Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our experiences of being Indie authors

Over the last decade, "Indie" has been applied to any form of the arts that breaks away from the traditional to present something "independent" of it. The second part is that the independent  presentation is sold independently as well which allows the creator to make a significant profit from his or her creation. It has been applied to music, movies, and now to writers who self-publish and sell their own work.

Most members in this group have been members of the romance industry for many, many years. The average of our collective writing experience is over fifteen years. The average of our collective  publishing experience is less than five. Instead of that statistical fact being about talent, it is instead about the fierce competition within the romance industry to publish. Traditional publishing houses are a business and buy only what they think they can sell. No matter how wonderful your work is or how great a writer you are, if you do not fit the model of the book they are looking for at the time your work is submitted and read by an editor--or if there is anything wrong with it from lack of experience--then the rejections pile up. Direct submissions of work without an agent supporting the author are not even widely accepted anymore. First time published authors routinely start at small presses who have more open minds and more motivation to try new writers, but even those are inundated now with submissions.

So if you have been writing for years and years, and are convinced you have talent, what can you do?

Many members of our group have become Indie authors because they tried the traditional route, but couldn't find a willing agent or publisher for even their most highly polished work. Others became Indies became they were successful traditionally, but were looking for a way to keep their back listed titles (already out-of-print) alive and selling. In the last year, several members published their first books and have sold the financial equivalent of a small book payout in our industry which translates to roughly $15,000.00.  Some have sold much more. Some are still working to market and sell their first novel. But all members now have the hope of finding readers willing to buy their work, which is the greatest benefit of adopting the vision of self-publishing.

In the comments section of this post, I am encouraging our founding members to write a brief statement about their publishing journey to inspire those who are interested in hearing this information.

Post by Donna McDonald

Interesting links: Print Publishing

The Shatzkin Files: Two questions that loom over the trade publishing business--This blog post contains some interesting information about the history of Ingram and Amazon competing for print publishing business. Posted 2/29/2012