Publishing101: Going Indie

As you can tell from my previous posts I am very sporadic at updating this blog, it is something I am trying to work on but I tend to blog when I feel the need to say something and a couple of things happened in the past couple of weeks which inspired me to write this post.

The first thing was a thread on the Kindleboards entitled “Getting rid of the indie stigma”, I found some of the posts were very interesting and the second thing was that I got an email from musician called Jason Manns, which was very unexpected and I might as well give him a quick plug and say that his second album “Soul” has just been released, so I hope that you check it out.

Anyway, these two events got me thinking about my decision to publish and the road I have decided to go down. Now, I think going Indie is the best thing for me and this choice might not be for everyone but you have to define your goals and choose the right path for your book. I have a motto which is: Anything is possible and that you should never give up on your dreams!

As I said in a previous post I know that going Indie will be hard not just because of all the work involved but also because for some strange reason if you want to go Indie and you’re a writer then you may have to deal with the stigma which really isn’t the case if you’re a musician or a film-maker but if you’re a writer then you are normally unfairly labelled an amateur or that your work is bad because you didn’t go the commercial route. Now, with all things there are good & bad, but I do think that is it wrong just to label something bad because of the way it was published. I have read some outstanding indie novels and I am proud to have them in my book collection, I am glad that these authors made their work available and I am hoping that I will have the pleasure of interviewing a new indie author, Michelle H, some time in the future and I have already interviewed Stefanie Ellis, author of the Gray Area Series, her interview can be found here.

So, I suppose the question I want to ask is: Why the stigma if you’re an indie author? If you do your homework & produce the best book you can then should it really matter if your book is a Lulu instead of a Random House or a Createspace instead of a Simon & Schuster. I know that others will disagree but at the end of the day you should do what you feel comfortable with and if you write an amazing book then that should be want counts.

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Publishing101: And so my journey begins…

On the 4th March it was World Book Day and I thought that it would be a good day to announce that I am going to be published.

But I am getting ahead myself and I should really go back to the beginning of this journey. When I started my ITS series many moons ago, I thought that the only way I would ever get my novel(s) in print would be if I got an agent who took a percentage and then sell it on to a publisher. Now, this was years ago and I was inexperienced and knew absolutely nothing about the publishing industry. If I am honest I don’t know much now but one thing I have learned over the years (and I learn new things everyday) is that I have options.

From just one option, which I thought was the commercial route, now I have several options and I can pick the publishing route for me. I haven’t always been this sure about my publishing path. I started my novel on a typewriter which I wanted to throw out of the window after just writing ten pages. But I am much more comfortable in with pen & paper and then copying everything to the computer, it’s a longer process but it is one that I feel is right for me.

I then started to ask myself the following questions:

Which agent do I query? Do I submit to publishers directly?

Those questions and a whole lot more were racing through my mind at a mile a minutes. So, I went into research mode and started to read/buy books that would help (this one is a good place to start) and I started the Internet. In turn, I realized that I only really liked/would trust two commercial publisher and three agents, which kind of limits the commercial route. But the great thing with research is that it opens doors that you never thought of opening. Okay, so commercial publishing was seeming more & more unlikely for me. But as I researched I kept on coming across a company called 1st Book Library (which is now called Authorhouse). When I found this company I thought, “Yes, my prayers have been answered.” The only thing I didn’t like was the price they were asking. Luckily, this was back in 2002 and I hadn’t even finished the rough draft let alone all the edits. So, I slowly pushed the Authorhouse idea to the back of my mind and started to focus once again on my writing.

I finished book one of the ITS series on 31st March 2006 but over the past four years apart for ill health I have gone through sporadic episodes of editing, rewriting and procrastination. The latter was/is what I do the most but a weird thing happened because I wasn’t physically writing/researching/editing my novel I was starting to research (again) about what would happen when the novel was completely completed.

I was already of the mind that I was on my second strike and it seemed that my options were getting less and less. That is when the idea of me becoming an Indie Author started to sound appealing, now, different people have different ways to describe what an Indie Author is… Some say that an Indie Author is someone that does everything themselves aka self-publish. While others say that an Indie Author is someone that uses tools available to put out a book. In both cases the bottom line is that you (the author) has full control. Having control over my novel(s) appeals to me, I know my limitations and at the end of the day you have to do what you feel is right for our book as well as yourself.

So, now it is 2010 and I know the journey I am going to undertake is going to be hard but if Frodo could make it to Mount Doom then I can do this (I just have to be extra wary of cave trolls & orcs *lol*)

It helps a lot that there are some amazingly talented Indie Authors out there that write helpful blog posts. Two such blogs are: Transmissions From The Exosphere which can be found here & Annotated Horror which can be found here, both are well worth a read.

I tell all my friends that whatever their dream is… They should keep reaching no matter what.

If you would like to read After Ann by F. P. Adriani you can buy it here. or De Bello Lemures, Or The Roman War Against the Zombies of Armorica
By Lucius Artorius Castus, Thomas Brookside from here (paperback) & here (Kindle).

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