Getting Started in Indie Publishing

John and Anne Fioravanti seated togetherIndie Publishing

Prior to my novel, my two published non-fiction works, Getting It Right in History Class and A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching were released by Indie Publishers.

I had no real idea what was involved in getting a manuscript prepared for publication.

When Anne and I decided to become business partners in December, 2014, and launch our own Independent publishing house, we had a lot of help!

My award-winning ‘Journey’ book was published by Iceberg Publishing owned and operated by the Tam family here in Waterloo, Ontario.

Iceberg was founded in 2002 and they took me in as an author in 2006. Journey was published in 2007, and it won an IPPY Bronze Medal in May, 2008. When Anne and I decided to strike out on our own, the Tams enthusiastically agreed and suggested that Iceberg Publishing should enter into an alliance with Fiora Books – separate companies, but allied.

What did that alliance look like?

We operate separately with our own websites, our own contracts with retailers, printers, and the like. Kenneth Tam, my former student, is Iceberg’s most prolific author and their IT person, so he offered to teach me the business end of publishing.

I thank my lucky stars that he did!

I remember that December evening when my wife and I pored over the task sheet that Kenneth and his parents, Jacqui and Peter, had created for us as a guideline.

Task #1 – company name.

‘Fiora Books’ came fairly easily – as a play on my surname. When I taught high school, I prepared writing skill guides for my students to follow, and I called them ‘FioraBooks’.

They thought that was cute. Then one year, I set up a system of bonus marks they could earn, and issued play money that I called ‘FioraBucks’ – they thought that was cuter yet. So that was settled.


Fiora Books logo - open book and rose blossom in the centre

Task #2 – create a logo.

“Fiora” translates from Italian as “flowers”. So we thought our company logo had to have a book or books and a flower. I suggested a rose since it is Anne’s favourite flower.

I can’t draw to save my life, so I went looking online, found what I was looking for, bought the rights to it, and we had our logo. Then I suggested we have a tag line to go with the logo. I liked Iceberg’s, “Look beneath the surface” – that went beautifully with the concept of an Iceberg. As you’re reading – look for meaning beneath the surface. I thought and thought… Anne could smell the wood burning!

Then it hit me out of the blue… I have loved reading books since I was a kid – over five decades of reading! How to express that? Bang! It hit me again… getting bruised up pretty good here… “Cherish the written word.” Anne loved it and so did I. Check out the rest of our website and see if you like the combination.

Once I got the company registered with the Province of Ontario and we had our business licence, then we were ready to set up our website. Kenneth designed that after consulting with us, and then taught me how to maintain the site.

Then he told me to start writing a blog each week, if not more often.

A blog? What’s that?

He’s a very patient and sensitive young man, so he didn’t laugh at me. So Anne and I learned to blog.

Then we followed his suggestions and set up our Fiora Books page on Facebook, and a similar account on Twitter. Then Kenneth explained about Tweets.

Tweets? Why do I gotta go Tweeting online?? What’s this got to do with publishing?

He rolled his eyes as I ranted on about silly birdies… oh my! It’s about online marketing, he explained. Gee… I don’t know anything about that.

After four months of intense online research I started to understand a few things about book marketing in the twenty-first century. I found out that there are tons of Indie authors and publishers worldwide.

No Kidding!

Yes, and they are gradually wrestling large numbers of consumers away from the mainstream publishers. Really? Uh-huh, right again. It was near the end of that sojourn into the wonderful world of online research that I found a gentleman in the UK who was participating in a LinkedIn book marketing group discussion.

His name is Chris Ward, and he gave me the best online advice I had yet received. He suggested that I join the Rave Reviews Book Club because they are all about helping fellow Indie authors/publishers be successful.

Rave Reviews Book Club logo


What did I do? I did the second smartest thing I’ve ever done in my 63 years – I joined Nonnie Jules’ Rave Reviews Book Club!

What was the first smartest thing I did? I married Anne Runstedler in 1973… you had to ask?

Please follow this link to see the Rave Reviews Book Club Blog Competition, and vote for your favourite!

About John Fioravanti

Author, John Fioravanti writes non-fiction as well as fiction in the sci-fi genre. He's a retired secondary school educator and a lifelong learner. He considers himself a work in progress and welcomes the opinions and insights that others may have about his work. He prizes dialogue about meaningful topics, so please leave your thoughts!

20 thoughts on “Getting Started in Indie Publishing

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Loren Weaver

    October 29, 2014 at 11:08pm


    What an inspiration! You really set out for something and made it happen!

    Great post. And thank you for sharing your story.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      October 30, 2014 at 12:09am

      Hi Loren – thank you for your positive comment. I’m glad you visited! We’re really enjoying our new career!

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Laurie Finkelstein

    October 29, 2014 at 6:12pm

    Great post ! The learning curve can be steep as we take on theses new ventures. I’m still on the curve!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      October 30, 2014 at 12:11am

      Hi Laurie, we’re still on the learning curve as well. It’s been a wild ride so far! Thanks for visiting!

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Tamie Dearen

    October 29, 2014 at 11:23am

    Awesome post, John! And I’m glad you put your wife first. I’m sure that’s why you’ve been married since 1973! 😀

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      October 30, 2014 at 12:16am

      Hey, Tammie – you’re catching on!LOL Anne is my rock. Without her support there would be no Fiora Books and no first novel. I appreciate your visit today!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      October 29, 2014 at 8:11am

      Indeed, Brother, my mommy didn’t raise any stupid kids! Thanks for visiting!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      October 29, 2014 at 8:17am

      Thank you very much, Rhani! It’s wonderful to see you in my neck of the woods again – thanks so much for the visit!

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