Why I Chose to be an Indie Author

When one does an online search of “indie author” or “self-published author,” he or she will get a slew of opinions.  Some are favorable, and some are not as favorable.  It seems the most common unfavorable views come from authors who are already published through a traditional service.

I can understand from the perspective of an author surviving all the hoops that come with traditional publishing that some would see self-publishing as the easier route to take.  There are a plethora of articles out there that tell the stories of why authors, even successful ones with publishing contracts, decide to go independent, so it is not necessary for me to reiterate that being an independent author, singer, or video game developer is just as viable of an option. You can search for yourself and find plenty of compelling stories.

 

What I want to share is why I have chosen this route.  It is not because I fear rejection from publishers, and it is not due to laziness.  No, I understand that publishers try to make an educated decision on what might sell, and an author’s work just may not fit into that.  Sure, there are low-quality, self-published works out there.

 

At the same time, though, I have read several poorly written books that were published traditionally.  I have asked myself several times how certain books made it past the editors.  I chose this route out of years of research into the pros and cons of each type of publishing.  I decided that I did not need to sell millions of copies to be happy, and that I did not want to sign over the rights to all my work to someone else.  I understood from the beginning that I would have to bear all the weight of marketing my book, and I have grown to understand that this is a very difficult route.  However, at the end of the day, no one is forced to buy any book, and no matter what means of publication an author takes, there is no guarantee the book will sell.

 

For me, the struggle is worth it.  I am learning as I go to find what works and what doesn’t work.  I have spent over half my life dreaming of the day my writings would be available for the world to read.  I feel like, at least right now, handing over the rights to someone else would be a betrayal of my work.  I do not aim to get rich, but instead I hope to bring into the world the type of fantasy that I would like to read.

24 thoughts on “Why I Chose to be an Indie Author

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  1. One of my motivations was that I could get my work out there in the world with little wait time and minor expense. Those two reasons were motive enough for me to self-publish! See my blog about it at frugalauthor.wordpress.com.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pros and cons to both! Many authors go both routes, but what makes you happiest is always the right choice. 🙂 Besides… if anyone’s goal with writing is to get rich — good luck, that’s like winning the lottery, your name better be Stephen King or J.K.Rowling.

    I get kind of tired of people calling it a “consolation prize,” some of my favorite authors are indie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For sure! There aren’t just pros and cons to both but glaring issues to both. You either have little exposure and struggle to get out of the slog on Amazon, or you lose your story rights. Then if the book doesn’t sell well within six months it goes out of print with your ideas now owned by the publisher.

      No getting rich is nearly impossible. If one wants money it would be getter to get a traditional job and move upward. Writers should write because it is their calling.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Certainly not! It’s a way to weed out those who don’t take it seriously. I saw a fellow on Twitter who gave up because his book didn’t sell well within a year. I was thinking this is something that takes years, maybe decades! A year is barely getting started.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL I’ve always thought of the NY Times List as being an introduction to some of the most boring books ever written. LOL Indie authors rock, and not just because I am one. 🙂 A 16-year-old Indie author at the Mothman Festival last year inspired me to write my first book. I’ve written four this year. The fourth will be out for Halloween. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s exiting that you have a book that will be out soon. I have four published as well and several written, so much so that my poor wife/editor will be backlogged for quite some time. Right now I’m focusing on my blog and short stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for this post. It’s good to keep the discussion of pros and cons out front. And, too true about traditional presses not spending marketing money on “small fry authors”. That said: $$$. It costs to do even the smallest bit of marketing, plus you need the freedom to travel to promote (Author Fairs, bookstores, etc). I would like to add (as both a small press and also a self-pub author, for my words, a critique group, beta readers, and paying 1-3 cents per word for an editor who edits for a living, are worth their weights in gold!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, definitely, all great points! Going independent can ultimately cost more in marketing. I was addressing the misconception that getting a traditional publishing contract means author’s don’t have to worry about marketing. Thanks for reading and commenting! I appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am less than 2 weeks away from officially becoming an Indie author. I must say, it was a more gruelling and technically difficult process than I had expected. It will be a highlight of life though.

    Thank you for your fantastic post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that you did a post on this and enjoyed reading all the comments. I am a person who loves writing but is also prone to procrastination and excuse mongering regarding what I’m actually going to do with my writing. Last night I published my first book on Amazon. I cannot tell you how much motivation this gave me to write. I felt like for the first time I had caught an updraught with this writing thing and became airborne now I just have to keep writing and researching indie marketing in order to promote my first book and subsequent ones. I think the indie format of publishing is set to disrupt the system in a big way.

    Liked by 1 person

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