The Author CEO by Naomi Blackburn: Another Best-Selling Author Joins the Indie Family

  • Judge Judy Sheindlin and Judge Jerry Sheindlin

The Author CEO by Naomi Blackburn: Another Best-Selling Author Joins the Indie Family

The Author CEONaomi is founder of the Goodreads group Sisterhood of the Traveling Books, as well as the Nordic Noir group, dedicated to discussing Scandinavian mysteries. Last year, Goodreads ranked her at #11 on their top reviewer list, in both the U.S. and in the world (based on 2011 rankings).

Don’t miss Naomi’s new tie-in column: Critique Clinic.

The Author CEO: Another Best-Selling Author Joins the Indie Family

by Naomi Blackburn

I love Judge Judy…absolutely love her snarkiness and full embrace of her strength as a professional woman. Her show has a top spot on my DVR and I have read several of her books numerous times. I think her book Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever should be required reading for our young females. I was chomping at the bit for a new release by this pithy, tell-it-straight author. When I saw her making the rounds on talk shows, I went on a search. Much to my glee, Judy Sheindlin had written a new book.

Judy Sheindlin at "An Evening With Larry King"

Judy Sheindlin at “An Evening With Larry King”

I went to Amazon to purchase it immediately and was shocked to see the book was only $5.99. OK, it was 116 pages, but still. Then, I noticed the little prime logo and really became confused, but ok… I clicked buy. My confusion exploded when the Amazon page stated, “You can loan this book to anyone you choose.” This confusion got me searching. What did I find? Judge Judy self-pubbed her most recent book through Createspace!

Judy Sheindlin joins the ever growing list of traditionally published authors who have done the math, looked at the control, and made the jump to Indie publishing. We hear of a new one almost every day.

There are things famous or best-selling traditionally published authors bring to the table:

  • An established following
  • Name recognition
  • A larger budget for hiring vendors such PR firms, editors, etc. to bring their book to market
  • The ability to negotiate for services

Is this bad news for current indie-published authors? Absolutely not! Every time a new traditionally published author makes the jump it gives the indie movement another pat on the back. Current indie authors are ahead of the game. They know the ins and outs of self-publishing and they, too, often have a loyal following.

What can indie authors take away from noting the strategies of big-name authors like Judge Judy?

  • A greater need to present a professional product. Indies should ask: Have I put adequate resources into the book to cover costs for professional services such as editing, cover design, etc.?
  • A need to look at best practices for unique marketing methods. Judge Judy is partnering this series with an interactive website: What Would Judy Say. What similar strategies might I use?
  • A need to put greater emphasis on development of the book and/or brand as a small business. Have I put as much emphasis on the book’s business model as I devoted to its storyline?
  • As the indie movement grows, as is the nature of business, more vendors will come into the market. To compete without busting the budget, indies must negotiate for necessary services. Ask: what negotiation strategies do I have at my disposal? For instance, might I barter?

As the saying goes, the cream will rise to the top. As with traditional publishing, authors who put the time, effort and respect into their product will see greater returns. Remember, it takes money to make money. Does that mean you have to go broke bringing your book to market? Absolutely not! Creativity is key. Writers are naturally creative people. It is time to foster that creativity while wearing a business cap.

The genius of the indie world is that one doesn’t have to be a millionaire business person to bring a book to market…just think and act like one!

Introductory video from What Would Judy Say

Related posts

2015-08-14T05:56:36+00:00May 22nd, 2013|Categories: The Author CEO|Tags: , |

About the Author:

Naomi Blackburn, owner of The Author CEO, a consultation firm dedicated to helping independent authors navigate the development of strategic business plans and the marketing world, holds an MBA and has worked in the field of business development, sales and consulting for 12 years. A former social worker, she has helped hundreds of clients meet their life goals. An avid reader and top Goodreads reviewer, she comes to the world of books from a reader/reviewer's perspective. She strives to help authors achieve their goals by teaching them to think of themselves as CEO/entrepreneur of a small business and helping them negotiate the business side of selling books.


  1. The Psychology of Bad Reviews May 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    […] The Author CEO by Naomi Blackburn: Another Best-Selling Author Joins the Indie Family […]

  2. Giacomo Giammatteo May 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Naomi: Great, thought-provoking article. I think you’re right, too. More authors are bound to cross over to the independent side as they see the benefits. One of the biggest downsides to indie publishing is that it’s nearly impossible to get into brick and mortar stores, but as more of the established authors switch, I think we’ll see that change rapidly. Once that happens, the balance will surely shift toward the indies.

    • Naomi June 3, 2013 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      Remember Jim…Indie books are now placing right along side trad. pubbed books for bestseller lists. A bookstore is in it to make a profit. As the demand (as we are seeing with high quality indie pubbed books hitting those best-seller lists) and Indies become more and more visible continues, places such as libraries and bookstores are going to required to meet the need of their customers. This will equal carrying indie pubbed books.

      For example, on my way home tonight, I happened to stop by my library. There happened to be a woman who was asking the librarian to order an indie pubbed book for her.

      I had to giggle the other day. I am reading a book on the letters of Willa Cather. I LOVE Willa Cather. I can’t even say how many times I have read My Antonia. Any how, I found an interesting comment by her in one of her statements. When paperbacks first came out in probably in the 1930’s, she would not allow her books to be published in paperback because she thought the were perceived as being a lower quality book. Sound familiar?

      • giacomo Giammatteo June 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm - Reply

        All too familiar, Naomi. And from so many different perspectives. I know things will change, and they’ll probably change rapidly. I’m just impatient. Thanks for the great post.

  3. […] The Author CEO by Naomi Blackburn: Another Best-Selling Author Joins the Indie Family […]

  4. […] The Author CEO by Naomi Blackburn: Another Best-Selling Author Joins the Indie Family […]

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.