Since I started this journey, I’ve learned a lot of things. I’ve learned that as an indie author – I can’t always do it alone, that the finished product I thought was ‘awesome’ was only mediocre at best. I’ve learned that there has to come a time when I realize I can’t do it all – that there are others around me who know how to do it better than I.
I’ve also learned that being an indie author means freedom. Freedom to write what I want to write, to experiment in different genres before realizing what you knew in the first place is where you need to be. I’ve learned how important it is to write for me and my readers and to always remember who my readers are.
I’ve learned that being an indie author means having my dreams come true. It means writing for a living and being able to see a debt-free future that isn’t too far off. It means loving my career and feeling satisfied that the steps I’ve made are the right ones.
I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it until we hear it more often from other authors. I am in no ways anti-agent or anti-publisher. I’m ALL for being successful in any venue and that includes whether it’s epublishing, self publishing or traditional publishing. I’m excited when I hear of authors who experience success in any venue and I am a firm believer that there shouldn’t be any ‘this or that’ grouping. It’s sad when you hear of indie who are in the ‘screw the agent/publisher’ grouping and you hear of traditional authors who are ‘screw the indies’ grouping. It shouldn’t be that way. We should all be there for each other to support one another. We all have the same dream, the same goal. Right?
Currently I’m published through epublishing and self publishing. One day perhaps traditional publishing. An indie author means realizing that this is a journey that I can’t do on my own. I need editors who know their craft. I need people who know how to market to help me. I need someone to help with foreign rights. I need someone to write a script and sell to producers. Sure – I can learn these things, but then it pulls me away from writing – and let’s all be honest – I’d rather be writing 🙂
What about you? What does being indie mean to you?
Choice, baby, choice!!
Sing it loud and sing it proud.
Live large Steena!!
Choices! Exactly! That’s the beauty, isn’t it!
Steena you are right on with this post. When even the publishing editors are telling their writers that they fully expect them to have both a “traditional” publishing career and a “self-published” one, you know we have entered a bold, new world!
WOW C.J. This surprises me and excites me at the same time! Really? So it’s possible we can start to see people move away from this mindset … hopefully …
Steena, you are such a wonderful role model and spokesperson for indie authors … for all authors, in fact. It has been such a pleasure to watch your career unfold! You have grown in so many ways as a writer and when you share your thoughts about the craft and publishing, your words are very meaningful. You are truly living the experience and learning so much along the way. As you say, “we need to be celebrating the fact we have a choice at all – something that was unheard of even a few years ago!” Kudos to you!
Patricia – if we don’t grow as writers, then we become stagnant and our dreams die. Thank you for your kind words darlin!
Steena this is a great post. I love that there is a choice, not that I know the road I want to take yet, but just knowing I have options is liberating! 🙂
Coleen – the thing I love most – is that any road we take is the right one! It’s all a personal decision based on what OUR dreams and goals are! We shouldn’t be ashamed about our decisions and since the end goal is the same for everyone – we should be helping one another get there! Good luck darlin!
Wonderful post, Steena. I love today’s publishing world because it gives us all the freedom to choose. You said it so well. 🙂
Congratulations! I’m glad it’s going so well for you. I’m putting out a novella next month and am terrified. It’s good to hear success stories!
Fingers crossed for you Beth – it’s an exciting path and you’re not alone – just remember that!
Steena, self publishing has open a huge door for me. The greatest thing about self publishing is that there is no gatekeeper between me and my readers.
I love what you said about wanting each author to find his or her best path. There’s plenty of room on the book shelves (including virtual ones ;)) for all of us. I say the more, the better—especially in the case of loving, talented writers like you. Thanks for this post, Steena. You make indie-authors and all authors look good!
August, you know what I love the most? Is that we can all join together to make each other successful – regardless of what road we take. We all have to market. We all are looking for the best ways to promote. If we all help each other – it’s amazing how far we could go 🙂 YOU are an excellent example of this!
Well said, Steena. The strife between the indies and the traditionals is sad and frustrating – both sides need to support the other. I chose to go indie with my second book because I wanted the control, but there is value to being publishing traditionally, whether it be with a small press or big house.
Stacy, we need to be celebrating the fact we have a choice at all – something that was unheard of even a few years ago!
Fully agree. I am self published and have a middle grade coming out with a small press in the fall. But I’m for writers reaching their dreams and being happy with whatever publishing route chooses them best!
Laura you are an excellent example of someone bridging the gap and being successful! You are only going to go higher from here and I can’t wait to see where your journey takes you!
Nice post, Steena. I was blissfully unaware of the, er, disagreements between the indies and the trads until recently. (Sounds kind of like “West Side Story” doesn’t it?) I’ve been published in various ways for years. So far, I can say that being an indie is hard — and so is trad publishing. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. In my mind, it’s all about the author’s goals. If you want your hard copy books to be widely distributed in bookstores around the globe, for example, that’s a tough goal to achieve as an indie. On the other hand, I received reader e-mail yesterday from Orkney! Indie books are being read around the globe! My trad published work rarely reached such remote locations. I’m hoping authors will soon discover a way to work peaceably together. Posts like yours should help. Thanks!
“Both have their strengths and weaknesses” – neither are perfect but they both accomplish the same thing – authors realizing their dreams. Why we keep ‘disagreeing’ is beyond me. We should be supporting one another. Thanks for listening Diane!
Well said, Steena. Writers, and readers, have more options now, and that is fantastic.
More options – that’s what matters, isn’t it!
Great article and a wonderful way of looking at the industry. I agree with every word.
totally agree – either works. it’s important ONLY to find what works for you. That being said, as an indie author I know more about the strife and strain of that route, so can identify with it more easily. But that’s just being human.
I agree that “indie” equals “freedom.”
I’ve been published through small presses and ezines but I love the freedom of not being owned by some big cold house. My publisher Pink Narcissus Press is like my second family–they make me feel like I write my novels just for them.
However, I also have the freedom to publish the rest of my writing wherever the words fall–and, as a result, I’ve met so many great and wonderful editors.
I just recently discovered Smashwords publishing so I am learning how to format my own work–a priceless experience that indies relish. Our freedom, our control. That’s what indie means to me.
Steena, I was recently nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award…and I am passing that honor on to you! Thanks for keeping a great blog.
Ash, thanks for the honor! Freedom and control – that’s a good reason to like being indie.
Fabulous and honest blog. With a few writers conferences under my belt and time in a wonderful writers’ critique group, I finally see it is okay to self publish or spend years querying agents and publishers. I believe it has to be a personal choice and one made between the author and God, the author and their family, and it is so a TEAM project.
I look forward to the next few months as I join the ranks of indie authors. It will be busy, exciting, busy, focused, busy, and a blessed time with God at the helm
Self publishing does not have the same rap it used to have. Some of the self published books I see in the book store are more appealing than others because it truly is the author’s baby.
Thank you Steena! So looking forward to “Emma’s Secret” and count me in as one to help you promote with a blog and review. 🙂
Keep writing and seeking help! My first book is set to come out in April 2013 and it is only with many people’s feedback, expertise, and support that this is possible.
Lisa M. Buske
Lisa – I can’t wait to read your book when it comes out! Having options is a wonderful thing and being able to choose the route you want to take is so important! That’s where the freedom aspect comes in.