Monday, 7 October 2019
The Trials Of An Indie Author: Why I Chose Indie
THE TRIALS OF AN INDIE AUTHOR: WHY I CHOSE INDIE
I've talked before about choosing your own publishing path (found here) and I think I've also talked about why, for me, choosing the indie path was the right choice, but with things changing and evolving and with my own choices staying the same, I thought I was do an updated pieces as to why I have stayed on this path and why I don't see that changing any time soon.
I've talked about this on my Authotube channel as well, and it is a very personal choice. A lot of people get to a cross-roads where they have to make that decision as to joining the query trenches or trying to make it on their own. I won't pretend that either path is easier, nor will I say that either one is better than the other. It is very personal and my reasons for choosing indie will be completely different to someone else's and that's valid, just as the choice to go traditional is as well. I'm not someone who's going to tell you that either one carries more weight than the other. It did use to be that traditional was the one to get you more notice, but as time has moved on, indie has come along strong and equal to traditional.
So what made me make that decision all those years ago? Well, back then there wasn't really an indie option. I tried to query, and got a lot of rejections, but kept trying, got some personal feedback and I won't go into the rest, because you've all heard this story a few hundred times, but I ended up making a bad choice and going with a vanity press. This was for two reasons. One, I was very very sick and wasn't sure I would survive to see all my books published, and it mattered to me that I had at least one book out there. And two, I felt like it was my only option, and they courted me nicely.
So huge mistake, avoid vanity presses like the plague, but I've always believed in being honest with you guys and that's one of my bigger mistakes. But it did open me up to the marketing side of things, and it did allow me to get a taste of what it'd be like to have a book on the shelves. When things like KDP and such came into play, I had a little advantage there, though I made a huge amount of mistakes along the way there too. But we all do and while I'm still trying to make up for some of them, I know that I'm on the right path.
I talked a few weeks back about the many hats of an indie author (found here) and that's so very true. I chose indie because it gave me two things I needed more than anything when it came to my writing life. It gave me control over everything deadline related. And it gave me control over the covers, the content, and a nice chunk of change from royalties.
I knew what I wanted to write, and I knew who I wanted to do my covers. Even if B hadn't been able to, or suddenly became unable to do them, I know I could work with people who would allow my input and final say. I can choose which editors I work with. I can control how my book is presented to the public. Yes, it's a lot of work, but I get to retain that element of control that keeps my stress levels down and allows me to focus on my writing more.
On top of that, deadlines became a soft target for me to hit. Yes, there are, and always will be, some hard ones that I can't get away from. Those I have to work with, but when it comes to the drafting process, I don't have deadlines, and that helps my stress levels even more! I don't have to write to a set schedule and I don't have to worry if I end up in hospital and then spend two months on slow work because of it. I can focus on my stories, on my promotion and I can do all of that because, essentially, I work for myself and I am indie and able to tweak things to suit my schedule.
And the royalty percentage is higher for indie authors. That helps a whole lot, especially when you're someone who worries about money a lot. I'm not rolling in it, but it allows me to have a little breathing room.
So yes, it's a personal choice as to which path you go down. Neither one is right or wrong overall. You just have to make that choice, weigh up your pros and cons and do what's best for you. And no one should judge you for that.
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