Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Choosing To Go The Indie Route - The After Process



Choosing To Go The Indie Route

When you've gone through all the creative parts and emerged on the other side, having edited your manuscript until you can't bear to look at it again, you have another choice. You have to decide whether you're going to go the traditionally published route, or down the indie/self-publishing route. Although I have experience with both, the majority of my time as a published author has been as an indie author so I'm going to focus on that.

I did a piece a year ago about publishing your work (found here) and while it is a great piece, it does only focus upon where you need to start. This piece will be about whether or not the indie route is the one for you. I can only talk from my experience, but I hope it will be of some use to someone else who is thinking about starting their own journey in the published world.

As I'm sure many of you are aware, I have been writing pieces for over a year now, all of which can be found on my blog. I have done a whole section simply on the creative process, as well as a smaller section on the after process (which is where this piece will fit!) I have also recently begun to do several other types of pieces, focusing upon the trials of life as a crime writer, an indie author and a spoonie - someone with a chronic illness who identifies with The Spoon Theory. I am telling you this not to wow you with my dedication to my blog, but to also point out something that has heavily influenced my own decision to stay as an indie author.

When I was retired from my "working life" at nineteen and realised that this really was my retirement, I made the choice to write books. It was something I had always planned to do, but never had the time for and with the flexibility of working when I was able, writing opened a lot of doors to me that I thought had previously been shut. So, when my traditional publishing contract fell through, it was a few years before I realised that going Indie would be the best answer to continuing my career.

When I say that I didn't start writing to become rich, it's mostly true. I never planned on making my millions, though it would be nice. For me, it was more about being able to let free all of these bottled up stories I had to tell. It was an outlet for me, just as writing these pieces are. It wasn't until 2011 that I finally felt able to launch the Bug Books label and control my own future as it were. Part of the reason I lost my other contract was because I was having so many bad days I couldn't meet deadlines. As an indie author, I was able to work around that because I was, after all, my own boss.

However, being an indie author is not for everyone. As I've said in several pieces (found here, here & here), there are many things that are expected of an author - indie or otherwise, and when you don't have whole departments to manage all of that for you, it's a lot of hard work. To me, it was worth it and I've made do with what I have. There'll be some days when I don't get anything done, others where I'll be awake at the wee hours sending out emails and answering posts and writing pieces just like this one. There are also the hospital stays where I have to hand the controls of my Facebook page over to either my editor or my cover designer and hope that everyone copes without me for a while.

If, like me, you think the indie route is the best one for you, then you should go down it. Research all the ways to bring out your work without the middle men. Make sure you know what YOU want to achieve from your work. It takes a lot of giveaways, making connections, swapping reviews and sending out ARC copies to get yourself noticed and it can be really daunting at first, but when you manage it, and you will, you'll find yourself on an even keel and forget that you almost drowned in your first few days in the deep end.

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