Last week, my blog hits surged as a post of mine went around the Interweb. The blog entry, a post titled “Why I’m Choosing Indie Publishing” is something that, despite being from April, I still stand up strongly for to support. I did, however, want to pass along an article that I wrote for Indie Author News specifically about Indie Publishing. I’m reposting this particular article because I honestly feel it’s a stronger piece of mine, a better validation of my argument for indie publishing, and something I hope writers can find inspiration from. Where on my blog, I tend to ramble and allow for tangents, here I kept the focus on why I truly believe indie publishing was the right choice for me.
Why I Chose Indie Publishing, first featured here at Indie Author News back in June 2012:
After what equated to at least two years of hard work on my novel, I sent out several (and I won’t say how many, but I mean several) query letters to agents. While I had a few “very interesting concept” type replies, most emails back, as expected, were straight rejections, without any sort of feedback. Without any other novels to back my name and a uniquely built world that doesn’t really fit into any mainstream concept, I knew it would be tough to get my book into any Big 6 hands. I would have to convince these agents that my work should be plucked out of thousands of other submissions and while I believe(d) to the depths of my soul that I had something good, I also needed to be realistic.
You also know when you submit that you’re serving your work on a platter to editors. Even with a great original story, they want to mold it into a marketable book, something that will fit into mainstream shelves, which means an author may actually have to seriously rewrite their work. I knew going in that I’d have a hard time doing that—not saying I wouldn’t do it if required, but of course to me, every scene fits into the fast paced writing I’ve worked so hard at for years. I wasn’t super crazy about the idea of changing my character’s age or adding in a vampire just because it’s popular. I’ve also heard horror stories of authors finally getting an agent and submitting their works to big names, only to hear back a year later that they missed their chance, that the market is already over-saturated with their type of story and despite the trials and negotiations, their hard work is now a moot point. If I went through a year of excitement, thinking I’d be published, and then suddenly it’s ripped away, I’d be a mess for a long while.
That’s when indie publishing came into play. By self-publishing, I would have immediate opportunities I might not get elsewhere. With indie publishing, I’m in control of everything. Not just writing the novel, but the marketing, sales, networking, blog posts, cover design and layout, editing, book formatting…you name it, you’re in charge of it.
For a control freak like me, it was like a light-bulb went off over my head. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t looked into it sooner. I’ve never backed down from a challenge and I’ve certainly made my rounds of shameless self-promotion (I’ve always been a headstrong entrepreneur). The actual acts of doing it all myself didn’t scare me like it might others. It actually kind of pushed me even further into the decision to independently publish. I liked the fact I could control my cover, my story, my characters, without anyone else telling me I needed to change things to “better fit the market.”
As I’ve said before, I’m not a writer to make money. I don’t need a movie deal or to be whisked away to New York for fancy meetings. I want to write. I want to put out books that entertain and allow for an escape from reality. And debut novel or not, I believe in my story so much that I’m willing to do the work myself. I don’t care if it never this #1 on Amazon rankings or makes a million bucks (won’t say no to either of those things)—I just wanted to do something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid: hold a book in my hands with my name on it. If I ever had any doubts about indie publishing before, it was scrapped when I finally had a copy of my book on my shelf.
It could stop selling tomorrow, but you know what? I did it. Another benefit to indie publishing is the immense satisfaction–every single review you get, every interview question you answer, every tweet you reply to, every word you write, is because you did the hard work yourself. You were brave enough to say,
“Let’s do this. I believe in me.”