Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting Started: Network with Other Indies

Last weekend I spent a fantastic couple of days with my group of author friends. We browsed through a historic Kentucky town, enjoyed a fantastic lunch hosted by one of our very own, and toured a famous horse-farm. And that was just the first part of day one! Throughout the weekend we laughed, learned, talked, brainstormed, ate, and just generally enjoyed our time together. And you know what I noticed? We are all SO different! We all ordered different things at dinner. Some drank water, some soft drinks, others a glass of wine. Some saved room for desserts, others passed. During our writer workshop, some dressed casually in jeans and flip-flops (me!), others wore slacks, skirts and the like.

The differences are what make us such a unique group of writers. The differences keep our times together interesting. Our differences UNITE us.

Our experiences, preferences, and processes for independent publishing are also quite varied. While we’ve helped each other and supported each other, each author’s journey into Indie Publishing has been unique. That’s one of the things I love about Indie Publishing… it allows for the differences that exist between writers. We are free to make the decisions that work best for each of our individual situations.

For example, several Indie authors I know do their own formatting for e-Book and print versions. Kudos to them! I am envious of their patience and ability! For me, the formatting was something I did not want to tackle on my own. I didn’t feel confident in my ability to do it right the first time, so I opted to use a formatting service. The money I spent having my manuscript professionally formatted was worth every penny! When my book was released, the formatting was correct from the get-go, something I doubt I could’ve accomplished had I chosen to go that route alone.

There are lots of other decisions Indie Authors must consider. Do I purchase my own ISBN numbers or let the retailers I use assign identification numbers for me? Do I hire a cover artist or am I “techie” enough to try that on my own? Do I pay for an objective edit or trust the critique group I’ve already established to do all my editing? Do I price my book according to word count or take advantage of a program that allows for free or discounted versions of my book? I could go on, but you get the picture. These are just a few of the things Indie Authors consider when preparing a book for publication. And for each author, the answer to each question is a unique and personal decision.

But one thing is constant: the authors in our “circle”. The authors here on this blog supported me every step of the way, and continue to do so. There is never a question too stupid or too huge. There is never an idea too preposterous. There is never a moment when they are not there. We are different. We are unique. And we are united.

So, my advice to all who may be considering the idea of Indie Publishing is to find a network of authors with whom you can share your journey. The camaraderie you’ll experience will be invaluable, and as you make each of those decisions mentioned above (and countless others) the authors in your circle will be there to answer your questions, calm your fears, and cheer you on.

Writing is a solitary venture… but it so much more rewarding when we share it with each other!

Post by author, Amy Durham

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