From a young age, I knew I wanted to be an author. I started writing at a young age and loved creating stories in my head. I had big dreams of being on the New York Times Bestseller List and winning a Pulitzer Prize in journalism.
This was way before I understood all the ins and outs of publishing and book sales and all that excellent stuff. My dreams these days are a little tamer but still point to success.
Just on a smaller scale is all; this is why I became an indie author.
As I grew older, the yearning to write and publish a book stuck with me. The thing is, I didn’t know where to start.
Initially, I was going to save my money and publish through what I now know is called a vanity press. These people are like sharks in suits.
You pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars for them to publish your book, and all you get out of the deal is several hundred books gathering dust in your basement. I’m so glad I didn’t take that route.
Traditional publishing doesn’t provide the benefits that most people think either.
People think, “Oh, I’ll go with a traditional publisher, and they will do all the promotion and marketing for me. All I have to do is sit back and watch the royalty payments roll in.”
However, this is not how it works at all.
Authors that traditionally publish have to work just as hard at marketing and promotion. The only thing a traditional publisher will do for you is to deliver your books to the bookstore. That’s it.
How do I know this? An influencer I follow was going to publish traditionally, and when he asked the publishing company what they can do for him, they told him the only thing they do is deliver the books to the bookstore.
How do the big dogs get all their promotion? They hire a team to work for them. Having a marketing team is something all of us indies dream of having one day, but until then we have to put in the hard work ourselves.
Being an Indie
Consequently, I saw a segment on CBS This Morning about an author named Jasinda Wilder, who self-published her first book, and I was intrigued.
I decided that day (January 1, 2014) that I was going to publish a book in a year. A year and three months later, I published my first book of poetry, and I’ve never looked back.
I have published three books of poetry and two children’s books. I’m currently working on my first romance novel in a new series.
I also have ideas for many more titles in my Boys Will Be Boys series.
Being an indie author gives me a lot of freedom creatively. I get to decide what my cover looks like and provide input on my illustrations.
My dream team is who I want to work with, and I love that. This is a journey of constant learning, and I’m always striving to change things and do them better.
Even with all its ups and downs, I wouldn’t trade being an indie author for the world.
Have you thought about becoming an indie author? Are you on the fence about whether you want to go traditional or indie? I would love to know in the comments.
To find out more about my journey, read How I Became an Indie Author.