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Author FAQ

Why should I join Indies United?

As a traditional Indie author, going it alone can be hard. To be truthful, very hard. Our goal is to give Indies a home where they can thrive in the often confusing, frustrating, and occasionally hair-pulling publishing world. Unlike traditional publishing houses, Indies United allows you to keep the control many Indie authors enjoy having, while offering the support of a community of like-minded authors. Can we guarantee that you'll become the next great J.K. Rowling? No, and we will never imply otherwise. But what we will do is give you the best tools available to us, to give you and your books, a chance to shine. We will never inhibit you from the highest success as an author that you can reach, even if that turns out to be with another publishing house. To find out more about how we will do this, please continue to scroll down.


Does Indies United accept manuscripts?

Yes, we accept manuscripts. We also accept previously published books, both traditionally and indie published. If you are an already established Indie author and have 10 or more reviews with a 3-star or above average rating, and do not violate any of our ethical guidelines, welcome aboard! If you are a first time author, we ask that you submit your manuscript for review. If for some reason it does not meet our review standards, a critique will be sent of the things needed to be fixed and you will be allowed to resubmit your book after making the corrections.


What are your review standards for new authors?

Books, like all art forms, are subjective. We ask when you submit your book to let us know if you are giving us a finished (completely edited and ready to print) manuscript, or an ARC (an uncorrected proof or review copy). We will also require the category of your book. Novels, both fiction and non-fiction, are judged by a different criteria than a book about healthy lifestyle choices.


We prefer that you submit a finished copy, but if you are submitting an ARC novel, we are looking for a book that engages our attention. Does it have a good plot line? Is it entertaining? Can we see the diamond in the rough shining through? If we agree your book has potential we will ask that you have it edited and resubmit it for review for publication.


If you are submitting a finished copy, we expect it to be relatively free of errors. We understand that some errors do occur, and even the best editor can let mistakes pass through, but if we find it to be difficult to read, or have a distracting number of errors we will send it back to you for re-edit.


If you are submitting a non-fiction book that is not a novel (ie: self-help, historical, cookbook, etc) our criteria varies as widely as the subjects. We will not judge a cookbook by the same standards as a historical book for instance. We will expect the book to have a clear purpose that does not meander, is factually accurate, and free of errors that inhibit the reader from understanding the subject.


For poetry, children’s books, comic books, graphic novels and coloring books we ask that all books be submitted in final form and free of spelling and grammatical errors.


What are your ethical guidelines for books?

Here at Indies United we embrace our diversity and hope to give every author a chance to be discovered. But, there are some things that go against our ethical policy. We do not accept books that promote, encourage or glorify, intolerance, racism, pedophilia, domestic violence, rape culture, xenophobia, homophobia, or violence against children or minorities.


If I join Indies United what percentage do you take for royalties?

Zero. No, your eyes did not deceive you, here at Indies United we do not take any of the royalties from your book sales.


How does Indies United make money then?

Indie United has two types of packages for our authors. You can choose an all-inclusive package that provides an author almost everything they will need to publish their book. Or more basic packages for more experienced authors who are comfortable doing a lot of the work on their own. The packages range from $250 to $650 per book launch. But, we always work with our authors to ensure that they receive the best package for their needs.

Click here to download our publishing packages.


Would I have to sign a contract if I join?

Yes. The contract will cover services provided, obligations expected of our authors, and other pertinent information. Most of the information in the contract is addressed here in FAQ. After reviewing the contract, if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have that are not covered in this packet. We also encourage our authors to have our contract (or any contract for that matter, before you sign) reviewed by an attorney.


*To share an amusing tidbit about our contract, one of our soon-to-be-added authors took our contract to his attorney for review. He quoted to us his attorney's reaction, "This was such an honest contract, I read it several times just for pleasure." But, please do not feel inhibited in any way to taking our contract to be reviewed before signing. We encourage it. And, if your attorney has any questions for us, please share our email address with them so we can address those questions directly.


Is there a limit on how many books I can publish through Indies United?

We place no limitations on how many books you are allowed to write, or put restrictions on the subject matter, provided they do not violate our ethical standards. We wish for you to stretch your wings and explore your abilities as an author to the fullest wherever your muse takes you. Nor do we place time constraints in between books, take the time you need to write the best book possible that you have in you, we will never push you to publish before you and your book are ready. We encourage quality in our authors over quantity.


Do you offer advances or sign on bonuses if I join?

Because Indies United does not take any percentage of your royalties, we do not offer either advances or sign on bonuses to our authors.


Who controls the buy links for my books?

Indies United will set up your buy links on the website using the information you provide, but all royalties will go to you through your sales channels. Indies United will not collect any sales proceeds on your behalf.


My ebook(s) are currently in KDP Select. Is this a problem?

While we don't require our authors to remove their current ebooks from Amazon's KDP Select program if they are already enrolled, we do highly recommend it. Keeping your ebooks in KDP Select inhibits our ability to fully promote your books over a broad spectrum of outlets, including to libraries and other paid book sharing programs. We do however, require that all new ebooks not be placed into restrictive programs such as this.


Who registers the ISBN’s for my books if I join?

Indies United will register all ISBN's that are assigned through us. We will send you a form that will detail all the required information we need for registration. Upon its return, we will register your book(s) in all provided formats and send back to you all ISBN codes for each book format.


In addition, Indies United is registered with the Library of Congress. Our books are added to the Library of Congress as they are published and given universal control numbers provided by the LoC and added to their database used by libraries, schools, and bookstores to find new books.

How many ISBN’s will I need per book?

You are required to have an individual ISBN for every format you generate for each book. You will need one ISBN code per paperback, hardback, Kindle, ePub, and audiobook.


*Due to Amazon’s requirement to have their own individual ISBN that cannot be used with any other distributor, even if you only produce one ePub you will need two ISBNs, one Kindle dedicated, and one that can be used everywhere else.


When producing any physical copy of your book, hardback, paperback, or audiobook, you will have to have an individual ISBN for each individual format. But, you are under no obligation to offer your book in all formats available to you. You may pick and choose which formats works best for you.


*The current cost of purchasing an individual ISBN on your own is $125.00 USD


If I have an ISBN and don’t use it, can I return it?

We only assign ISBN’s for books that are completed and ready to be published, and only in the amount you need. Because we assign our ISBN individually, rather than in blocks, you should never have any leftover ISBN's when you finish publishing your book in all the formats you have decided to use.


But, do I have to have an ISBN for my eBooks? Can’t I just use an ASIN number?

By solely using an ASIN number you are registering your book through Amazon and they will be the publisher on record and will exclude your books from being placed under the umbrella of Indies United Publishing. Sole use of ASIN also excludes your books from being available through other sites such as Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo who require an ISBN for all books registered on their site. It limits the searchability of your books from sites other than Amazon and their affiliates and hinders inclusion into a majority of libraries and bookstores.


*ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. It's a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier that's assigned by Amazon and its partners. It's used for product identification within the Amazon organization. ASINs are only guaranteed unique within its marketplace.


Do your books have Library of Congress Control Numbers?

Yes, as of March 2019, all of our books are submitted to the Library of Congress for their control numbers (LCCN). You will be required to send one physical copy of your book to the Library of Congress after publication. You will receive an email that will contain all the necessary information and you may direct ship from Amazon/Ingram your copy to send to them.


Do you provide QR codes?

Indies United creates QR codes for each author and book page on the website. We can provide them upon request.


What are the fees when joining Indies United?

There is a processing fee of $100 for new authors, that will be invoiced after you have received acceptance into Indies United.


Scholarship Program

If you are financially unable to pay our fees, you can be considered for either a full or partial scholarship. The program is chaired by Jennie Rosenblum. You can request more information about this program prior to joining.


Mentoring Program

Starting January 2022 Indies United launched our mentoring program to help new authors integrate into our publishing house. Mentors can also give guidance on individual marketing and promotion, how to use social media effectively, and with other issues that many new authors find daunting. This is in addition to all the support IUPH gives all their authors and help from our community of authors at large.


Would I have an individual author page and how much control would I have over it?

Once you are a member of Indies United, you will receive your own author’s page on our website. Each author’s page will include a short bio, profile photo, a list of all your books, buy links, and links to your personal website and other social media accounts you would like added. You will be required to provide all relevant information for your author page, individual books, social media links, and buy links using the forms we will provide.


Indies United will set up each page and will make adjustments as needed to keep your page up-to-date. If you find any errors or omissions simply contact us and we will make all the necessary corrections.


If I join Indies United, what obligations would I have upon joining?

Because Indies United is a co-op, if you decide to join we ask that you support your fellow authors by posting and sharing on your social media about Indies United, book launches, or any other public posts. While you are not obligated to do so, the more our authors talk about our authors, books, and publishing house, the more visible everyone becomes. There is power in numbers, and the best way to leverage that power is for our authors to help spread the word through their social media sites.


Where does the information for the newsletters come from?

From you. And, a little from us. We have a public newsletter that we ask you the share, and a weekly email that will go out just for our authors on Sundays to keep you up to date with everything happening at Indies United, promotional opportunities, and other helpful information.


For our public newsletter, if you have anything to share that you believe will be of interest to our readers, please share it. Have a new book coming out and doing a presale? Share it. Going to be on a radio or tv program? Share it. Going to be doing a blog tour? We want to hear from you. Going to be doing a book signing? Tell us when and where. Going to a book trade show or convention? Let our readers know. Share your exciting news with us so we can share it with our readers. We will also introduce new authors joining our community to our readers, information on book fairs or book expos that Indies United will attend, and any other exciting news we think our readers might be interested in.

For our author emails, we still want to hear from you. Have a helpful tip you think might be useful to other authors, we'd love to know about it. Find a new place to advertise your book that has had promising results, we want to hear about it. Have you stumbled across an article you think other authors would like to know about, share it with us. We also have a private chat room on the Writers Forum just for our authors to share information with each other.


What kind of promotion will Indies United do for me?

Here at Indies United, we will be constantly on the lookout for new and inventive ways of standing out from the crowd and getting our authors noticed. And this is where the biggest chunk of your investment from the ISBN assignment fees comes into play. A large portion of all proceeds from our fees will be going back out as advertising.


We have a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, Linkedin, and GoodReads. We use a variety of media to help advertise our company, that will, in turn, bring more attention to our authors. We are always on the prowl for ways to help boost social awareness and if you have any suggestions, we are always open to new ideas.


On our YouTube channel, we promote both your video book readings and trailers.

*If you want a book reading added to our YouTube channel, you will need to provide that to Indies United for it to be uploaded directly onto our channel.


Does Indies United have a Facebook page?

Yes, we do. We have both a public page for advertisement and promotion of our books and authors. And a private page for our authors to share and connect with each other.


Where else does Indies United have a social media presence?

In addition to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, we are also on Snapchat, Linkedin, and Pinterest. Other social media sites may be added in the future as trends change.


How many people does Indies United reach on social media?

We currently have a reach of around million+ through our cooperative. We hope, with your help, to build something grand, but even the biggest tree had to start as an acorn, and that is where we are at right now.


If I decide I want to leave Indies United, how do I do that?

Indies United is dedicated to helping authors thrive in the best environment suited to them. If, after becoming a member of Indies United you decide to go back to being an Indie author or if you come to the attention of a more traditional publishing house and they offer you a home with them, there is an exit clause in the contract. We have no intention of holding any of our authors back from the highest level of success you can achieve.


Simply contact us and let us know you wish you leave, and provide us with a list of all books you have registered with us. Within 5 to 7 business days, we will retire your current ISBN's and your books will be open for a new ISBN assignment. We will send you a confirmation of retirement by email.


Please note, when an ISBN is retired your book will no longer be searchable in any database, nor will it be eligible for purchase through any sales channel until a new ISBN is assigned. If you are not joining a new publishing house, you will be required to obtain new ISBN’s on your own if you wish to continue selling your books independently.


We will encourage you to carefully look over and consider all aspects of any contract, including ours, that you might sign with us or with any other publishing house. If you are confused or unsure of anything written in the contract, we would suggest you have an attorney look it over, and ask for clarification from the publishing house, before signing.


If I leave Indies United, will my books and author page remain on your website?

If you decide to leave Indies United, along with retiring your ISBN's we will remove all books, author page, and any links you may have with us from our website and social media posts within 5 to 7 business days.


Am I obligated to buy services or packages through Indies United?

As a co-op, various services for your books can be purchased from our independent vendors but you are under no obligation to do so. Any services you purchase from our vendors will be an individual contract between you and the vendor. Our independent contractors are here for your convenience, but you are not prohibited from using any other outside services for your books.


Indies United does not take a percentage of any sales from our vendors, and all contracts and price negotiations are between you and the vendor. All prices will be set by the individual vendor. We only ask that when a book is submitted, it is the very best version possible of that book.


If I have a problem with one of your vendors, what do I do?

All contracts with our independent vendors are between you and the vendor and each vendor will have their own process to settle disputes. Before signing any contract for services with them we will encourage you to look over the contract carefully and ask questions about anything you are unsure of before signing.


This is my first book, how much money should I set aside for therapy?

Okay, this is not a serious question, but I'm pretty sure every veteran writer out there is nodding and nudging one another reading it. Because writing is a form of insanity from which there is no cure. It involves long periods of time alone, lost in our own thoughts, weird google searches, stacks of coffee cups and untouched dinners, and sometimes manic activity as we try to write down some inspired piece of writing we created in our head and are now afraid we'll lose before we can get it all down.


Writing means being both a part of the world and apart from the world, as we try to put into words the thoughts that other people grasp for. To quote Anais Nin, "The role of the writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." Writing requires us to put our souls onto paper and then having the courage to send it out into the world for all to read, and criticize. It is an act of faith that our words matter more than our ego that might be crushed if the reviews are negative. So, when becoming a writer, a little bit of insanity can go a long way towards a happier ending at the end of your journey.


Whether you choose to join our merry band of Indies or not, I wish each of you well on your writer's road. I believe in my heart the role writers play in our society is a sacred one, as we hold a mirror up for all to see their reflection in. We bring joy, tears, terror, and triumph, and allow our readers to live a thousand lives or more within their one lifetime. And in doing so, gain insight into themselves and the world, or give the reader a place to lose themselves in when their own life becomes too much. Never let your voice be stifled, strive for perfection while understanding we are all only human, be the best writer you can be and give the world your words. Happy writing to you all. - Lisa


Submission Requirements


If you are interested in joining our merry band of Indies and you are an established Indie author with more than 10 collective reviews, please submit the following:


  • A list of all your current books

  • Genre

  • Review links

  • Contact Information


If you are an author with less than 10 collective reviews or are a new author, please send the following:


  • Book Title

  • Genre

  • Links to any reviews you may have

  • Contact Information

  • A copy of your manuscript in either PDF or Mobi


Once you submit your book(s) for consideration, Indies United will review each submission and respond within 30 days with either our acceptance or denial.


If you are denied, we will give a comprehensive explanation of why you were denied and you will be allowed to resubmit once the corrections are made.


If you are accepted, a Welcome Packet will be sent to your listed email. Please return within 10 business days.


If you have any questions not covered within this Information Guide, please contact us at:

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