I seriously got exhausted writing about going Indie, and I’m sure you are too just reading about it…BUT actually going through with it? Let’s see what our guest authors thought of their GO-INDIE experience?
Well, my friends? Let’s hear it. How did you like going Indie?
STACY COLES: I had a great experience taking this route. It made a life-long dream a reality and it gave me a great product that I can take full credit for. The sales numbers show traditional publishers that I can produce a book that interests the public, which is an added bonus.
JOLENE PERRY: My experience has been great. I still want to be published big, so I’m definitely still working with my agent. I think I mentioned that I have two national contracts and I have two books that are going “on sub” from my agent to publishers, this fall. So, the self-publish thing I’m doing on the side of the other stuff.
CHRISTINE BRYANT: I LOVE being an Indie and have absolutely no intentions to ever query another agent or publisher. What I’m doing works for me and I love having the freedom to choose how my book is presented and when it’s released. I’m anxious to finish this series and move onto the many other projects that have stacked up in the past couple years as my muse works overtime.
HEATHER HORROCKS: It’s not for the faint-hearted. It’s a ton of work because you, the author, have to do everything. That’s both good and bad. For example, on TP [traditionally published] books, authors have pretty much 0% say in the cover. Indie authors have 100% say, which is awesome, but also places the responsibility for branding yourself and your ‘look’ on you. I am making much more income now than with my traditionally published books. Authors have to make sure their books are well written, professionally edited, formatted well, have a great cover, title, and book description. I highly recommend Indie publishing. Just know the path is a tough one—but the rewards can be great. Good luck on whichever publishing path you choose.
CINDY HOGAN: The best part? Wow! There are so many, but as Protected comes out only 9 months after Watched and having the final book scheduled for only 7 months after that, I’d have to say the ability to get my books out when they are done and not having to be on a publisher’s schedule of 1 per year.
MARIA HOAGLAND: 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.
IAN ANTHONY: I would take Indie publishing over tres letches, and you know I REALLY like tres letches. I love writing. I love talking about my book. I love reading about how to Indie publish. I love trying to think of better / newer ways to go about the process of publishing. It’s such an open field that on one has all the answers; so there are no hard rules. Best of all: it’s totally free. I mean that in both ways; it’s free as in free speech. I don’t have people telling me I can’t write something. It’s also free as in free lunch; no one’s telling me that I have to pay for something (or if they are their pants are on fire).
BJ ROWLEY: I’ve been a self-published author FAR longer than traditionally published and just so you know … I HAVE picked up the pen/keyboard again. I’ve recently posted all my out-of-print titles on Kindle, and I’m actually working on finishing Book Four of my Light Traveler Adventure Series. Then I’m going to write some more. I just can’t help myself. It’s fun stuff.
REGINA SIROIS: My experience was one of the most memorable events of my life. People bought the book. They reviewed it. They blogged about it. They wrote to me. My world opened up. My book reached out and brought home new friends and acquaintances and colleagues. It may sound strange but my book allowed me to connect with so many wonderful people that I don’t count my success in spread sheets or sales numbers. I feel successful because I shared a part of myself even when it was terrifying. After unexpected sales and winning the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award my book has been purchased by Penguin/Viking and will be re-released in August 2013. I am a huge fan of indie publishing and the writers who blaze their own path. They have my respect, my support and my admiration.
ME: Let me say first that I love going Indie. I’m super independent (hey, that wasn’t meant to be a pun, but it was). I love being able to reach my audience AND right now! My favorite memories are sitting on my bed at night and reading my latest lovey-dovey stories to my smiling sisters, or reading my short stories in second grade and getting my classroom to fall off their chairs because they were laughing so hard, or sitting in Butchart Gardens and pretending the place was mine ALL MINE and writing poetry in some gift store journal to exchange with my friends. So, the idea that I had to wait for someone to approve my story before I could share it with others was a challenge. It was hard getting emails from people who asked when my next book was coming out and having no idea (even when I had written so many). I mean, why write more? When the traditional publishing path wasn’t working for me, I tried to figure out what career I liked better than storytelling and I couldn’t find it. My thoughts kept circling until I realized, well, why can’t I keep writing? There is nothing more liberating than finding those obvious answers that stare me in the face. Going Indie made it all real. I don’t know what the far future will bring for me, but I’m excited for the here and now and just to write again.
And that’s a wrap. But before we close this extensive Indie publishing guide, I just want to ask our kind contributors if there is any last piece of knowledge or advice they’d like to impart to the rest of us newbies? Even if it’s really inane, we want to hear it.
HEATHER HORROCKS: Whether you TP [traditional publishing] or IP [independently publishing], buy the domain name of the name you’ll be writing under, whether your own or a pen name. I prefer to use GoDaddy.com. Then go to Weebly.com and get a free website–and the most important thing on there is a contact form that you will title ‘Sign Up For My New Releases.’ The people who sign up there are more likely to be fans and to buy your next book.
ME: Here’s a random tip, smashwords allows you to generate coupons. That means you can give out your ebook for free to your friends so they can check it on their ebook reading devices. You can also give away your book for contests on your blog, etc, to generate interest, etc. Then you can reward the winner with a coupon number. You can also give reviewers free downloads of your book. That’s why I love smashwords (besides the fact that they distribute it everywhere online).
JOLENE PERRY: Edit your book. Put out your best work. You’re building your reputation as soon as you put your work out there. Don’t be sloppy. Take your time and get it right.
Thank you Indie authors for all of your advice, tips, and contributions, and for being willing to be on my random blog! Sooo, if you’re an indie author, please feel free to write your tips in your comments on this blog. Sure, our INDIE PUBLISHING GUIDE is long, but I’m sure we missed something (and as time passes, things will change too. Just know that the more comments you leave, the easier it will be to keep this guide up-to-date).
And FINALLY, if you’ve read a good Indie book lately, I would love to hear your review on it. I created a group on goodreads especially for that, so here it is: CLICK HERE. As you’re aware, I’m always on the look-out to find the best Indie books out there, so help a girl out!
Happy Reading! Happy Writing! Let’s hope it’s both.
Really great compilation of ideas and experience. Thank you for taking the time to collect so much knowledge and share it in an easy format. Keep powering through! You rock!
Stephanie Fowers said:
And thank you, Regina! You are such an inspiration. I want you to write MANY more books, so I can read them all and…use up all the tissues in my tissue boxes while reading them (you have this gift, haha)! Thank you for helping me out with the blog 🙂
Candace Fowers said:
DEAR Stephanie! I don’t know WHERE the time goes, as my life ZOOMS along! I think that’s why I keep forgetting how old I am(until I pass a mirror and am jolted into turning away in disbelief, or STAYING to watch in fascinated HORROR!) I truly have missed a lot of these blogs (NOT quite ready to indie-write)
….but SOMEDAY, you may see a child-psychology book, an Autobiography-disguised-as-as-SOMEONE-else, or some youtube videos to show how even the LEAST gifted among us can sew/make bread! Anyhoo (heehee!), I just want to give you a metaphoric squinch and say: ” I…LOVE…you!
I would love to see that, mom! Get started on that. The world is not whole until it sees the light of day–but, uh, for real!