Embracing the World of Indie Publishing: A Guest Essay by Debut Thriller Author Nannette Potter

Contemporary authors have a variety of publishing options, and I’m delighted to welcome Nannette Potter to my blog today as she celebrates the release of her debut thriller, PIERCE THE DARKNESS, and discusses her decision to pursue publishing as an Indie author. Below is Nannette’s guest essay, her bio, a description of PIERCE THE DARKNESS, and buy/contact links: 

Ink and Independence: Embracing the World of Indie Publishing 


Nannette Potter

I retired early to embark on my writing journey. I remember that most wondrous day when I said goodbye to my 8 to 5 job to finally pursue my lifelong dream of becoming an author. In my ideal world, I would sit at my desk with my new MacPro, fingers flying over the keyboard, and the first draft of a novel completed within a year.

However, life had other plans for me. Within days of my retirement, my mother’s health began to deteriorate, then COVID hit, and my one-year deadline turned into six.

Despite the setbacks, those six years were far from wasted. I underwent the learning process, experiencing a common ailment among rookies—DKDK—where I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Thankfully, I found support and guidance within the Sisters in Crime Guppies chapter. Engaging in the community, participating in classes, and attending virtual meetings during the pandemic proved invaluable to my growth as a writer.

In my dream scenario, I envisioned my book, PIERCE THE DARKNESS, being published by one of the Big 5 publishers, alongside authors like James Rollins, Steve Berry, and Ann Cleeves. Indie publishing wasn’t even on my radar.             

Some authors/teachers argued against self-publishing, while others sang its praises. Six years ago, in my opinion, there was still a stigma attached to indie published authors. That somehow their work didn’t quite reach the bar. I found that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In the midst of editing my manuscript, I thought about whether to pursue the traditional publishing route or take the indie route. Ultimately, two significant factors influenced my decision—time and money.


Full disclosure: I was 59 years old when I retired. I didn’t have a marketable manuscript until I was 64. I had to consider whether I had the time to secure an agent and navigate the lengthy process of finding a traditional publisher. This journey could take anywhere from nine months to two years, as reported by Writer’s Digest. Additionally, there was no guarantee that my book would find a home within the traditional publishing industry. Time was precious, and I also needed to work on Book 2 of my trilogy.


As I learned more about the realities of the publishing world, I realized that being a traditionally published author didn’t necessarily equate to higher earnings. A survey commissioned by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) found that the average income for self-published authors reached a median of $12,749, a figure higher than those of authors at traditional publishers. The most recent Authors Guild survey in 2018, for example, found the median income to be $6,080.

Regardless of the publishing path I chose, marketing would be a necessary component. In fact, already having a social media presence could be attractive to traditional publishers. At the minimum, I would need to create a website and author social media presence.

Considering the investments I had already made, such as hiring a developmental editor and a professional proofreader, spending a bit more on a cover design and book layout software seemed reasonable if I decided to take the indie route.

In the end, after careful consideration, I decided to go the indie publishing route. And if I’m honest, I wanted the challenge. To prove to myself that I could successfully publish a book on my own terms and learn a whole lot about the publishing industry, the mechanics of publishing, and maintaining a social media presence.

While holding PIERCE THE DARKNESS in my hands, I know this was the right decision for me. I couldn’t be happier.



An adventuress at heart, Nannette Potter lives vicariously through her fearless and impetuous characters, inventing lives balanced on a knife’s edge. PIERCE THE DARKNESS, her debut international thriller, inspired by her Christian faith, was a 2022 Claymore Award finalist. Beyond writing, she loves spending time with family and traveling the globe, where she dreams up future novels while sipping mango margaritas. An active member of Sisters in Crime, she lives with her soulmate and husband, Mark, in California’s Central Valley.

Brief Description of PIERCE THE DARKNESS

Impalement artist Genevieve “Blade” Broussard’s past and present collide when she accepts a lucrative job offer from Spanish billionaire René Martel. This gig could lead to her big break. Yet the moment Blade arrives on the island, she is greeted by a kidnapper warning of impending danger. Anticipation quickly turns deadly after she overhears Martel’s scheme to assassinate world leaders at the United Nations in Geneva.

Soon an attempt is made on her life and she is on the run. Blade discovers an unsolved murder, family secrets, and an ancient Christian brotherhood are intricately woven together—and she is at the epicenter of this complex labyrinth. Determined to survive and to stop the attack, Blade turns to Chase Maserati, a soldier of the Soldati di Cristo, with a traumatic past and his own code of honor. Racing from Mallorca to Florence to Geneva, Blade and Chase must use all their wits and skills to stop the attack while there is still time.


Amazon: https://a.co/d/99ny2oT

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pierce-the-darkness-nannette-potter/1143618646?ean=9798987354704

Bookshop.Org: https://bookshop.org/p/books/pierce-the-darkness-nannette-potter/20195810?ean=9798987354704

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Nannette_Potter_Pierce_the_Darkness?id=earEEAAAQBAJ&hl=en_US&gl=US

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/pierce-the-darkness

Apple Books: http://books.apple.com/us/book/id6450286902

Social Media Links:

Nannette Potter website: https://nannettepotter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100095714192374

Instagram: https:instagram.com/authornannettepotter




  1. Pamela Ruth Meyer on August 25, 2023 at 9:20 am

    Great cover, Nannette, for what sounds like a truly THRILLING story. I don’t know how your artist made those red letters pop forward out of the page, but I honestly touched the computer screen, imagining I could feel them sticking up. I hope the book POPS OFF the shelves too—best of Luck with the Book Launch, from one SinC sibling to another.
    PS: I liked and followed you on Facebook and Instagram. Hope it helps.

  2. Nannette Potter on August 25, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    I was so happy with the cover. We SinC siblings have to stick together! Thank you for your support! And I’ll do likewise.

  3. Candace Hardy on August 26, 2023 at 11:50 am

    Best of luck! It looks like you’ve worked hard on your media presence.

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