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November 21, 2016
By Drucilla Shultz
When it comes to self-publishing, indie author Ben Batchelder stresses the three Ps: patience, persistence, and prayer.

Indie author Ben Batchelder – who describes writing as his fourth (and final) career – says that he didn’t write his second book. Rather, To Belém & Back “first wrote me.”

His self-published tale of traveling the backroads of Brazil with his black lab, Atlas, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, with our reviewer describing the book as “insightful and poignant” and praising Batchedler for “seamlessly combin[ing] the personal, the political, and the cultural.”

Despite his success, Batchelder says he wishes he'd delayed publishing his book until he'd created a pre-publishing marketing plan. “How to order and receive proofs over many months, prior to publishing on CreateSpace, is not self-evident. So my official publish date was months prior to the actual launch, which detracts from the freshness of the project.”

The author describes self-publishing as an “expansive undertaking” – but one that was made easier by publishing his first two books closely together – adding that being an indie author opens “a vast new world of learning: new or updated software, finding readers, new blog sites, designing covers...and proofing, proofing, proofing.”

Perhaps most surprising to Batchelder was the positive response and overwhelming support he has received from friends, both old and new: “[Publicity] events have flushed out old friends, made new ones, built contacts lists, and provided fodder for blogs and various social media platforms.”

We asked Batchelder to give his fellow indie authors some self-publishing tips:


“I strongly recommend resisting the urge to publish your first work as quickly as possible. Rather, proof it, reread it, get comments, proof it again, and devise a pre- and post-publishing marketing plan.” 


“Don’t be discouraged by rejection or settle for good-enough. In marketing-speak, make it the highest quality product you humanly can, and -- with some doggedness and hard work on your part -- the product will then sell itself.” 


“Self-explanatory. You won’t succeed by yourself or necessarily on your own terms.”