REGINA SIROIS: I was inspired to indie publish because I was forced to indie publish. No publishers wanted my book but I felt deep down that there were readers who did. I don’t mean that to sound conceited. I don’t think I’m a literary genius by a long shot. But I did think that what I was writing was a little different than what publishers were printing and I thought some readers were looking for something human and heartfelt. I could have given up and done nothing, but I figured that years of my time and effort writing were worth exploring my options. I was scared to death so I waffled between trying to get my book to as many people as possible and wanting to hide it under the bushel, so to speak. Courage won out and I gave it away for free, sent it to reviewers, blogged, face-booked and tweeted. I kept my prices low and tried to make it very accessible so it wasn’t a huge risk for people to try out a new author.

JEWEL ADAMS: After years of rejections and nothing being done with the two books I did have traditionally published, I decided enough was enough. Well, rather my husband decided for me. I love being able to publish stories I truly love and believe in. I love the freedom, the control, and the money. Because I write inspirational interracial romance, I struggled trying to find a home for my stories. When I took control and decided I would carve my niche in the publishing world, I created a home for my work and I have been very blessed because the market has opened so much for IR romance. Indie publishing was the best decision I ever made. It has been both vindicating and lucrative, and I’ve never regretted the choice.

ANDREA PEARSON: A year ago, I had a really strong feeling that I needed to quit teaching orchestra at an elementary school (contracted position) so I could focus solely on writing/Indie publishing. It’s only been 11 months since quitting that job, and already, I’m making more off of royalties than I made teaching orchestra. Not only that, but my royalties exceed what I made teaching both orchestra and private lessons. And I’m not a cheap teacher. 🙂 All I can say to this is WOW, and that I feel so very blessed! What an exciting, liberating, and thrilling time it is to be an author!

HEATHER JUSTESEN: Initially I went Indie with Blank Slate because my publisher wasn’t interested in the book. I always submit my books to multiple rounds of critiques from other published authors, so I knew that the story was good and worthy of publishing, and that it was pretty error free. Going Indie with it seemed like the right choice for the book. I had so much fun running the show myself and being in charge of my own destiny that even though my publisher offered to publish the second book in the series I decided not to take the contract. There are lots of advantages and disadvantages to both traditional and self-publishing, but for me, right now, Indie was the right choice, and I’m completely happy with it.

CHERI SCHMIDT: Joe Konrath’s blog inspired me, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/   Steph’s note: Just read it now. I especially love the part at the last of his blog that talks about “The history of the legacy publishing industry…”

JOLENE PERRY: The first book I self-published was a co-author book with a friend who had self-published her first book and done really well with it. When I made more in two weeks than I did in 5 months w/ my traditionally published book, and it was way less stressful, I sorta got hooked. I’d pick self-publishing over a smaller publisher any day. A publisher would have to offer me some pretty sweet incentives for me to relinquish control – namely national distribution. (I do have two national contracts now, so I’m not totally Independent)

HEATHER HORROCKS: I played the traditional publishing game for twenty years, had a NY agent, was offered contracts by several publishers—and found every step of this process filled with frustration and discouragement. When the Indie landscape appeared, I decided to do a grand experiment. After a slow six-month start, it paid off and continues to amaze me.

IAN ANTHONY: Why did I choose Indie?
1 – Because it’s easy. No one reviews your work or forces you to cut your word count down. You don’t have to please anyone but yourself. Some Indie publishers accept files that a blind chimp smashing keys could write.
2 – Because it’s fun. I love literature, and this is a way I can interact with what I love. Even if my writing is ham-handed and unrefined; I’m having a blast creating my book. If I went down a more professional rout, I think I’d lose the sense of ‘fun.’
3 – Because it’s a goal. I didn’t start out thinking I’d try to publish. The whole process of query letters and pleasing agents sounded distasteful. But, I don’t think I’d have had a good way to know when my book was “done” if I never published. With Indie publishing I know that it’s “done” when I see it up on Amazon and Smashwords. It keeps me focused.
4 – Because I have control. Even after I’ve published a book, I can take it down or change it. I control my book, including any decisions about pricing, cover design, fonts, formatting, etc. I don’t think I’d enjoy seeing others make the decisions regarding what and how I create.

BJ RAWLEY: Several years ago, I lived in North Carolina and ended up going to church with a fairly well-known bestselling author. I got to know him quite well. One day I approached him after church about the whole concept of self-publishing (this was right after my departure from my previous publisher), and he gave me QUITE the lecture on the subject. “There’s all the time and energy involved in editing, typesetting, cover design, marketing, distribution, the business end of things. You won’t have time to write anymore. You can only wear one hat.” I was quite discouraged for days … until it occurred to me that I LIKE doing all those things. They are exciting and fulfilling for me. And he’s wrong. You CAN wear more than one hat – but just one AT A TIME. And thus started my journey in self-publishing … over a decade ago now.

MARIA HOAGLAND: I decided to indie publish for a number of reasons, but probably the foremost reason was because I felt limited by genre. I write for a very specific audience—a small slice of readership—and one that I think is underserved. I write LDS women’s fiction. Of course there are some great books already published in that particular genre, but it’s a minuscule portion of the LDS publishers’ budgets because, as I was told by more than one publisher, it doesn’t sell. If you walk into a traditional LDS bookstore, you find a plethora of romance, mystery, drama, fantasy, and young adult, but precious few women’s fiction. So with the knowledge that there were only so many women’s lit books accepted in a given year, I felt my percentages were pretty low in getting published by that literal handful of LDS publishers. Add to that the fact that it takes several months just to have your manuscript reviewed before you even hear back that they’re interested in your book, but that it would be published two years in the future. No way! I’d already worked on my novel for years, put it through the wringer multiple times with multiple editors and a slew of readers, and I was ready then. When I decided to independently publish, I loved that I was in charge of everything from the title to the cover to the timing of the release. I’ve indie published my novel, and have never regretted it. By independently publishing, I don’t feel I am waging war against traditional publishers by any means. Publishing is a business, and I understand that as we all adjust to the ebook industry (which I love, love, love as much as the printed book—well, almost anyway) a traditional publisher can only take on so many good books. But that doesn’t mean that mine isn’t good. I feel that indie publishing, when done professionally, meticulously and artfully, is supplemental. Just as relevant and legitimate. Publishers, traditional and independent are all on the same page: giving readers what they want—a great story.

STACY J COLES: The short, uncomplicated process of Indie publishing was very appealing to me. My story was ready to go and I kept getting told by publishers that it would be nine months or longer before it would be available going the traditional route (and I would lose so much control). I knew what I wanted my book to say and I knew what I wanted it to look like. Going Indie guaranteed me the end result I wanted.

ME: First, it saves time. I LOVE that I can get my books out there. You don’t know how MANY books I have in my computer screaming for me to polish them up. I don’t have to wait a couple of years (or months or days) to get a book out that I feel is ready to be read NOW by those who like my books. I don’t have to watch movies or TV shows and say, ‘Dah! I have a book like that (that no one has seen because agents and publishers have been rejecting it for years).’ Also, I have complete control. Sure, I have lots of help from editors and friends and family, but I get the final creative word. And I can say, I want the cover to look like this and I’ll make a cover with my talented friends and family that fulfills my greatest imaginations. I want to point to something I wrote and say, I wrote that. That was me! I believe that Indie publishing makes writing an art for me again (especially for us newbies with nothing to stand on). I feel free now. Readers determine what is good or not for them, and I’m okay with that. And yes, at the same time, it makes writing a business too. You want to make a quality product and sell it, and you want to—heaven forbid—be able to support yourself in your business so you can do it fulltime because you love it more than any other career. I know that authors use Indie publishing to get their foot in the traditional publishing door and that’s not bad either because once readers and sells PROVE that an author is popular, the author will have the freedom (and hopefully the savvy) to sign good contracts, etc. and then get their book out to bookstores to more readers. As for me? Well, I’m just happy to be able to write what I want, when I want, how I want. I feel so blessed that technology today makes it possible to get our voices heard. Even if I never made another cent, stretching out my wings makes it all worth it. Writing is fun again.