Friday, July 4, 2014

Indie Authors - Happy Independence Day

Independence! I recently did an interview with two bestselling authors regarding the choice to go traditional or independent, or both. By both I mean being a hybrid author. That was the main topic of discussion. I was reminded how fortunate authors are nowadays, whether we choose to go traditional because we have that opportunity, or choose not to go that route after being offered, or we decide that self-pub is best - what a blessing it is to have choices.

Being an indie does give writers more freedom to take risks. It allows for more artistic freedom, and an opportunity to make all of the decisions about the title, cover, release date, price, edits, story direction, format, etc. It also means that an author will generally earn more per book, depending upon split percentages and bottom line expenses. While trade authors usually have the benefit of better distribution, many indie authors have found ways to publish online and are selling sometimes hundred of books per day. Being an indie, we know our sales, profits, promotional discount choices, etc., and we don't have to earn out an advance. But a lot of top traditional authors who are making lists are selling a lot of books because they have built their readership base, and they're doing very well with their contract percentages, and escalators.

We must do the math, look at the big picture, and decide which titles we want to go ahead and publish directly ourselves, or shop the ones we'd like to do with majors, or small press.

But gone are the days of authors giving up on stories altogether because we haven't been picked up. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and many other online retailers exist, and ebooks are as popular as ever. And also, print books can be profitable when offered on a print-on-demand basis, and when printed in bulk.

We have so many choices, and much more power. The biggest stumbling block sometimes is getting books into the brick and mortar stores, but even that can be accomplished if the right avenues are taken.

But the bottom line is getting the word out, whether the book has a major logo on the spine, or an indie logo. Promotion is key - social media, websites, blogtalk, book blasts, contests, discounts, tours, blogging, online chats, local TV news, drive-time radio, magazine ads, reviews, talk shows, book clubs, blog tours, etc., as well as some authors who have billboards and expensive subway ads, we're all in the same boat, indie or major, when it comes to generating the all important word of mouth.

And so on this day, the 4th of July, the day when we celebrate our nation's independence, I also celebrate indie authors. Cheers, do your thing, and don't ever let anyone tell you that you won't see your book published. Yes you can!!!

Happy Independence Day!

Write on!


Charles Gramlich said...

Promotion is key. And agony.

Marissa Monteilh said...

So true, very necessary and very much agony!

Liane Spicer said...

Belated happy Independence Day! I'm a hybrid author and while I love the independence and the choices I now have, I'm with Charles. Doing the promo is a huge challenge for me.

Jewel Amethyst said...

whether traditional, indie or hybrid, promotion must be done. But like Charles says, such agony!

Marissa Monteilh said...

It's the agony and the ecstacy - truly, Liane and Jewel! :) :)