Worried poetry is dead and nobody will read your book?

Well you aren’t alone.

One of the most fascinating parts of working in publishing is noticing the similar concerns creatives have toward their work.

I would go further and say, as creatives, we’re pretty good at self-sabotage!

By being too egocentric, well we know how that goes, we can be unaware of how we’re perceived and come across as a fat-head. On the other hand, not having enough confidence is equally damaging. How then, to walk the middle line when you’re an intense, passionate creative?

A few tricks that seem to work for our authors and talent include:

Get real. Don’t believe your work doesn’t need editing because you’re brilliant but equally don’t baulk and despair at edits. Edits are your friend. Every author and poet before you has massively benefited from editing. The process may hurt if you let it, or you could just let your ego go and take onboard what your edit is suggesting because they are on your side. Obviously they’re also human so they can make some suggestions you hate and that’s where you negotiate and grow together. It’s a process. And if you let it, it can improve your writing and your confidence without too much pain.

Fearing ‘being edited‘ is the most common concern people have. It causes them to self-publish over going through a publishing house, for fear of losing control of their product and voice. Understandable. But a good publisher will already know this and a good editor will too. A good editor isn’t BETTER than you are, far from it. A good editor probably couldn’t edit their own work worth a tinkers damn, but they can edit yours. The objectivity of editing work that is not your own is exactly why everyone (and I mean, everyone) needs an editor.

A good editor isn’t going to expunge your vision. They’re going to help you create exactly what you want but also the best that you’re capable of. You know how sometimes you’re reading a book and you think “What was the writer thinking?” It doesn’t invalidate the writer, they may be your favorite writer, but everyone has moments like this. Having an outside force in the shape of an editor resolves that loss of objectivity we all experience from time to time.

It boils down to this; sometimes your gut instinct isn’t right and someone’s going to point it out. We’ve all been there and we’ll be there again. It doesn’t mean you’re always wrong. But all of us get too close to something and when we do we literally can’t see what others can see. That’s where an editor is so invaluable. They’re one step-removed emotionally.

The same goes for a publisher. It’s not our goal to force our ideas upon you. As Editor-in-Chief Christine Ray has often said; we want nothing more than to see our authors flourish and go on to bigger publishing deals. We’re not precious like that and no publisher worth their salt should be. Our goal is to produce excellent books. That will ensure we stay in business and since reputation is everything, giving you the best book possible is the only way we succeed too. In other words, you and I have a vested interest in your success. So we’re all about making that happen.

Now your definition of success might be a little bit starry-eyed and we can’t blame you for that. I remember I thought my first book would sell so much I’d see it in every book store and go on tours across the country. And I’m not even that egocentric but yeah, I really thought that! I think it’s because we all have the Hallmark Channel idea of what publishing a book really means. We’re blissfully unawares of how many people publish, what the competition is like and how hard it is to be noticed in the sea of competing humanity. I know we all want to think we’re special and yeah, we are, kinda. But getting real again, let’s also be honest and recognize we’re one of 7 billion and many of those have also written a book.

Having realistic goals and notions of success helps us maintain the much needed balance necessary to endure the road to becoming a writer. It might not be your first book. It might not be a poetry book. It might not be your 5th book! But if you keep working away, and staying real about how much work that entails by way of self-promotion and networking; then your humble book may one day become a notable book. It’s worth trying because you lose nothing by trying and you gain everything if it happens.

So ask yourself … what do you want? And if that’s your goal then let nothing stop it. But along the way, remember a publishing house isn’t a golden ticket, there is only so much we can do (and believe me, we’ll do that and then some) and a lot of this will be on your shoulders too. Try to see success in steps. If you write a book – wow! You’ve written a book! If you get a publisher, great job, you have a publisher! If you publish your first book, you’ve published your first book! And so it goes on. All these steps, they may seem small but they inch toward your goal and moreover, can be the best part of being a writer. It’s the journey not the destination.

Poetry isn’t dead and people will read your book. But you have to enter the experience without rose-tinted glasses and that means working with your publishing team and editor like family, honing your product, getting it just right and then watching it take off and supporting it as it goes out there into the book-o-sphere. This is a collaborative effort, one better taken with others than alone and we’re experts at publishing gorgeous, unforgettable books and our greatest joy is seeing your vision become a reality.

Even one person reading what you wrote, in a beautiful book of your work, is a success. With all this comparing and contrasting, that’s worthwhile our all remembering. Stay humble grasshopper.


Do you like reading? Books? Small publishers need you!

You might think you’re just one of 7 billion on this planet but you’re so much more than that. Each one of you reading this has the power to help books and ensure future generations continue the love of reading. So if you love books and reading, read on.

As a small publisher, we are Indie Blu(e) have come up close and personal with the diminishment of publishing. By this we mean, less people read books than ever before. We all read more but we read memes, blogs, social media etc. While this has plenty of value it’s not the same as cracking open a book and reading it from cover to cover.

Why does this even matter? Because if you were that child who climbed your tree house and dived into a favorite book away from the cares of the world, or if you are that adult who wants to bequeath that love of reading for your kids or grandchildren then this really does matter.

The dearth of reading has been put down to varied causes: Attention deficit, being too busy, distracted and doing other things, etc.

What does it matter why as much as that it’s happening? And for small publishers like ourselves, it’s a lament to think of a world where reading has become an almost rare activity.

Obviously there are pockets of readers, where books are plentiful, bookstores surge and new publishers spring up. But if we are talking ‘typical’ the typical today is a far cry from even 30 years ago. Sure, progress is great, we love it, but we also harken back to the days where a book could change your life. Because we still think it can.

Indie Blu(e) Publishing attempts pretty successfully to publish books we think can change lives. We began with poetry, because we’re big poetry fans and think poetry is one of if not the, best ways of expressing emotion and experience. We have evolved from publishing poetry-alone to becoming a fully fledged publisher of all necessary words, including fiction, chapbooks and basically anything that makes us salivate.

But we can’t do it alone. Publishers in general are struggling because people are less inclined to spend money on a book as they would say, other things. Once-upon-a-time, investing in a book was really a big thing but nowadays with advances in technology, we could be forgiven for thinking what’s the big deal in owning a book?

The big deal is … you help publishers like us continue to put out works that might otherwise never see the light of day. You also help us keep it real by sourcing those gorgeous voices that might otherwise not seek to be published. We want those special people who electrify you with their minds and their words, the unforgettable, the marginalized, the unique.

When you purchase an Indie Blu(e) title you help us keep going and you support an indie author. If it were a family member you’d not think twice about it, but maybe that Starbucks cup of Joe is more important than being the proud owner of an amazing book? A book that one day might be a classic.

After all … The yellow Wallpaper, The Price Of Salt, even Wuthering Heights, they were all, along with many others, books that started off humble and small and became over time classics we have now all read and adored. That’s the process. We don’t always become famous in our life time, and maybe we don’t seek fame. But good books deserve to live on and that’s what we are attempting to do. Give books a legacy.

So if you can buy a cup of Joe at Starbucks, maybe think of forgoing a cup and supporting a small publisher with a purchase of one of our beautiful books. We promise you won’t regret it and this will be an investment you have for life, to pass on to loved ones, to say ‘hey have you read this? It’s amazing!’ and to inspire you on those dark Winter nights.

That is the crux of why we continue to cherish and adore books and we’re hoping you will join us in ensuring books remain relevant and read. The only way to do that sometimes is to show your support with a purchase. We appreciate that and you – very, very much.

Oh and incase you wondered … we haven’t bought Starbucks in a VERY long time because we at Indie Blu(e) also believe in supporting independent bookstores and authors and we spend a lot of our own personal funds on doing just that. So we’re not asking for anything we don’t do ourselves. Although if someone does have some coffee, we’d definitely say yes to a cup 😉

Happy New Year dear ones. Thank you for supporting an independent publisher. We couldn’t do it without you. And frankly? We wouldn’t want to. www.indieblu.net

Why Indie Blu(e)?

You’ve got a rough manuscript, you think it’s pretty excellent, what next?

Shopping small publishers can be an exhausting process. How do you know who is good and what you should be looking for?

Indie Blu(e) Publishing stands on our reputation in the indie author community alongside the books we publish, to speak to what we’re capable of.

We offer the personal contact of a small publisher, with big marketing ideas and a heap of faith in our authors. Our passion for publishing seems to be impossible to quell, and no wonder if you check out our catalog. We’ve consistently found some of the best indie authors in today’s scene and brought their works to an ever widening audience.

This is no small feat, given the challenges of these days, but we’re intensely proud of what our authors have produced. If you are a fan of non-formulaic novels and show-stopper poetry collections, you might want to peruse our current catalog and support an indie publisher. Go to http://www.indieblu.net for more information.

Why us over another publisher? There are many good small publishers out there. One thing that sets Indie Blu(e) apart is our WHOLE PACKAGE approach to publishing. We don’t think it’s enough to just publish what you give us. We want to help you hone it to be the very best work you’re capable of. Our talented editors know what readers want and how to avoid many of the pitfalls we end up in when we’re self-editing or asking friends. That professionalism really pays off.

You may have noticed our book covers are gorgeous and that’s because we put everything into ensuring that each book’s cover is a beautiful piece of art, and guaranteed to be noticed.

We work closely with our authors throughout the process and we don’t leave you once your book is published. You have continual access to advice, support, and ideas, alongside our own perpetual marketing of our titles on social media and beyond.

We have trusted connections in the publishing world and know who to approach for preview reviews of your work and how to fix issues that come up along the way. We trouble-shoot your concerns until they go away. Working with a team of dedicated publishers helps take the stress of publishing away and puts it in our capable hands.

Our marketing people know how to highlight your work and get it noticed. Obviously, you’re an integral part of any marketing plan, but we can help you utilize your social media to make it work for you.

If you are seeking to create something ever-lasting, then you want to be the best you’re capable of. Trusting a team of professionals who put your needs before profit is the way to go. That’s what sets Indie Blu(e) apart and that’s why we have a strong reputation in the small publishing world.

Our anthologies SMITTEN and The Kali Project both won finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards for this very reason and stand testimony to the quality of Indie Blu(e) Publishing as well as the fine poets and artists we are lucky enough to work with.

Don’t sell your work short. Submit it to a small publisher like Indie Blu(e) where you will get the hand-holding necessary to give you perspective and ensure you publish your best book to date. We work in this industry because we LOVE books and we are your biggest fans. If you think you have what it takes, consider submitting to http://www.indieblu.net – we’ve got a few spots open for exceptional talent in 2022.

What Indie Blu(e) title should I buy?

It was always our intention to publish collections that inspire, and people will keep for years and love. Socially conscious anthologies and poetry that rise above the ordinary and pierce subjects at their core.

If you don’t know much about Indie Blu(e) Publishing’s anthologies here’s a quick snap-shot of our collections and what they’re about. Please consider purchasing a copy to support small businesses who care passionately about bringing you titles the main stream may otherwise ignore:

We Will Not Be Silenced. The launch of Indie Blu(e) Publishing produced this book. It was at our heart. For too long, survivors of sexual abuse and assault, have been ignored, judged and vilified. We founded Indie Blu(e) in part to be a voice against this kind of erasure. We Will Not Be Silenced came out during the #metoo movement and contains an incredible collection of poets writing about their experiences. As hard as it may be at times to read this collection, it’s also ultimately redemptive and powerful. The voice of a survivor is proof we CAN survive.

SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like. Queer, Lesbian, bisexual or just love women? This award-winning collection is for you. SMITTEN earned her stripes from the moment she published, garnering a huge following. Perhaps the sheer quality of writing in SMITTEN is key to her success or because she identifies a desire we all have, to consider love between women as something gorgeous, complicated and not spoken about enough. Want sumptuous poetry about love? This is your anthology. No wonder SMITTEN won Finalist at the National Indie Excellence Awards and continues to be an IB best seller! With famous lesbian poets and novices, the voices are tapestry for the soul.

As The World Burns. Angry at the way the world is going? Confused about Covid-19 and the shut-down? Hate racism? Angry at what’s going on for people of color and nothing changes? Frustrated at politics and literally thinking this might be the craziest period in history you can remember? As The World Burns galvanized an unforgettable team of writers and artists who roar with indignation! Want something that will boil your blood and remind you why caring matters in an increasingly apathetic world? We at IB try to move mountains, sometimes step by step. Our social conscience attempts to tap into what matters to all of us, enabling marginalized voices to speak loudly and proudly!

The Kali Project. Leading Indian female poets throughout the world come together in a giant collection of the best of Indian women’s writing. Poetry, prose and gorgeous artwork combine for an unforgettable treat. Think you know Indian women? Think again. The Kali Project also placed Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. We think it’s a blockbuster of a book for the sheer guts it takes to write about such subjects as abuse, surviving arranged marriages, racism, sexism, all those things we in the West may think we know but Indian women face every single day. This breaks boundaries and sets fire with the sheer talent of these writers who are unapologetic, fierce and intensely talented.

Through The Looking Glass – Reflecting on madness and chaos within. A robust coming together of poets, artists and writers for an anthology on a much ignored subject – mental health. If you’ve ever loved someone with a mental health struggle or experienced it yourself, you know how isolating such a diagnosis can be, despite how common it is. Like so many things, the stigma attached to mental health hasn’t gone away and it’s imperative to give this subject the voice it’s due. Incredible courage, insight and pained beauty describe the writing in this collection. At once a book necessary for any practitioner or psychology student, this is a universal subject we could all benefit from knowing more about.

But You Don’t Look Sick – The real life adventures of fibro bitches, lupus warriors and other superheroes battling invisible illness. Don’t let the pithy title misdirect you, there’s nothing funny about chronic illness, especially when you’re told ‘you don’t look sick’ when you’re suffering! We chose an attention-grabbing cover and title to make a point – about the inequality in the health system and society at large, when considering illness. What it means and how it affects so many of us. Since IB was formed by three women who had to step down from other careers due to physical illness, this strikes at our core, as well as many we know in the writing community. Support those who despite their illness, continue to work fiercely to bring you the kind of unforgettable poetry and art you crave. With Pushcart nominated authors we know But You Don’t Look Sick has found an indispensable place among those ‘must read’ books.

Finally … this is what we’ve managed so far at Indie Blu(e) to bring you by way of anthologies and we intend to keep breaking barriers with edgy, provocative and necessary collections in 2022 and beyond. If poetry and art aren’t your thing we also want to mention whilst we have your attention, a little noir novella written by our very own Kindra Austin, called The Killing Holiday, also published this year. Fantastic intriguing title? You bet! And that’s just the beginning …

Love unpredictable, deftly written psychological thrillers? The Killing Holiday is all that and more. Indie Blu(e) is intensely proud of Kindra for her story telling abilities and we’re convinced this novel has the stripes necessary to be a great. Consider picking up a copy – ideal for the holidays and guaranteed to thrill!

That’s it for now folks – watch this space! And please … your support of small publishers DOES make a difference. We’re so grateful and we thank you for considering Indie Blu(e) titles. Businesses like us stay afloat because of our communities support.

www.indieblu.net for all our titles – and some others you might not be familiar with, check out our official Indie Blu(e) website.

All Indie titles can be purchased on Book Depository / Bookshop.com / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / by ordering via Ingram at any independent book store or Target / Walmart and leading bookstores nationally and internationally. If you have a favorite independent please ask them to stock IB titles, it helps them and us and promotes small publishers who help diversity thrive.

Small Publishers versus the rest

Indie Blu(e) Publishing has garnered a reputation for working closely with our authors to ensure the very best work they’re capable of, is the final product. It can be a frustrating journey if you haven’t taken it before. Nobody likes edits, nobody likes suggestions, because at first, they seem just critical. From our combined years in publishing, we understand that feeling but challenge our authors to go further and do their very best. Any publisher worth their salt will offer suggestions to make an author’s work better, it doesn’t invalidate anything, it strengthens the relationship. That’s what we do and that’s what sets us apart from self-publishing or publishing with bigger companies who do not have the time to put into their authors.

Having published with other publishers, this was one core goal at Indie Blu(e)’s inception: To be there for our authors, not just feed them in and spit them out. We understand your work is precious to you, and you want to go beyond what you could do by yourself in self-publishing and that is our goal every single time we sign an author.

Indie Blu(e) doesn’t accept every manuscript we receive, far from it. We do this because we recognize the importance of an author and publisher relationship. That means we need to feel your work fits our overall vibe and that you will be happy with the way we work. When we make a match, it’s a long-term investment in that author, to continually promote your work, ensure it is published as the finest work you have done to date, and to support you in the process.

Naturally, authors have to pull their weight too, and it’s an important element of the publishing relationship to have authors fully aware of the marketing commitment they must make to ensure their work gets out there to the widest possible audience. With a decline in reading, this can be challenging, especially with poetry, but the passion we feel for our authors’ work means we won’t leave you alone to do it.

Indie Blu(e) Publishing wants to be the publisher that sets you on the road to success in publishing your work. We’re not a vanity press, we’re not a large impersonal publisher. Our goal is to be proud of the books we choose to publish, and cultivate lasting, meaningful relationships with our talent. If you think you have what it takes to be part of the Indie Blu(e) family then ensure you send us a polished manuscript, following these guidelines. The pride we have for our authors is huge. We are committed to hosting the strongest talent we can find and building a legacy of unforgettable authors.

What makes you unforgettable? We all benefit from editing, a great cover, and professional marketing, but a manuscript with raw talent is undeniable. We comb through submissions looking for the stand-out who captures our imagination and excites us. In this era of publishing, nothing less will achieve the goal of becoming a notable book, there is simply too much competition. We nurture our authors to become the very best they can be, but we also recognize they have to start off with something special.