You know how we always say, “Just when I thought I’d heard it all”? Well, I read a blog post by Dean W. Smith about authors actually giving cover artists 15% of their sales forever in exchange for a cover. Picture me slapping my forehead and crying out, “Huh? A cover artist???” Seriously folks, there is no need to give anyone a cut of your indie sales. No. Reason. If you don’t know where to start ask me. I only bite on Mondays.
Maybe I should have titled this post “Fear”. That’s a common theme I hear from traditionally published authors when I talk about indie publishing. Fear of technology; fear of having to learn a new set of skills; even fear of talking to other writers and looking stupid because of what they don’t about this new publishing landscape.
I understand to some extent. Traditionally published authors are used to writing the book, handing it to a publisher and everything is done (cover, blurbs, proofreading,etc.) One writer who wants to sell her first book said, “I want to get a traditional deal, because I don’t want to mess with all that stuff. I just want to write.”
Even if writers only want to go the traditional route, please know you must handle your business. Especially learn about contract clauses and what they mean, and how to read royalty statements. Otherwise you’re saying, “I’m closing my eyes and signing because I trust you guys.” As I told one writer, that’s like handing a stranger a set of keys to your house, your credit cards and check card and saying, “Here you go; handle all this for me. I just want to write.” Would you do that?
People are standing by to profit from this fear of indie publishing. I’ve heard of writers spending thousands to pay for things you can do for free; paying big bucks for cover designs. I paid $40 for my first indie cover. Does it look professional?
Network with writers who are indie publishing. Be like Captain Kirk and crew; be bold, but do your homework. So far I’ve indie published thirteen books and two boxed sets. I had zero clues when I started – had to ask “What’s a mobi? Epub, what’s that?”
What are your fears about indie publishing? I’ll be glad to share what I know.