Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Indie Road: The New Perspective


Okay, so you've decided to check this Indie thing out, or have firmly planted your foot on the road.

What now?

THE FIRST thing you need to do is grab this pretty pair of new glasses I have for you.

If you're a hybrid author, don't chuck your old glasses. You'll still need them.

But Indie glasses are important, because the view changes on this journey from what you're used to.

Write-a-book-edit-get-critiques-enter-contests-submittoagent-submittoeditor-pubboard-contract-editsomemore-PUBLISH --- that is basic traditional publishing sequence.

Indie looks similar, but oh-so different.

You still write a book.

You still edit it.

You can still get critiques, and you can still enter contests if you want, but this takes on a whole new look.

No longer are you polishing those first three chapters until they are spic-n-span shiny for an agent/editor.

You are editing every word of your novel for READERS. They are your 100% priority. (well, we are Christian authors, so I would argue that GOD is our 100% priority, but that doesn't mean you forget that your readers are your audience.)

But regardless, you are trying to attract readers, not an agent or editor. These edits and critiques are no longer going to "gatekeepers" (I'm careful with that word because it inspires lots of feelings on both sides of the fence!) So YOU are responsible for making sure they are "buy" worthy.

Yes, you can (and probably SHOULD) hire an editor. But you still have the final call. It's a big responsibility. Some are excited about this, because YOU have control over the content your readers get. Some are petrified that the responsibility now rests with them.

Regardless of your feelings on the matter, you need to understand this new perspective.

The other big perspective shift is publishing.

YOU are the publisher. Sure, you can outsource a lot of it. Find a cover designer, editor, formatter. Hire a marketing firm.

But whether you tackle it yourself or hire it out, it still is costly --either in time for learning/doing, money for hiring out, or money because you have no sales because you did it and stunk at it. Sorry, just being blunt here!

So understand this new job of yours as publisher. You are not just a writer.

The good news is -- you get perks for this new job. Like larger percentages of royalties (70% in most cases when you price your book $2.99 or more) You also can have control over your sales, have real-time data of how well sales are working, and no more fearing of a horrid cover that you hate. Nope, if you hate the cover, it's YOUR fault because YOU are the publisher now.

Another change is the timeline. Traditional publishing, you're used to a LOT of awaiting. Like in months/years.

You still wait in indie publishing. But mostly you're waiting on yourself. And the other waiting is like "days" verses months. You can set your own deadlines/timelines, which can be a pro or con.

Let's Chat.

What do you think? Does this new set of glasses make you grin or fill you with fear? Are you excited about the idea of being your own boss or no-so-much?

**UPDATE** I picked a winner for the drawing last month, and it is Kathy R! Kathy, please send me an email (krista at kristaphillips.com) to claim your prize!

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Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and writes romantic comedy. Her latest book A Side of Love, released February 29, 2016.  She blogs about finding JOY in the journey of LIFE at http://www.kristaphillips.com. She is represented by Sarah Freese of Wordserve Literary.

3 comments:

Robin Mason said...

hullo Krista! thanks for a great post! three years ago, i wrote. at the suggestion of a good friend, i fell into the Indie camp. no clue what i was doing but getting my baby out in the world! the advantage, to me, is no deadlines imposed on me beyond my control; the disadvantage, to me, is also no deadlines imposed on me beyond my control..... i get too distracted by too many—ooohhh! lookie! SQUIRREL!!! LOL

Alicia G. Ruggieri said...

Personally, I *love* the "new set of glasses." :-) I love both the feeling of control and responsibility that they bring --- and I love being able to write the stories that God has laid upon my heart without (always) having to wonder if this is something a publisher/agent will want to pick up. The indie way has also driven me to become more self-disciplined because there is no one to force me to meet deadlines, etc. -- no one except myself and the readers who are waiting for the next story! Thankful to God for this new path.

Great post! Sharing. :-)

Krista Phillips said...

Robin... squirrels get me too!!!!

Alicia... yup, they are definitely some cool glasses. A little different. A little daunting at times. But cool :-)