Author Success Story: “Age of the Indie Author”

Author Greg Prato is a rockstar of journalism, having written articles and reviews for such publications as All Music Guide, Classic Rock Magazine, and Rolling Stone. When the time came for Prato to take his passion for music and writing beyond one-off articles and into the pages of a book, he thought he’d be a shoe-in. Turns out, even as an accomplished journalist, Prato had just as much trouble publishing traditionally as the next guy.

“In my experience, traditional publishers only listen to people with agents,” Prato says. “I’ve been writing for over 13 years, and Lulu was the only company to offer me any options.”

Author Greg Prato

Prato is a shining example of how Lulu empowers authors to profit from their unique knowledge and ideas. His first work, A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other, published through Lulu in 2008, is one of the only books available that chronicles the tragic death of Shannon Hoon – frontman for popular 90’s band Blind Melon. The book acts as an oral history of Hoon’s life,  collecting original interviews from over 100 people close to the band.

“I wanted to make my book different” says Prato. “I tried to get more than just one perspective in there because conflict and criticism are key to making an interesting story.”

Prato brought his work to Lulu after being rejected time and time again by traditional publishers and agents, despite his ties to writing. He hired a publicist and was able to build a following by marketing his work and doing a circuit of radio interviews. A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other has gone on to sell thousands of copies.

“This is the age of the indie author” Prato says. “Lulu makes it easy for those with the urge to create because there is no approval process and no worries. Lulu gives the power back to the author and the author gets to make a good chunk of the cash, the way it should be.”

Prato certainly has the urge to create too, having completed six books with three more on the way. In his book, No Schlock…Just Rock!, Prato compiles five years worth of his magazine articles, including the three that ultimately pushed him to writing books. Each work revolves around his expertise on the music industry and offers an in-depth look into bands like Kiss and Deep Purple, and the rise of MTV.

“All my books are things I wanted to read about, but that didn’t exist yet.” says Prato. “It just goes to show you that you have to stick to your guns. If I’d listened to other people, I’d never written a single book.”

Check out Prato’s storefront and all of his remarkable works on Lulu and be on the look out for his upcoming releases.

Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Interesting post. Congratulations to Greg on his wonderful success, it’s an inspiration.

    I also think this is, or at least has the potential to be ‘the age of the indie author’ probably more so with regard to ebooks. I still think there’s a little bit of a stigma attached to being self-published, but hopefully this will diminish over time. I’m working hard to establish myself as a credible writer. It’s a process of blood, sweat, tears, trial and error. Sometimes I feel like giving up. However, one of my books has recently received several nominations from a readers group catering to the romance genre. This group holds an annual ‘Best of’ Award ceremony. I was nominated in the best author category for my genre of fiction. (GLBT) Just to have been nominated at all shows I am beginning to reach an audience and get my name known. Of course it’s very, very small stuff compared to Greg’s success, but it’s a start. I couldn’t have achieved even this much if I hadn’t discovered 🙂

    Fabian Black

  2. Great story, AJ!

    I truly believe that the concrete statues of traditional publishing are collapsing. They seem to be interested only in the next big thing. At one time, ALL “next big things” were nobodies, but the consolidation of big pubs, the focus on the bottom line, and other factors are the seeds of their own demise. Meanwhile, writers are finding their own readers, and vice-versa.

    Similarly to Greg, I’ve been writing for my whole life, as a technical writer, freelance writer (at, nonficton author (a couple of books published by Peachpit), but still no interest, NONE, by any agent.

    SO, here’s to Greg Prato and others like him. Keep up the good work, keep your hope and energy up, too. It’s a new world now, baby!

    Carl Plumer