There’s yet another article written by a traditionally published author harping on about how shit indie publishing is. No I’m not going to link it, I have no doubt they’ve had enough clicks as it is.
I felt it was about time that I shared why I chose the indie publishing route.
Let’s get some of those stupid assumptions and comments that are so frequently thrown around in these moronic click-baity articles out of the way first shall we?
Yes, I have researched traditional publishing. I’ve read a lot about it, from what to expect in a standard contract, to how to write query letters, the actual publishing process, how large advances are, their marketing strategies, etc etc. As I mentioned in my post about my writing journey so far I did actually consider traditional publishing once, I was offered a contract, and I turned it down.
No I am not just some hack who has some bee in my bonnet that I must publish my darling book that’s too genre defying for a publishing house to pick up. I’m a business-woman, this is the sound business decision for me.
Now let’s go into my actual decision process shall we?
If you want to know the very short answer to all of this, I chose the indie route because of the control and freedom.
I do not want to spend eighteen months querying an agent, to spend another year waiting for that agent to shop it around, and then a further eighteen months to two years for the book to be edited and finally published. During that time I could publish some twelve to eighteen books.
I will control the final details of those books. I will have complete control over how the cover art looks, I will set up and control the marketing plan, the keywords, the distribution, the blurb wording, the formatting, and the price. If I am offered a fantastic opportunity for say a multi-author boxset, I’ll be free to leap on it. If a shiny new promotional venue pops up and makes me a deal, I can jump on that too. If my blurb isn’t working and I need a new cover, I can do that, within 48 hours if I absolutely need to.
If I want to write in five different series and make the first in each series permafree, then I can do that.
Going down the indie route means that I have complete control over my books, my product. I don’t have to wait for the say so of a publisher to start a new series, I don’t have to fear them cutting off a series mid-way through or hacking out a favourite character, or completely changing the core theme of the story. I can write what I feel is a good fit for my readers and my author brand, when I want. I don’t have to worry about non-compete clauses, or dodgy royalty statements.
I am free to run my business as I see fit. I am able to move quickly and change things as and when they need to be changed. If Amazon suddenly changes how it’s run, such as they did from KU 1 to KU 2, then I can move quickly to position myself as well as possible to roll with that particular punch.
Is this an easy route? No.
Do I have everything handed to me on a silver-platter? No.
Is it damn hard work? Yes.
The big thing that traditionally published authors all throw out in these stupid articles is the fact that indies have to do their own marketing and it apparently takes up some 20 hours a day 7 days a week. Trad’ pub’ authors have to do their own marketing too. Unless you’re a huge name, they still have to do their own marketing, except they don’t have the options indies do, because they don’t have the freedom we do.
Yes, marketing my books is hard, but it doesn’t take that long! I can do everything I need to do over the course of two hours a week, no problems. The vast majority of the time I devote to my fiction, is devoted to the writing of said fiction. The editing takes a fair chunk, but it does for traditionally published authors too. Oh and don’t give me that about how indie published books are all horribly edited – I’ve seen the typo riddled traditionally published books. I’ve read the books with weak flimsy plots and gaping plot holes.
Not everyone is cut out for the indie route, it is hard work, and it does take business know-how. That’s fine. Some people are better off going down the traditional publishing route, and that’s great for them. I whole-heartedly support them in that, if it makes them happy, fantastic. I however, am not one of those people.