Friday, 16 May 2014

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Outsourcing Is Expensive

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Outsourcing Is Expensive

When you get published by a traditional publishing house, you get a lot of stuff done for you, as I've talked about in my series of the After Process (links can be found here). When you go with a small publishing press or as an indie author, a lot of things fall to you (again discussed here). One of those things is paying for stuff like an editor, cover art, taxes and all that jazz. It also means that if you want to give away books or any other kind of "swag", then you're paying for that out of your own pocket too.

As an indie author, I've had to find my own editor, who I pay per book, as well as a cover artist, who I also have to pay. I also designed and paid for my bookmarks and all the other giveaways I do for for promotion. Basically, it's not cheap to market your own books and it comes at a cost, one which for some people is not something they are willing or able to do, and I respect that wholeheartedly.

For me it was not an easy choice, but at the same time I didn't lie awake at night worrying about it. Due to my many health problems, I am not able to work to the same deadlines that would be expected of me through a traditional publishing house. Although I do have deadlines I have to meet, they are beyond flexible because I'm in charge of them. 

I try to write four chapters (two of each book) over a two week period. You'll have seen me mention my progress on my Facebook page. Some weeks I do really well and do what I call "bonus" chapters. Other weeks it's a struggle to get the chapters done and I find that when I get into the last hours of the fortnight, I start to meet roadblocks with my writing. It's only when I take the pressure off that I'm able to start writing again. So for me, using a traditional publisher was not something I could do. I made the choice to go Indie and it's not one I regret because it's the best fit for me. Your mileage may, of course vary, and that's great.

The point is that part of being an indie author is working for yourself in many ways. You need to make sure you have what people need to get yourself noticed. So I have swag for giveaways and I offer up free books for both my own and other authors promotional events. It's all about getting yourself noticed and the word about your work out there and into the public eye. I haven't yet cracked the code to instant success, but I'm happy with what I'm doing.

It's not just those things that make being an indie author an expensive choice but the little things that you don't think of, like doing your own website stuff, or organising a blog book tour. You can hire someone to help you and/or do it for you, but that costs money too. I can't speak for authors who are published through smaller presses, but I know that for me being an indie author means that a lot of the final bills rest at my feet. I made the choice and I'm happy with it and for that reason I stick with it, but man, outsourcing is expensive!

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