Monday, May 30, 2011

Why Go Indie? Control, Control, Control...

"The writing is on the wall...and the Kindle."







I love these stories.
Stories about old "legacy" model published authors switching to the indie publishing model (be it self-publishing or traditionally based small indie), and achieving so much success they can then make a good living from their fiction.

Terry ODell is one such author who, previously published by Five-Star/Gale is now pursuing self-publishing. In her newest blog at Terry's Place (http://terryodell.blogspot.com/2011/05/e-publishing-dangers.html), ODell spells out the pros and cons of making the move from the old publishing model to the new indie model. I'm repeating them here. And even though they are specific to her individual circumstances, I'm sure these pros and cons will speak to each and every author who frequents the Vox:

Pros:
No lengthy wait time.
Keeps "new" material in front of readers.
Royalty payments come directly to me.
It's not as much of a 'suspense' as the other books, and the 'covert ops' side of things is less of a focus, so it's quite likely the publisher wouldn't have acquired it anyway, since they no longer have a romance imprint.

Cons:
To ensure quality, I paid a free-lance editor and a cover artist out of pocket. I also made the decision to keep the cover "similar" in tone to the other Blackthorne books, even though it's not an obvious "romantic suspense." And because I used photographs I'd taken, I saved some money there.
I had to deal with the other things a publisher normally does. In the case of an e-book, that means formatting it for the various outlets (and there are different requirements for each). It also means I'm solely responsible for marketing.

Regardless of what's pro about ODell's situation or con, the one thing that sticks out most of all is the control she now has over her books. From writing, to bringing them to market, to editing, to cover design to marketing, she is solely responsible. No longer is she at the mercy of a publisher who might take three months to consider her new material only to reject it in the end, or what could even be worse, accept it but not publish it for a a year to two years and then hang on to the rights for a decade beyond that.

One thing I'll suggest to Terry is that if she considers editing and marketing a "con" she might think about submitting her material to a popular maverick indie press like StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink. It's true she would be expected to market like crazy on her own, but their marketing efforts would also increase her chances of breaking into the Top 100 Kindles and/or Nooks exponentially. She also wouldn't have to worry about editing, formatting, conversions, covers, etc. They would naturally do all that for her, allowing her more time and, more control over that time.

Time better spent writing.


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