Part of the Indie Author Series
I was having a conversation with a traditionally published author, and each time I brought up a question or idea, her reply was, “I’ll have to ask my publisher.”
As an indie author, that concept has become foreign to me. I used to say, “I’ll have to ask my agent.” But now that I’ve jumped into independent waters, I appreciate how I don’t have to begin sentences with, “I’ll have to ask...”
There are multiple roads to publication, including the wonderful avenue of indie publishing. For many authors, traditional publishing is perfect for them. For others, it’s hybrid publishing. For me, indie publishing is the answer to a wish I didn’t even know I had.
Allow me to share my favorite “don’t have to ask” qualities of indie publishing:
Indies don’t have to ask if they can publish their books
We all have manuscripts hidden on our hard drives that probably shouldn’t be published. But if we wanted to publish them? We could. We don’t have to ask for permission.
If we have the one--the story that burns in our hearts and longs to be told--we don’t have to worry about whether or not it’ll ever been seen by readers.
We don’t even have to ask when. Is the book ready now? Publish it. Want to tackle it next year? Wait. Want to store up a trilogy and publish all three books at once? The choice is yours.
Indies don’t have to ask if they can switch genres
Are you writing YA romance, but long to venture into adult noir? Do you write middle grade, but want to dip your literary toe into self-help? No problemo. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your agent reps the new genre. You don’t have to fret about mixing brands with your worried publisher. Indies can publish what they want when they want to.
Bogged down marketing departments don’t decide if your book is worthy
If an indie author has invested his own time and money into a project, he automatically feels it’s worthy of telling others about it. We don’t have to ask for permission to buy an ad, or participate on a panel. Indies are responsible for their own marketing, but most traditionally published authors are as well. With indie publishing, a committee doesn’t decide if your book is worth investing in--you do.
Indies don’t ask for permission to pursue other income streams
Want to venture into non-fiction, audiobooks, podcasting, online courses, or apps? Go for it! No need to ask for permission. There are no conflicts of interest.
One friendly reminder: quality matters. A lot. Just because we want to publish a book doesn’t mean buyers will think it’s worth their cash. We must edit the manuscript until it’s shiny, invest in a quality cover, and make sure it’s formatted properly. Let’s take pride in what we put on the digital shelves.
Have you indie published yet? Are you on the fence? Do you like the idea of not needing permission, or does that make you nervous? Please share!
Julie Musil writes from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her Young Adult novels, The Summer of Crossing Lines and The Boy Who Loved Fire, are available now. For more information, or to stop by an say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
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