ALLi is the Alliance of Independent Authors, the professional association for self-publishing writers. They host an EXCELLENT self-publishing advice blog HERE.
ALLi Director Orna Ross has posted an article defining what an indie author is. From the article:
Novelist and ALLi Director Orna Ross considers the (sometimes confusing) question of what exactly distinguishes an indie author.
This post was prompted by an ALLi member who thought she had to leave our Alliance because she had just signed a deal with a trade publisher.
“It’s ironic,” she wrote. “All the great tips I got from you guys is how I sold so many books and that’s why the publisher approached me. Do I have to leave now? I don’t want to.”
“Of course you don’t,” I wrote back. “Lots of our members use trade publishers to reach readers, especially through bookstores. Being an independent author is an approach to writing and publishing, a matter of self-definition. If you see yourself as the creative director of your books, from concept to completion and beyond, then you’re indie. And you make partnerships that help you deliver the best possible book to the most possible readers, trade publishers included.”
You can read the whole article HERE.