I am pretty sick of hearing that word. It gets a bad rep these days. For most of us, Indie = Hipster, and that’s either good or bad depending on how you feel about it.
In this context, Indie really does not equal Hipster. Indie is free from the man, the oppression of society, free from the grind… Indie is self loooove.
Indie publishing is pretty cool, but it’s a lot like being lost in the middle of nowhere or keeping float in a massive body of water with no paddle and no boat. Well, kind of. More like having both but having no map or compass. With traditional publishing, you’re on a cruise liner. Produce the money and you’ve got your vacation sorted. Indie? That’s exactly what I said before. Or you’re on a desert island – paradise for some people, nightmare for others. No map, no direction. But total, total freedom.
For some this is the worst thing imaginable. They want that cruise liner, they need it. They need direction for their holiday and they’re willing to sell their soul for it.
Well, not quite that bad. I am definitely not biased at all…
Seriously though, there are pros and cons of either. You get a lot of the stuff done for you with traditional publishing, and if that’s your jam, go for it. I’m not going to stop you. It really does suit some people. It’s just super not for me. Why? Because I think being an indie author is so much better. I mean, if you’re totally into writing for the money, self-publishing is definitely not for you. You have to put a lot of your own money and time into this, which can then result in little gain for a lot of effort.
But if you purely want to create stories, share your worlds and characters and give something to the world that you’ve created, by all means – self publish! Be independent! Make your mark your way! Cut out the middlemen and take your destiny by the horns and make it your b***h!
Ahem. Okay, but you get the idea. It’s a lot easier to have creative freedom. It’s also a lot harder because you’re on your own. Of course, YOU can pay for the editor and the beta testers and the reviewers and the marketing, if you want? But you can also learn to do a lot of it yourself. Sometimes that’s a slog. Sometimes it’s super fun. I guess it all comes down to how much you want it and how much you want to take control of. Also, how much money you have to invest.
Protip: do not invest in printed, physical copies of your book until you’ve tried some sort of ebook. And I highly recommend looking at how to get your book noticed in the sea of ebooks that are already out there. Of course you stand a good chance if your manuscript is already half decent – but seriously, there are some awful books out there, riddled with grammar issues and infected with typos. Please for the love of the indie industry, make sure your book is edited better than those guys.
If you want this enough, you’ll be willing to put in a lot of work. After all, what’s a few more hours of work on top of what you’ve already invested in order to write the damn thing? If you can get through that, you can get through anything!
I will be writing more on this when I go through the process myself, but until then, take this as a little starter. There are tonnes of resources online and testimonies from other authors who have already gone down this route to try and test it. Their advice is definitely worth reading!
Have you got experience of self publishing? I’d love to hear about it!