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Blogoff 2: 7 Advantages of Being an Indie Author

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7 Advantages of Being an Indie Author

The other day I had fantasies of smacking a writer on the side of his head and in my horrible Italian accent scream, “What’s a matter for you?” This writer has a “possible agent” interested in his work, who gave him the advice to use a backstory for his first opening chapter instead of the exciting material he originally wrote. The backstory was boring and confusing. If someone reads a sample of that first chapter they would have yawned and looked for another book to read. The first line and paragraph of a book is supposed to be so intriguing that it pulls the reader right in and itching to read more. What was that agent thinking?

I can understand and respect that some authors choose to have their books published by a publisher, or to be a hybrid author, which means they have self-published books and their other books are with a big or small publishing house. However, I see far more advantages for authors to become Indie authors, and here are seven reasons why.

  1. You have complete control over how the book is written. You write on any topic you want, make it a short or long book, or even have an exciting opening chapter. Publishers are all about what sells and makes money. The majority of Indie authors write and self-publish what is dearest to their heart. Readers will absorb that energy while reading a book, which usually makes it a more enjoyable read.
  2. As a self-publisher you get to choose when and where to publish your book. You don’t have to wait many months or years to have others’ approval to publish your book and wait even longer to see it finally in print.
  3. Indie authors have the choice of what their title is and what the cover looks like for their book. Can you imagine spending years for a publisher to accept your work? Your time and sweat goes into writing the book, and you have no say in the title or cover? There might be some publishing houses that will accept your input, yet the final choice is theirs. As an Indie author you have total control over the title and cover. We have all seen horrible covers from publishers and Indie authors! Please design it well or pay a professional to design your cover. A book is judged by its cover.
  4. You have the copyright for the book you wrote. If the publisher has the copyright they own the book to do has they please. One example is Janet Evanovich had no say in regard to who the actors were in the movie One for the Money. She did do a short video on who she would of have chosen for her characters (which I preferred), but none of her choice actors were in the movie based on her book. An important thing to consider about copyrights is with the changes in the publishing industries occurring and the rise of Indie authors, publisher’s contracts are making it a lot harder for authors to get their copyrights back.
  5. Nonfiction authors need to write a book proposal letting the publisher know who the target audience is, your credentials, other books already published on the topic, table of contents, sample chapters, and your promotional plans. I started to do one and thought to myself, “My God! I might as well write the book,” and that is exactly what I did.
  6. Publishing companies don’t do much in regards to promoting your book. That’s right, you are responsible for the majority or all of the marketing. Many authors want to write, not do any marketing, and let someone else do it. What a fantasy! If you do pay someone or a company to promote your work, expect to pay the big bucks with no guarantees that it will work. Marketing is hard work! You might as well do it for yourself instead of a company.
  7. And the number one reason for being an Indie author is you get to keep all the profits anywhere from thirty-five to seventy, or eighty-five percent when dealing with book distributors. Or hundred percent if you sell them on your website, book signings, or lectures. Instead of getting a small percentage or if you’re lucky an advance which has to be paid back by book sales before you receive another cent. Yes, you need to invest money for your book: a cover, someone to format your eBook and paperback, an editor, and a blog/website. The investment is worth it to produce the best product for sale. And at least you created the book of your dreams, not someone else’s vision.

Would you self-publish your book? Do you have any other advantages for self-publishing to add in the comments?

Pamela Cummins specializes in relationships, dream interpretation, and self-growth. To learn more or contact her, please visit www.pamelacummins.com

  1. Natalia LialinaNatalia Lialina12-10-2016

    I agree with all you wrote about being an indie author. I think for independent thinkers, it is such a fantastic tool that put the creative power back in their hands! There are many types of writers, and some people have a talent and skills that they are happy to sell to publishers – which is fine. But if you have ideas that are dear to your heart, and you can’t accept any possibility of anyone else’s control over it, then self-publishing is for you. I am an indie author. Together with my brother who illustrated my stories, and my husband who worked out all the technicalities of the process, we self-published our first three books this year. It was a lot of work, but it was an exciting work – we learned (and are still learning) tons about the process, but we are doing what we love, and you just can’t beat that!

    Thank you for your article. I will be sharing it with other creative writers!

  2. The reason many authors prefer agents and/or publishers over self-publishing is that the number of copies of the average self-published book sold is eight (8). Also, publishers provide numerous services that self-published authors pay through the nose for. Thirdly, many publishers pay advances to authors, which self publishers will never receive. Fourthly, many influential media outlets will not review self-published books. Now do you understand?

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