The main reason is INDEPENDENCE. I remember as a child dreaming of becoming a writer. As I got older with a bit more knowledge under my belt, I dreamed of one day becoming a published author. After having read many stories of how authors were rejected over and over again, and how hard it was to break into the publishing business, after a while, the thought completely left my mind.
Then one day (later in my life), I read an article about a self-published author who had become a New York Times Bestseller. I’ve told the story before of how I reached out to her, how we communicated back and forth until I got to the part about her sharing with me her secrets, then all conversation came to a screeching halt (another reason there is now RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, where support and non-competition are both high priorities)…that’s when the desire inside of me immediately started to grow again. And, it didn’t hurt that Amazon was waiting for me with open arms to make that dream a reality.
After doing my research and hearing the sad stories of authors and their piles of rejection letters, I decided that no matter how good I was or how great I’d become, I would remain Indie. I know some of you live for this “acceptance” as we’ll call it, but you know, while some are spending much time on writing query letters, and praying that their one millionth query letter will receive a positive response, I view that time as time I could devote to writing the next great read.
I have often said, that should a publishing house come looking for me (as I won’t go looking for them) and are interested in my writing, I might sell the rights to one of my books, but all of them, I seriously doubt it. Only if I’m old, my eyesight has left me and Mr. Arthritis has stolen the use of both hands, will I give them more than that.
Some think that we’re all Indie Authors because we have to be, and that is so far from the truth. So, today, I’m going to give you the top 11 reasons I CHOOSE to be an Indie Author.
- I have the freedom to publish what I want, how I want and when I want. Not having a publisher allows me to have complete control over my writing and the freedom to write when the spirit hits me;
- I don’t have to write under just one genre. When you are traditionally published, you are most often boxed into that category which your publisher found you under. To date, I have published a novel, 2 non-fiction titles and a poetry book. I currently have plans for a children’s book and a memoir (wouldn’t you all just love that one?). If I were traditionally published, I doubt that I’d get to give you all what you wanted;
- I get to decide how my book covers should look. As a traditionally published author, you tend to have limited say in this department;
- I can set the price for my books and change the price of my books whenever I want. I have heard many horror stories of others who wanted to run specials on their books but couldn’t. Some had to get “permission” from their publishers and others knew well in advance, that permission would never be given, so they didn’t even bother to ask. Whenever I feel like a price change, I merely run to Amazon or my own site where autographed copies of my paperbacks are sold, and simply place a new number behind that dollar sign;
- I can write/produce at my own speed. As a traditionally published author, you typically promise to put out X number of books on someone elses timetable. As an Indie Author, I can publish 1 book a year or 20 books a year, if I so choose. The only contract I’m under, is the one I’ve signed in my head between me and myself;
- My books can be as long or as short as I want them to be. In the past (I’m not sure about today’s trends), publishers have expected that the books they publish will be of a certain length. Again, someone else is telling you how much to write. As an Indie Author, I can write a 400+ page, full-length novel, a novella or even a 10 page short story and publish them all;
- I don’t have to submit anywhere. As I mentioned earlier, as an Indie Author, I don’t need an agent and I don’t have to sit at the mercy of, or chase after publishing houses. Can you imagine the number of talented authors who spend all their time querying publishers for that ONE book, when they could put that talent to use and make those awesome contributions to the literary public right now?
- I can correct mistakes almost immediately. I once found a few typos in a traditionally published author’s book so I reached out to them, to make them aware of this (I mean, they really couldn’t have knowledge of this and their book was still being sold, right?). The author said to me, “Well, that’s just too bad. I have a publisher and they won’t make any changes until they’ve sold all the copies that they have printed and in stock.” WOW! How sad is that? Anytime I find an error in one of my books, I jump off my treadmill, run to Amazon, make the correction and re-publish! Voila! The corrected copy is online and ready for sale in a matter of (sometimes) minutes;
- I continue to learn so much about the publishing side of things. Many of us, when we become traditionally published authors, tend to rely on what we are “told” for the most part. We take at face value, what these professionals are feeding us, because, they are the professionals right? As a self-published author, I am my own publisher, therefore, I am gaining tremendous satisfaction from knowing that I know my business inside and out;
- The support I get from the Indie community. You know, when I first started out in this business, it was a little difficult getting my feet thru the door because I was running into these traditionally published authors who thought that they were better than a little Indie Author like me. Because of this, I founded RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB where members are strongly encouraged to “serve” others and to support their fellow members. Many of you already know this awesome community, but for those of you who don’t, check out what the members have to say about it under WHAT RRBC HAS DONE FOR ME;
- Ladies and Gents, the number eleven reason why I choose to be an Indie Author: I would have to work just as hard to promote and market my work as a traditionally published author as I do as an Indie Author. And, since that’s the case, why not remain Indie and reap more of the benefits that I’ve listed above? It’s the only smart thing to do!
My fellow board member at RRBC and RWISA member, Beem Weeks, owns a shirt that sums it all up so well. Take a look:
And there you have it! The top 11 reasons I choose to be an Indie Author. Do any of my reasons match yours? Are you spending your time wishing for a publisher to come knocking at your door, or, are you spending that time writing the next great novel? Tell us, what are your reasons for being Indie?