Empowering Indie Authors: Craig Martelle’s Lessons – A Comprehensive Guide

Lessons for Indie Authors from Craig Martelle: A Comprehensive Guide

1. Introduction

Craig Martelle is a successful indie author known for his science fiction and fantasy novels. A retired Marine and lawyer, he became a full-time writer and has been prolific in his output, coining the term “20Booksto50k.” Indie authors can glean valuable insights from Martelle’s self-publishing journey.

2. The Power of Consistency

Martelle’s output is impressively consistent, with numerous books published each year. He demonstrates that maintaining a regular writing and publishing schedule can lead to success as an indie author.

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3. Building a Writing Community

Martelle is the driving force behind the “20Booksto50k” Facebook group, a community for indie authors to share advice and support. Building and participating in such communities can provide invaluable support and resources for indie authors.

4. Importance of Understanding the Business

Martelle’s “20Booksto50k” concept reflects the potential financial returns of indie publishing when treating it as a business. Understanding the business side of self-publishing is crucial for financial success.

5. Collaborative Opportunities

Martelle has co-authored books with other writers, a strategy that can expand your reader base. Collaboration can lead to creative growth and increased visibility.

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6. Leveraging Advertising and Promotion

Martelle has effectively used advertising and promotional tactics to boost his book sales, such as using Amazon’s advertising services. A smart promotional strategy can significantly increase visibility and sales.

7. The Benefit of Writing Series

Like many successful indie authors, Martelle often writes series. This allows for character and plot development over time and encourages readers to buy subsequent books.

8. The Value of Professionalism

Martelle emphasizes professionalism in all aspects of publishing, from the quality of the writing to the cover design and marketing. Presenting a professional image can significantly impact an indie author’s success.

9. The Importance of Reviews

Martelle often encourages readers to leave reviews. Positive reviews can drive sales, improve visibility on platforms like Amazon, and provide valuable feedback.

10. Staying Up-to-Date with Industry Trends

Martelle stays informed about the latest trends and changes in the self-publishing industry. Keeping up with industry trends can help indie authors make informed decisions and adapt their strategies.

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Checklist for Learning from Craig Martelle’s Success

  1. Maintain a consistent writing and publishing schedule.
  2. Participate in or build a writing community.
  3. Understand the business side of indie publishing.
  4. Explore collaborative opportunities with other authors.
  5. Develop an effective advertising and promotional strategy.
  6. Consider the benefits of writing series.
  7. Emphasize professionalism in all aspects of publishing.
  8. Encourage readers to leave reviews.
  9. Stay informed about industry trends.


Craig Martelle’s journey as an indie author provides valuable insights into the discipline, community-building, business savvy, and strategic promotion required for success in self-publishing. Emulating these traits and strategies can help indie authors navigate their own paths to success in the evolving landscape of indie publishing. His story demonstrates that with the right approach, indie authors can turn their passion for writing into a thriving career.

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Dave P
Dave P
Be a little better today than yesterday.
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