Indie Publishing Part Two: The Strength of Our Why
Things to consider before boarding the indie train.
Question #1: Why would I indie publish?
Answer: As I hinted in “Part One: Say What?”, the route of traditional publishing has become increasingly challenging, with a smaller profit margin, even for established houses. For authors who want to get their books out to the reading public, but have not been able to pass through the doors of a traditional house for various reasons, there is another answer besides giving up: indie publishing.
The worldwide web offers many sites that explain in detail how to manage the elements of indie publishing. Besides this, there are thousands of freelancers out there who would be only too happy to help fill in the knowledge gaps we find in our skill set. This also means we must research and find reputable sites.
Question #2: Can I afford to go indie?
Short answer: This question will be answered in detail in my next blog, “Part Three: How’s That?”, but you can do some reading on it here.
Brief comment: There are ways to get around paying an exorbitant amount of money for the elements of publication we can’t or don’t want to do ourselves.
How strong is my “why”?
What is my goal for publication? I need to write it down so I can check back when I’m flagging.
There are several basic reasons for writing: to educate, to inspire, to entertain, to persuade…. But what are my reasons for publishing?
In my opinion, having a strong “why” is one of the most important aspects of the publishing journey.
Expanding on the answer to question #1: Why would an author consider independent publication?
There are several reasons why I prefer indie publishing:
As stated in Part One of this series, the traditional publishing houses are in constant flux. The probability of acceptance is steadily declining. Even if I have an excellent book, I might not find a place with a traditional press. That creates the frustration of writing without an outlet, without opportunity to find readers for my work.
Indie allows me to make the decisions as to the when, where, and how of my work. This, of course, involves planning, scheduling, prioritization, and self-discipline in order to meet my own deadlines. I choose an editor, a cover designer, a formatter, and once my manuscript is complete, it can be published in a matter of days instead of waiting for months for an acceptance, and then another year or more for publication. Life is constantly changing, and even though indie publishing can be frightening at times, with all there is to learn, it enables me to change with the times and to have some control over my works.
Then there’s the topic of out-of-print books (OOP). With a traditional house, once an author’s books have reached their saturation point, from the publisher’s perspective, the books will no longer be available online, except for used copies. At such a time, the publisher may offer the remaining print books to the author at a discount, thus ending the publisher’s interest in those books.
With indie publishing, and POD (print on demand), once authors place their books on Amazon or other online venues, they remain there for as long as that particular venue exists. If I want to re-release my OOP titles, I will need to find another publisher, which may be challenging, OR I can switch to indie and create new covers, a new title if I wish, procure a new ISBN number, and release them again, to be available to readers. I see this as a very good reason to put on my indie hat.
Janice L. Dick writes historical and contemporary fiction, inspirational articles and book reviews. She also edits and presents writing workshops.