

In a nutshell, Nick is a gifted teacher. Meticulous, systematic, cordial, logical, and easy to follow. He has a knack for distilling things down into bite-sized chunks that still pack a punch in terms of information delivered.

3. Mark Dawson

Keyword: Power

Special Power: Divination: The ability to predict. (There’s a reason he’s always one step ahead of the pack.)

Special Song: The Power, Elton John (They both walk with some kind of power every day.)

The numbers speak for themselves. Mark is not only a prolific writer, he’s a master strategist, and he’s making some serious bank. Check out this article Forbes  wrote about him last year. Mark has cracked the code on Facebook advertising for authors, so if you’re ready to drill down and power your way to the top, study his existing ads and check out his free introductory course.

4. Derek Murphy

Keyword: Creativity

Special Power: Shapeshifting: The ability to transform into another being or form. (From classical oil painter to book cover designer to fiction author, Derek certainly knows how to reinvent himself. Check out his site for radical experiments in self publishing)

Special Song: Dream On Aerosmith (This is one indie rockstar who isn’t afraid to live and learn, and dream big.)

Derek’s the dark horse in the group, but I’m putting my money on him coming out of the starting gate with a flourish. Who else out there is renting a castle in France for a NaNoWriMo extravagnaza, or a booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair as a revolutionary outsider bent on shaking things up and garnering press and media coverage with a crazy, interactive program? Don’t dismiss him as the stuntman of the indie world though. He’ll get you thinking outside of the box, but his website is packed with a ton of practical indie author information.

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

Who are you following in 2016?


derek murphy, Indie Author, indie authors, joanna penn, mark dawson, nick stephenson, self-publishng

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  1. I’m following Nicole Cappelleri from ActivePatience.com. I enjoyed Nicole’s book Active Patience and read all her blog posts. She’s experimenting with books and shares her journey along the way.

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