Though she had offers from agents to shop The Renegade Queen to traditional publishing houses, Eva Flynn decided to self-publish her historical novel about women’s rights champion Victoria Woodhull.

Her reason? Timing. Woodhull was the first woman to run for president of the United States, and Flynn wanted her book released before the more recent presidential election. A traditional publishing schedule would have made that impossible. But as an indie author, Flynn was able to implement an accelerated production cyle and publish the book in December of 2015.

“I felt like the timing would be an important part of the book’s success,” says Flynn, whose novel received a glowing review from Publishers Weekly, with our review calling the book “a striking and sobering depiction of a progressive and controversial figure nearly lost in history.”

Flynn, who has worked in the educational publishing industry for almost 20 years, understood the need for an editor and a professional quality book. However, she found marketing—particularly consistent social media marketing—more of a challenge: “Some days I will post ten times and then I’ll go for a few months without posting anything. Social media is definitely one of my weak areas.”

Publishers Weekly caught up with Flynn and asked her for some tips for aspiring indie authors:

Hire a Professional Editor

“I hired two editors to read through it and I still occasionally catch a typo.”

Begin Marketing Early

“Start your publicity efforts three to six months before releasing the book. Try to build an audience on social media that will support your new release. I had people tell me to start publicity early, but I didn’t listen. I was just anxious to get my baby out into the world!"

Keep Writing

“You have a unique voice that the world wants to hear. Even in your darkest days, try to reach out to the world and tell us your story. A career in writing is not for the faint of heart. You may never be able to quit your job, but the spiritual journey is invaluable.”