As promised in my last post, I wanted to talk some more about indie publishing. I talk to many writers who don’t know what indie publishing is (I didn’t at first) or have misconceptions of what it’s all about. I’m here to shed some light on the things I’ve learned within the last year.
Indie publishing, in a nutshell, is self-publishing, not to be mistaken with vanity publishing. The latter is more or less when a “publishing outfit” charges you to publish your book. THIS IS NOT INDIE PUBLISHING.
Indie itself mean independent, so publishing in this aspect is you, the writer, publishing your manuscript yourself. While there are many POD (print-on-demand) services out there, who will charge you nothing to print your book, they do provide extra services such as editorial services, cover art design, interior/formatting design, etc., at an additional charge (some are expensive).
Personally, I feel that if you want to pay for the POD’s extra services, it is your choice, but there are so many editorial services and graphic designers on the web, you will probably find a less expensive solution. If you can’t afford a professional or simply don’t want to spend the money, find beta readers, a crit partner, or a critic to view your work. This is what I’m doing. Most authors can’t do it all like editing, formatting, etc. I know I couldn’t.
Having said that, keep in mind, you should research any company or individual you want to work with in publishing your book. There are tons of scammers out there. Do your homework; research these companies; ask other author friends if they have any suggestions. If you don’t have a good social network for your writing, may I say one word. TWITTER. I have literally met hundreds of writers and authors on Twitter. If you’re going to indie publish, you need a good social network. Twitter is also good for marketing your work, but I will save that for another post.
I would like to suggest a superb group of writers that I have met through Twitter. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t know a darn thing about Twitter or how to use social media as a marketing tool. If you are on Twitter, please follow @IndieBookCollective. They are an extremely talented and helpful group of authors and writers. If you aren’t into Twitter #youshouldbe, you can also find them on Facebook here, Goodreads here, their website here, and lastly, their blog is here.
Okay, back to indie publishing. One of the things I like about being indie is that I get total control over what goes in my book, the type of cover art I have, how I market it, etc. You have so many options as an indie author that you may not get through traditional publishing. Not that traditional publishing is bad. If it were, we indies wouldn’t worry about proving our talent. It is, however, harder to break into the league of traditional publishing as well as finding an agent. I say hard, not impossible. I’ve known people who put more work into their query letters than writing the book itself. I didn’t want to waste my time or energy getting rejection letters and feeling no self worth because a publisher or agent didn’t pick me up.
Every person is different when it comes to publishing. You have to decide which path you want to take. Indie publishing isn’t the easiest road, because you do have to build a name for yourself. You don’t have a budget, or rather, large budget to apply towards marketing your book. This is where Twitter is such a phenomenal thing. Over the next few post, I will focus on the different aspects of indie publishing and try to explain a little more in detail what these things are and how I plan to or am already going about them. Indie publishing is nothing to be ashamed of. We are growing in numbers and our voice continues to grow louder each day. We have worked hard on making a name for ourselves. We have indie pride and we refused to let the naysayers take that pride away.
Do you agree? Disagree? Comment. I want to know your thoughts.