This is the first chapter in an ongoing series following my indie publishing journey.
And so begins my indie publishing journey.
Indie publishing or self-publishing is something that’s piqued my interest for a while now. In the beginning, it brought mixed feelings. On the one hand, I loved the idea of taking the future of my writing into my own hands, on the other I felt that it was the ‘cheats’ way. I had the perception that the self-publishing world was full of washed-up wanna-be authors who had been rejected too many times from the traditional publishing model. I’ve learned a lot since then.
Indie publishing has come a long way from its mediocre beginnings. Now, the indie publishing industry is a flourishing industry with a more than the respectable reputation, and that reputation is continuing to grow. It has gone from error-riddled, poorly formatted books with substandard cover art, to a standard that for most self-published books is indistinguishable from traditionally published books.
When you sit down and compare indie publishing to traditional publishing there are many pros and cons. With traditional publishing, you have the support of a publishing house with the personnel and funds to spend on making the book the best it can be, from editors to cover designers, right through to the marketing and promotion. Indie publishing requires that you not only write the book but you are responsible for everything that will both make your book the best it can be, and also give it the best chance at success.
The biggest pro for indie-publishing that I see, is that you’re in full control of your writing career. You are not dependent on an agent or publisher ‘liking’ your book or feeling they can ‘sell’ it. You are not tied to their cover designs and their marketing promotions. And you are not left floundering on your own after the initial launch and PR period is over.
So the decision to move towards indie publishing isn’t one to be taken lightly.
I found the major hurdle for me to overcome was the perception that I’m taking the ‘easy’ way out. Letting go of the validation that someone holding a respected place in the publishing industry – namely a publisher or agent – thinks my work is worthy of publishing.
This is a point that has been swimming around in my head for a while. And is the main sticking point as to why I haven’t jumped into indie publishing sooner. As far as the work-load of being an indie author, and doing ‘all the things’ doesn’t worry me. I thrive on a challenge, I enjoy marketing, and I love deadlines and pressure (yep, I’m one of those people), but the validation is something that I long for.
But, as with every realisation, it came in one of those cliched ‘light-bulb’ moments. The validation I’m seeking doesn’t come in the form of one person’s opinion in the industry, it needs to come from readers. People who read my books and enjoy them. Like them even. And the way to get people to read them is to publish them. Get them out there so they can be read! (Not saying it’s easy to do that!)
So the decision to step over the abyss and into indie publishing was made.
My overall vision (at the time of writing this post) is to be a hybrid author.
I plan to continue seeking a traditional deal for my contemporary fiction, and I plan to self-publish my chick-lit, or as I like to call it ‘chic-lit’. 😉
This is the beginning of my journey. There’s a long road ahead that will be paved with the unknown, moments of frustration and disappointment, and hopefully some moments of celebration, and maybe even that validation I seek.
For those who’ve been following my journey towards publication, thank you. I hope you’re still on board and are as excited as I am to head down this unknown road. And for those new here, and those who are writers interested in knowing more about indie-publishing, I hope you get as much out of me sharing the process as I hope to.