Author Topic: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?  (Read 3004 times)

Harald

Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« on: September 24, 2018, 02:49:25 AM »
I'll start. For me, it really comes down to two main reasons:

1. I didn't want to wait and wait and wait to get my latest story out in book form. Agents, editorial boards... I knew the drill and had heard the latest anecdotal evidence that it was getting harder and harder to get past the gatekeepers. My non-fiction books had been hits and I was welcomed into the trad-pub arena with those, but with fiction—which I was NOT known for (and with it being 10-12 years later)—it seemed like a different world for authors. And for me. And I was not willing to sit around and wait for other people to make up their minds.

2. I wanted control. Not only had I heard lots of stories from authors not having control over covers, promotional activities (mostly nonexistent), ability to keep selling beyond "your 6 week-window is up, book isn't selling, see ya," et al, but I knew how to design/format, I knew marketing, and I could hire editors freelance as needed. I wasn't just a Writer; I was an Author/Publisher. And I wanted to make the decisions.

I'm not saying the Indie Way is for every author (heck, I don’t how many here are Indies or even if that's the focus of this new forum), but I like it.

What do others say?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 10:32:46 AM by Harald »
 
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Simon Haynes

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 03:03:25 AM »
I can't take traditional publishing's glacial timescales. And I like to make lots of mistakes and learn from them.

Most of all, I love the fact my current best-selling title was written in 2002.



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Maggie Ann

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 03:49:41 AM »
I wrote my first novel in 1994. A few rejections later, I gave up. I'm pretty easily discouraged.

Then I joined the forum-that-must-not-be-named in 2008 and Jeff Hepple offered to help someone get published. It took a few days to work up the courage but I finally PM'd Jeff. He helped me (and many others) with covers, proofing, formatting, whatever needed to be done.

It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time and meeting the right person.
           
 
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WasAnn

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 05:14:55 AM »
I never considered anything else, but on the other hand, I didn't want to be a writer. My entire career was as a Navy officer and scientist and i was happy that way. Then, well, it just happened.

After my first book, I got two unsolicited offers from tradpub, but I turned both down. The very notion of signing such contracts made my skin crawl. If the offers were insanely good or print only, I might do, but not as offered. Since then, I happily go on doing it for love.


Science Fiction is my game.
 
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Kate Elizabeth

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 06:49:53 AM »
I had been following Joe Konrath since he did some articles for Writer's Digest, so I knew after a few years that it was an option.  My latest short story, that I thought was a perfect fit for Wild Rose Press, got turned down.  It was Thanksgiving weekend, and I was pretty sick.  When I got the rejection, I cried horrible, snotty tears, and told my husband that I was going to self-publish.  He said okay.  By January, and a bag of homemade Chex Mix as I cried in front of the computer because I was so stressed, I finally hit the publish button at Amazon.  I made some money, and I've been doing it ever since.
 
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Wonder

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 07:29:13 AM »
I'm an indie author because:

1. I'm not afraid of marketing & business.
2. I'm impatient, and trad publishing is slow.
3. The income potential is higher.
4. I want to retain the rights to my work.

Mostly it's a business decision, but I also get peeved by the whole "I need an agent to validate my existence" thing that writers get caught up in. Over time, I've come to see the whole publisher-agent-author dynamic as kind of toxic.

Kristine Rusch's article Learned Helplessness is an excellent read on the subject:
https://kriswrites.com/2018/06/13/business-musings-learned-helplessness/
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Mark Gardner

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 07:51:54 AM »
In the beginning, it was because the glacial time scale of traditional publishing. I'd have a book come out, and someone would ask me at a show about some aspect of the book, and I wouldn't know because I wrote it four years prior...

I'm the arbiter of my success. I've put all my advances, royalties and sales profits back into my business.

I retain the rights and sub rights to all my work. Someone wants to make a Afrikanns edition of my novel, lets talk. Someone wants to secure the movie rights, lots talk. someone wants to adapt my work into a art installation, lets talk.

I still talk to traditional publishers, but with the exception of very specific things, I can often do it cheaper, better, faster, easier.
 
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LD

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2018, 08:41:17 AM »
I write Romance.  It's the genre that makes the most bank in indie publishing.  So it was a matter of financials.
 
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CoraBuhlert

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2018, 09:34:52 AM »
I've been writing for a long time and had been submitting short stories and poems for years. I had a few published, a lot more rejected. I also suspected that the fact that I'm not from the US/UK lowered my chances.

I also had longer stories (novellas and short novels), which the various magazines did not take anyway. I did submit one of them to a small press that took unagented submissions and was rejected. Every other eligible publisher only too agented submissions and I didn't want to get an agent, because I didn't like the idea of giving someone 15% to submit my books to publishers and read through the contract. I translate contracts for a living and I'm well able to read one. And if there was a clause I didn't understand or like I would have done what I always advise my translation customers to do in such cases, namely talk to lawyer. So I figured I would get an agent when/if I needed one for foreign rights and the like, but not before. Plus, that was the era of the snarky agent blogs (remember those) making jokes about bad submissions, quoting lines and the like. The behaviour of those agents was so unprofessional that I didn't even want to work with people like that.

I started hearing about self-publishing options (first POD and later e-books), but like everybody at the time I'd been told that self-publishing was the kiss of death. I heard about Joe Konrath and that he was successful, but he wrote in a different genre and anyway, he was just one dude, possibly an outlier. Then I found Kristine Kathryn Rusch's and Dean Wesly Smith's blogs. They were respected names in my genre and they said that self-publishing was a valid path and also confirmed that my reservations about agents were justified. So I thought, "Maybe this self-publishing thing is a valid option after all." I cautiously began to research and then Amanda Hocking made headlines with her success.

So I decided to dip in my toes, starting with a couple of previously published short stories to which I'd gotten the rights back. I self-published my first e-book in July 2011 and found that I really enjoyed the process, the speed and the control it gave me over everything.

Coincidentally, going indie lost me many of my friends and acquaintances from the local literary scene, because they turned out to be not nearly as open-minded as they claimed to be. The kicker was attending a reading in some tiny venue and being given the stink eye for asking them to put some flyers for my self-published books on the booktable, the very booktable I'd manned countless times to sell other people's books. Mind you, I always put every flyer for every event on the table as well as CDs from local bands and whatever. I suspect I've outearned pretty much everybody I know from those days by now (I already was in third place before I went indie, even though I'd only earned maybe 150 bucks) Though I've never gotten a launch even like the other local authors, including those who've published only a niche poetry chapbook with a tiny print run.  :angry:

These days, I still submit short stories and poems to magazines and anthologies on occasion (and actually get more acceptances than before, probably because I am a better and more prolific writer now), but most of what I write gets self-published. I don't rule at traditional publishing completely, it all depends on the terms.   

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Harald

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2018, 10:35:26 AM »
Great—and inspiring—personal experiences above. Keep 'em coming!
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 11:06:21 PM by Harald »
 

Doglover

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Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2018, 02:14:35 PM »
I subscribe to the old adage: if you want a job done properly, do it yourself. That applies to everything in my life. There are many things I can't physically manage any more, but writing and publishing is not one of them.  :Tup3a:
 
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elleoco

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 03:07:18 PM »
For me it was more finding out about traditional publishing and deciding that was NOT for me than anything else. My first romance was a finalist in a couple of unpublished author contests. My mystery won its division of another. All that did was get me a better look at how it all worked, and it put me off so much I gave up the idea. Those two books and the start of a third sat on my PC for years until I heard of KDP.


I didn't think it would bring in more than a few dollars, but I needed money, and what did I have to lose? Indie publishing plugged the hole in my finances and changed my life for the better.
 
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Rinelle

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2018, 07:08:22 PM »
I never considered anything else. Before hearing about self publishing, I wrote only for my own interest. Yes, I wanted to be published one day, but the thought of submitting my work to someone else for it to be judged never sat right with me. Nor did the idea of having to accept what they thought was a good cover or editing.

I love being in control as an indie. I love being able to fix a typo as soon as I spot it. I love being able to change covers if the current ones aren't working. I love being able to work on the books I want on the timeframe I choose.
 
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RCoots

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2018, 08:21:04 PM »
I decided I wanted to write and publish long before indie was even a possibility. I found an old copy of one of those Writer's Market books in our library basement, and Orson Scott Card's book on writing scifi and fantasy, and thought "Hey, I want to do this." Then I did research. And research. And wrote and read craft books. And came to the conclusion that as a 16 year old, I had no chance of passing the Query to an AGENT phase, much less breaking through all the layers to an actual published book. So I set that aside, went to school for other things, and kept writing for myself.

Queue Kindle. And the indie author boom. And I went "Hey, I don't need that whole mess anymore. I can actually do this!"

And I'm about to! Book one on final edits and cover, book two written, book three is 30k words in.
 
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Rick Partlow

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2018, 10:04:07 PM »

I'd been writing for years and had two completed novels and decided to try to get them traditionally published back in the late 90s.  I found an agent and she edited the books within an inch of their lives and sent them out to all the big publishers and...nothing.
So after a few years of that, I gave up, didn't really write anything for a few years.  I started a dozen different books, but without the hope of ever publishing them, I never buckled down to finish.
Then, around 2010, friends started telling me about Amazon and KDP and self-publishing, but it took a year before I broke down and did it.  I slapped home-made covers on the books and put them on Amazon for 99 cents each in August of 2011.  The first year, they sold about 10,000 copies.
Unfortunately for me, I knew nothing about self-publishing strategies and had no follow-ups written, so I squandered that momentum.  It took me a year to get my next book out, then about a year between for the next three, but about 2016 I started getting my writing into gear and I currently have 18 books published with the 19th about 2/3 complete now.
Author of Glory Boy, Last Flight of the Acheron, Seeds of Gaia, Merchants of War, the Birthright trilogy, the Recon series, The Tales of the Acheron series, the Psi War trilogy, Duty Honor Planet trilogy, and the upcoming Wholesale Slaughter series.
 
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Max

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2018, 10:45:36 PM »
I told my friend the income on the royalty check my publisher'd just sent me.
My friend told me what she'd made that month at Amazon.
Screeching halt.
It was time for a new path.
 
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Vijaya

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 03:05:18 AM »
I'm loving these stories. I got really tired of even the good rejections on my novel, and given how slowly everything was moving in trade, I decided to take the plunge to publish the book myself. I'm so happy I did because I have a real, physical book to hold and now can share it with the world. I'm learning so much! And I love that a book of my heart doesn't have to stay in my heart, that it is possible even for an introvert like me to learn how to market.

I'll never give up trade publication though because I'm not an artist and that's something that I doubt I could learn well enough to publish picture books. And it sure is nice to have a team of people behind your book. I miss that with indie publishing.

Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces, primarily for children
Vijaya Bodach | Personal Blog | Bodach Books
 
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JimJohnson

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2018, 03:16:22 AM »
I started writing in the trad-only world, did short stories sent to markets and cover letters and synopses sent to agents because that was How You Did It and anything else was vanity publishing. Figured there had to be a better way and around 2009-2010, when the Kindle came out and indie publishing became a real thing with people like Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking and Michael Sullivan, I focused on indie publishing and have enjoyed the experience.


My whole life has been as a self-reliant self-starter, and indie publishing fits right into that. No reliance on other people except those I hire, no need to justify my work to a review board worried about their P&L statements or stockholders, direct access to a global market of readers. Best time ever to be a writer. My success or learning experiences are entirely up to me.
 
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Edward M. Grant

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2018, 03:51:50 AM »
Same as many others, really. I didn't like having to beg publishers to please, please, think about taking a look at my book, and then wait years to see it published, if they deigned to do so. Plus the lack of any feedback on how to improve when a story was rejected.

Most of all, though, I didn't fancy signing one of their contracts that could screw up my writing in the future.

I haven't made a lot of money, but I've still made more than most of the aspiring writers I know who are trying to get published through the old route. And I think I'm about at the point where I can start writing books people want to read instead of whatever weird thing I want to write, and actually make a moderate second income out of it.
 
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The Doctor

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2018, 04:13:29 AM »
I've always wanted to be a writer (despite my careers advisor telling me it wasn't a real job), so would write short stories and longer pieces. Then I did a short Open University course in 2010 called "Start Writing Fiction". Afterwards, I befriended a couple of people on the course and online we would check each other's work, support each other, etc.


I can't remember how I found out about KDP and indie publishing, but I found my way to the KDP Forum and dashboard...



In 2011, a week before my 30th birthday (well, 5 days before), I self-published my first story. It was short story, really, but it sold quite well.


Back in 2005 (I think), I did send a synopsis away to a trad publisher (can't remember who) and they asked me to send a couple of chapters. I never did (as I hadn't finished the story, and it was in first draft). But other than that, I've never troubled the trad path.

 
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katc

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2018, 04:31:54 AM »
I've put my heart into a series that involves an eleven year old boy and magic. To be honest, I didn't think any agent or publisher would want my series, especially after a well loved boy wizard. I am a Potterhead for life, but I just wanted to share my series with the world. I don't think middle grade fantasy is big right now, but maybe one day it will be again and Max Hamby be here when it is.

She-la-te-da

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2018, 08:48:35 PM »
Along about the end of 2010, I was researching the latest on query letters. I'd decided to finally try and have a writing career, since nothing else was working out for me. I kept coming across all this stuff about self-publishing (wasn't being indie back then), and ignoring it. After all, if Stephen King couldn't do it, what would make me think I could?

Finally, after about the millionth article/blog post about Joe Konrath, I started reading. Oh, goodness. This was really a thing. People were building successful careers and doing it themselves! Found kboards (mournful expression) and got started.

I haven't found huge success yet, but I've had some life rolls that really knocked me on my ass, but there's still time. Judging from family history, I've got a good thirty years left, and I might as well be doing something I enjoy.
I write various flavors of speculative fiction. This is my main pen name.

 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2018, 03:04:44 AM »
I first tried traditional publishing way back in the early 1980s. At that time, more publishers would take unsolicited manuscripts. Lots of submissions, lots of rejections. (To be fair, my first novel wasn't nearly as good as what I produce now, so I'm not surprised.)


When I started teaching, I planned to write during the summer. That worked all of about once. After that, the planning and preparation tended to take up more and more of the summer, and I just stopped trying to write for many years.


However, those buried creative impulses kept popping up, and during the summer of 2012, I produced another novel. By then it was considerably harder to publish than it had been in the 1980s, and I decided to try KDP. It took a while to figure out how to promote, but once I did, I thought less and less about trying to trad publish. In the beginning, I saw self-publishing as a trial run and was actively looking for agents and publishers. The number of agents who weren't accepting new clients, were only accepting new clients on referral, or who were hyper-picky about what genres they'd represent was intimidating. I looked at a number of small publishers who took unagented submissions, and for the most part, their books were doing no better than mine were. That being the case, it seemed better to keep doing my own thing and stop worrying about publishers.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
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IW Ferguson

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2018, 06:26:21 PM »
I first wanted to be a writer in high school. When I graduated, I looked at the NYT best-seller list, and 3 of the top ten were Where's Waldo titles. That was discouraging, but I went to college and tried to learn what I could about reading and writing anyway. My first query garnered a handful of requests for chapter 1 or 1-3, and I sent out a couple full manuscripts, but no takers, so I went into technical writing.

Many, many years later, I was reading the Ranger's Apprentice series to my sons, and I thought, quite naively, 'I could do this.' A little research later, and I found the bestseller lists weren't a lot better, but there was a better process: self publishing. After learning a little about that, I started studying craft, and wow my old first novel is stunningly awful.

My attempt at writing middle-grade fantasy soon bored me, though, so what I ended up with is more complex and character-driven than typical middle-grade or YA stuff, though my sons like it, so it's not too adult, I guess.
Belief's Horizon, where every river high enough has its naiad, and every sea worth its salt has its dragon.
 
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Jill Nojack

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2018, 09:48:29 PM »
I decided in high school that I was going to be a writer, and I had a few poems published in literary magazines in my college days. I was even editor of my university's literary magazine.

I amassed a number of rejections for short stories and quietly wrote several novels before life with all of its responsibilities took over and I stopped writing for many, many years while I supported my family. I didn't stop being creative, but being a musician (singer/songwriter) gave me a social life at the same time I scratched my creative urge that being a novelist sitting alone in my house couldn't. I was busy. Everything had to be multi-tasked. By the time I began writing something other than music again, it just seemed like a waste of it to try to get an agent to get published when I could put the book out myself immediately in the same way I could premiere a song at the local coffee shop.

I didn't find the indie community until after I had published my first novel, and I certainly never would have continued self-publishing if I hadn't. It allowed me to learn how to find readers and navigate the publshing requirements, while making me a much better writer along the way. It takes a community to be able to continue putting myself on the line each time I click publish :-)

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dgcasey

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Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2018, 02:38:47 AM »
I spent the better part of the 90's and 00's working on my screenwriting craft. After spending all that time getting absolutely nowhere, I shelved it. Especially when I got into real estate and found very little time to just sit in front of the keyboard and write. After retiring from RE and looking for something to do, I started reading more. This was about three or four years ago. At that time I was a "real paper" book snob and wouldn't even think of having an e-reader. But, after coming to my senses and realizing how stupid that was, I started reading on my tablet and phone and found it even more enjoyable.

Then, I started paying attention to KDP and realized that I had a handful of screenplays that could easily be converted to books. The rest is history. I just need to work faster and get more stories out. I'm still in awe of you writers that can put out 5-10 books a year, every year. But, I would suspect it's just laziness on my part.

I have a little sign on my wall that I see every day and maybe someday I'll start taking it to heart.

Quote
3000 words per day is 750,000 words per year @ three hours a day, five days a week and results in more than 9 novels at 80,000 words each.
All available at Amazon, some available at B&N and some available God knows where
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oganalp

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2018, 03:47:56 AM »
I was looking for a new creative way to express myself. I am a composer/singer with numerous albums and concerts behind me in the last 17 years. That was becoming more a “job” than “fun.” Too much band drama, etc. So, the writing started. I was always writing for fun whenever I played online role-playing games, but writing books was another step.

Then I searched for traditional publishing. I knew my stuff had issues but didn’t know where to start. After numerous rejections, I bumped into the other forum. It helped me to understand what indie publishing is for books, and I started working on it. I found an editor I like to work with, I found artists, I started writing at my own pace, not afraid of making mistakes and learning from them.

And now, I am happy. If I can turn writing into an income generating thing in the future, even better. At the moment, I am more interested in how to set the right artworks, blurbs, etc. Also increasing my writing speed (mostly hindered by a ridiculously busy schedule due to immigration) is on the list.
All in all, I am not interested in traditional publishing at this time at all. Hiring an assistant, creating better results, and trying to figure out the book marketing business by ourselves or via a 3rd party service is better.

Yes. Now, I should go back to Photoshop (and a statistics course I have to complete… sigh).

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Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2018, 04:04:57 AM »
 
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Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2018, 04:09:42 AM »
Joe Konrath convinced me. I've been forever grateful since. I've tried some traditional publishing options, but dear god, they're slow and parasitic and I will never again unless it comes with a high 6 or 7-figure advance.
 
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Rose Andrews

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Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2018, 01:45:39 PM »
I tried for years to get published traditionally without a bite, so I gave up and stopped writing for a while. When I started back up again, I decided to keep doing it just because I loved it, but by then KDP was a thing. I focused on improving my craft for a couple more years after that before finally hitting publish in January of 2017. The best part about self-publishing is that no one gets to tell me "NO" anymore and I've been able to reach readers without stupid agents or publishers. No one gets to tell me I'm not good enough. The readers can decide for themselves if they like my work or not and that's all I've ever dreamed of.  :heart:
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VanessaC

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2018, 07:15:43 PM »
The best part about self-publishing is that no one gets to tell me "NO" anymore and I've been able to reach readers without stupid agents or publishers. No one gets to tell me I'm not good enough. The readers can decide for themselves if they like my work or not and that's all I've ever dreamed of.  :heart:

So much this.  To me, if you're publishing then it's the readers who decide.

For me, so far, so good, but I only published for the first time in July this year.  The journey is just starting.

:grouphug:
     

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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2018, 05:25:52 PM »
I only published for the first time in July this year.  The journey is just starting.


Best of luck to you.   :cheers
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Jo

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2018, 10:22:25 PM »
I've been writing fanfiction for ages, and when I came up with a few interesting own characters and plots thought "why not?". That was after Colleen Hoover proved it can be done. I also like the control I have over the entire process.
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VanessaC

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2018, 10:50:24 PM »
I only published for the first time in July this year.  The journey is just starting.


Best of luck to you.   :cheers

Thank you! Enjoying the ride so far.  :dog1:
     

Genre: Fantasy
 

Ginny

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2018, 03:19:33 AM »
I wrote my first novel in 92, and it was ... not good. Then I wrote another in 96. I didn't have the courage to send stuff off to agents or whatever, so I let the dream slide. I spent my time raising kids and being Mayor of Drunkville for a while. Then I wrote another novel in 2010. Upon completion, I tried briefly to get an agent, but I had a strong feeling that wasn't the way to go.

By accident, (although there are no coincidences, are there?) I ran into an author at Borders, who had his books on display. Long story short: he told me to go home and publish to Amazon.

The rest is history.  :band: :heart: :smilie_zauber:

 
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Rosie Scott

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2018, 06:22:49 AM »
I submitted a novel into a trad publisher just once in my teens. The rejection didn't hit me too hard since I didn't have my heart in it because all of the specs limited my creativity (word count, certain content not allowed, etc.). I decided just to write because I loved it and not worry about ever publishing. I found out about CreateSpace in 2010 and started "publishing" books through there because I wanted copies of them that were cheaper to hand out to family than printed documents. I also published through KDP simply because it was suggested and super easy to do. Never expected to sell a thing.

I started getting royalty deposits one day in 2012 which confused me since I didn't think I was selling anything. I checked my Amazon store page to see a glowing 5-star Vine review from a stranger on the first novel of my dystopian series (at the time, it didn't even have its own cover. I created the ugly thing through cover creator). That's when I thought, "Huh. Maybe this is legitimate." Haha. I finished the dystopian series by January 2017 and decided to actually try with my fantasy series. All it took was advertising through AMS, and I can now pay my bills with royalties from the fantasy books. I've since cleaned up the other series (new covers, extra content, etc.) and it sells better than it used to. Regardless, getting into indie publishing for me was just a fantastic mistake. I'm far from rich, but the fact that respectable book royalties are rolling in each month still blows my mind because I never expected success.

Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi. Writer of bloody warfare & witty banter. Provoker of questions.
Rosie Scott | Website | Release Mailing List
 
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Harald

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2018, 12:51:03 PM »
Great stories here. I'm lovin' it.
 

Leo

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2018, 06:06:13 AM »
My writing career basically began when I had to write lesson plans for school kids, short plays and fun activities, my creative juices were flowing pretty well back then. I next wrote a three year diploma course which was heavy going but taught me the rigor and discipline a writer needs.

I then went back to university to earn my second degree and one of the courses I chose to do was on publishing. Every student had to produce something of publishable quality, of anything, to pass the course. I wrote a 100 page book on self hypnosis. A colleague found out about the book and published it for me just in time for me to hand in to the lecturer. I received a nice HD. That was validation that I could actually write. I published it myself as an indie and it sells well, I recently narrated it for audio.

As part of my job I wrote psych reports for courts, insurance companies and doctors. Lawyers would reply that my reports were better than most they normally have to read. That was nice validation of my writer's 'voice'. I write like I speak, I could 'humanise' a person by writing their report as a life story.

I struggled with dyslexia, still do. I was reading well before I started school but expression, sentence structure, grammar and spelling were murder. There were two particular teachers who almost crushed me when I was just a child. I lived in terror for two years under one particular psychopath. I'd love to meet him now that I'm no longer a defenseless 8 year old.

Along came 2015 when I decided a career change was needed and so I re-commissioned my website and started writing my second non-fiction book, it is still my best seller - and now in audio as well. Then in 2016 I read a series of post-apocalypse books, and I was sold. By the middle of the second book I kept saying to myself, 'I can write like this, in fact, I might be able to write better post-apocalypse than this guy'. Arrogance indeed but when my wife and daughter, my biggest critics, read my first chapter and said that it was 'all right, quite good actually' I knew I could make it as an indie.
Post-apocalypse or epic fantasy anyone?
Or perhaps tarot and astrology are more up your alley?

 

Harald

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2018, 07:31:42 AM »
My writing career basically began when I had to write lesson plans for school kids, short plays and fun activities, my creative juices were flowing pretty well back then. I next wrote a three year diploma course which was heavy going but taught me the rigor and discipline a writer needs.

I then went back to university to earn my second degree and one of the courses I chose to do was on publishing. Every student had to produce something of publishable quality, of anything, to pass the course. I wrote a 100 page book on self hypnosis. A colleague found out about the book and published it for me just in time for me to hand in to the lecturer. I received a nice HD. [...].

Very interesting path, Leo.

Question: what's an "HD" degree? Halloweenis Doctor?  grint grint
 

Leo

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2018, 09:27:57 AM »
My writing career basically began when I had to write lesson plans for school kids, short plays and fun activities, my creative juices were flowing pretty well back then. I next wrote a three year diploma course which was heavy going but taught me the rigor and discipline a writer needs.

I then went back to university to earn my second degree and one of the courses I chose to do was on publishing. Every student had to produce something of publishable quality, of anything, to pass the course. I wrote a 100 page book on self hypnosis. A colleague found out about the book and published it for me just in time for me to hand in to the lecturer. I received a nice HD. [...].

Very interesting path, Leo.

Question: what's an "HD" degree? Halloweenis Doctor?  grint grint

lol, you were close, it means 'High Distinction'
Post-apocalypse or epic fantasy anyone?
Or perhaps tarot and astrology are more up your alley?

 

Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2018, 10:22:40 AM »
My background is in journalism, then switched to teaching.  When I wrote a group of very short stories for my dad, I decided to publish on Amazon.  After that, it was just fun to write!  I still have my day job.  The only time I've submitted anything to a publisher was with Hallmark Publishing last year.  Fun experience and may try again just to get more eyes on my other books.
            
Author of Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Suspense and Historical Non-Fiction.
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spin52

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2018, 01:55:54 AM »
I never wanted to do anything but write, but I knew the chances of getting published in the 1970s were slim, so I got a journalism degree. I worked for newspapers for 20+ years, moved to the UK, raised kids, did some other jobs. I had never written serious fiction, just a couple of short stories, until 2009, when I was staying with my mother, who'd had a mild stroke. I was extremely bored and couldn't find anything I wanted to read, so I decided to write a mystery, that being my favorite genre. Before I knew it, I'd written a series of five, none of which impressed an agent or publisher. Sending a query to them and waiting three or four months for a rejection? Meh.
Then I ran across an article in the Daily Mail (very appropriate, given the lyrics to Paperback Writer) about someone who had gone the indie route after falling out with their publisher. I thought, 'hey, I could do that', and after a while getting to grips with the formatting, I published my series. A few copies sold and I wrote some more. Then I started a second series, based on an eccentric relative. Those sold, too. Things were getting serious now, so about two years ago, I decided to try a historical mystery series. It sells better than the other two, which continue to dribble sales in now and then.
I will never get rich, but I'm doing something I love, and it's immensely satisfying.
     

Traditional mysteries with a dash of humor -- no cats, no cupcakes.
 

EllieL

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2018, 02:03:42 AM »
I started out trad publishing when ebooks were really new. Both my publishers ended up going belly up, so I opened my own house and ran a successful indie company for 11 years. Burned out putting out everyone else's work and having no time for my own writing, so I sold the company 2 years ago. Started up with a new pen name because the old one was stagnant after 11 years of no new books (and a kazillion new authors all with the same name) and decided that I'm too much of a control freak to let anyone else but me manage my stuff. Been self pubbing ever since.
Historical and contemporary romance

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Arkturor

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Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2018, 06:09:21 AM »
As a young thespian, I began writing play scripts, which were performed to moderate acclaim by audiences and even attracted a trad-pub offer. Life intervened. Enter marriage, children and drudgery in day jobs from stage left and forty years later, I was no nearer to anything I wanted to do in life.
After a traumatic divorce I wrote a very cathartic memoir. In 2009 I did a quick search on the internet and found CreateSpace. I self published the memoir under a pen name. Then unpublished just as quickly. I decided it was for me alone.
After successfully quitting the smoking habit in the year 2000 by changing my lifestyle and joining a scrabble club, I was encouraged to try the same in 2016 to quit my drinking habit. Trying to maintain any sort of a life drinking more than 5 bottles of Scotch a week was becoming difficult, so I started writing again. Sober and still writing, it is slowly becoming an obsession. I love it. I have just hired an editor for over $1,000 AUD to edit my latest novel in an attempt to produce something less mediocre. I will see if it pays off soon enough.
 
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Joseph Malik

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2018, 11:15:10 AM »
Agents and trade publishers didn't see a market for what I write, but I did.
 
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LilyBLily

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2018, 02:03:24 PM »
As a young thespian, I began writing play scripts, which were performed to moderate acclaim by audiences and even attracted a trad-pub offer. Life intervened. Enter marriage, children and drudgery in day jobs from stage left and forty years later, I was no nearer to anything I wanted to do in life.
After a traumatic divorce I wrote a very cathartic memoir. In 2009 I did a quick search on the internet and found CreateSpace. I self published the memoir under a pen name. Then unpublished just as quickly. I decided it was for me alone.
After successfully quitting the smoking habit in the year 2000 by changing my lifestyle and joining a scrabble club, I was encouraged to try the same in 2016 to quit my drinking habit. Trying to maintain any sort of a life drinking more than 5 bottles of Scotch a week was becoming difficult, so I started writing again. Sober and still writing, it is slowly becoming an obsession. I love it. I have just hired an editor for over $1,000 AUD to edit my latest novel in an attempt to produce something less mediocre. I will see if it pays off soon enough.

I'm sure your liver and your lungs are thanking you every day.  grint

I don't know what kind of payoff you require, but to me the biggest one has been that thousands of people have read what I wrote and think it's actually a book. I keep waiting for someone to say, "This is not a book; it's utter garbage." But so far, no one has.  Grin 
 

solo

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Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #46 on: December 03, 2018, 01:58:15 AM »
Fortunately blundered into it last September 2017. Started writing for a free website (still do) as a hobby June 2017. Got a readership there too. But when the story was nearly finished, suspicious negative reviews came in trying to dissuade me from continuing further. The cheapo that I am (hey, that was free reading), I didn't want to spend on an ISBN. Realized Amazon gives ASINs for free and published, warts and all. Atrocious cover (even my daughters said so), unedited book, and in print layout (didn't know @#$% about formats). Didn't even care how it will sell. I would have given it away if possible. Sold 2,000 copies in two weeks before I discovered and learned "mobi." A second book followed. Finally had the books edited January 2018, using the money from royalties. I now have 10 books out. I do write fast when I like the story and there's no mental roadblock.
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2018, 02:04:30 PM »
Fortunately blundered into it last September 2017. Started writing for a free website (still do) as a hobby June 2017. Got a readership there too. But when the story was nearly finished, suspicious negative reviews came in trying to dissuade me from continuing further. The cheapo that I am (hey, that was free reading), I didn't want to spend on an ISBN. Realized Amazon gives ASINs for free and published, warts and all. Atrocious cover (even my daughters said so), unedited book, and in print layout (didn't know @#$% about formats). Didn't even care how it will sell. I would have given it away if possible. Sold 2,000 copies in two weeks before I discovered and learned "mobi." A second book followed. Finally had the books edited January 2018, using the money from royalties. I now have 10 books out. I do write fast when I like the story and there's no mental roadblock.


 :cheers
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notthatamanda

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2018, 06:42:46 AM »
I was finishing up my first book and didn't know what to do.  I read a blog post by a self published author who had 160 rejection letters from agents before he decided to self publish.  Went on to make 100K his first year.  I decided to bypass the agent rejection thing and went ahead and published.  I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but I managed.  Always new stuff to learn which I love and hate, depending on my mood.

As long as I'm in the black, I'll keep doing it and hoping for the grand slam someday.  Five years come March and no where close to six figures, even cumlatively, yet, but I'm happy and what I do earn is a nice bonus.
 

dikim

Re: Why/How did you decide to become an Indie author?
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2019, 04:05:45 AM »
I'd been traditionally published for more than 20 years with some good experiences and some bad. I had become extremely wary of non-compete clauses and lack of control of covers so. when self-publishing became a viable alternative, I decided to give it a try. I experimented with reissuing a couple of out-of-print books to see how hard it was. Then  I decided to truly to take the plunge by self-publishing a book that I knew I could sell the traditional way. (I already had two publishers interested.) "There Must Be Horses" sold well, got good reviews (including a couple of print magazines) and covered its costs rapidly. I've also sold the German and Danish foreign language rights. I've never regretted the switch to self-publishing but I still tend to use the traditional route for illustrated books for younger children. I suppose that makes me a hybrid author.


Author of more than 40 books and several scripts. Writes fiction and non-fiction for children, young adults, adults and other writers.
www.dianakimpton.co.uk