September 12, 2012

Life as an Indie Author - Nine Months Later

I've been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now, probably more for me to see where I'm at, but also to let others know what may be in store for them, shall they choose to travel down the same path.

Last year I wrote a post about why I chose to self publish, and as I look back over that, I realize that I still feel exactly the same way.  It's been about nine months since I released my first book, and two months since the complete series has been available.  I've participated in three blog tours and have been fortunate to have many book bloggers agree to review for me (more on that in a future post).

So, as I'm finishing up the editing on a new book (Touching Evil), I started questioning my choices. Not necessarily in a bad way, but I was curious if querying would be different now that I have more experience and am much more involved in the writing world.  I found a few small publishing houses that I thought would be worthwhile to query for Touching Evil, and I got to work.

I started doing my research and looking at what their contracts state and what kind of authors they typically represent.  And you know what?  I'm not going to do it.  I've read over and over about the advantages to being self and/or traditionally published (just do a google search and you'll find hundreds), and for me, the pros are really under the self publish column.  And here's why:

1. Total control over covers, pricing, release dates - Although most of the small publishing house books I see have great covers, the authors won't be releasing a new book in their series for up to a year and they will never have a book priced below $3.99.

2. Royalties - Perhaps this is one of the biggest differences...you really can't beat the 70% royalty.

3. Editing/Revisions - Now granted, a publisher will supply you with an editor, but I can also hire my own (which I'm going to do) and make changes to a manuscript if need be after I've published.  Even though that's not something I hope to always have to do (because editing will be done first), I like having that option.

4. I'd have to market myself anyway - Most authors get very little or no marketing help from publishing houses (large or small) unless they are one of the lucky few.  I can contact bloggers, set up my own tours, and build a platform while still keeping most of the profit, so why wouldn't I do that?

When I look at what's happened since I released my first book, I feel like it's the right decision to keep self publishing:

1. Over 2,000 books sold - most happening now that the series is complete, so I have high expectations :)

2. 4-5 star average ratings on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for all books

3. Followers and fans on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads- something I didn't know I could get. And not only do they follow me, but I get a chance to interact with them all, and I love it!

4. Marketing and promoting experience - something I'm still learning, but have enjoyed (even if it is extremely time consuming!)

Granted, this "hobby" has turned into a full-blown second job for me because once I start something, I have to give it my all.  But now I catch myself, especially on bad days, daydreaming about how I could make enough money to write full time.  I mean, how wonderful would that be?  I'd get so much done!

Although that is not my intention, I still get excited every time I can find a free moment to sit down and write or read a new review.  I feel like I'm in control of my destiny (ha!) when it comes to this industry, and that is something that fits in well with my personality.  I like being in control (hence my extreme fear of flying).

So decision made. I'm going to continue down this path of the self publishing revolution and see where it takes me.  I have sales goals in mind, along with a continued marketing plan, and I'm going to do my best to stick to it. (See how this post was really for me - time for a pep talk!)

Touching Evil will be out this year and the next book in the series will be outlined very soon.  I love this new world and I intend to make the most of it! I will not be trapped in cage. hee hee.

2 comments:

  1. Congrats on your sucess Amber with your books and I just had to share with you, you're book Promises is one of three books I chose to giveaway for the Under the Sea Giveaway Hop hosted by I'm a Reader not a Writer & ALMYBNENR.
    http://authoradduling.blogspot.com/p/ebook-giveaways.html

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    1. Oh wow! Thank you so much! And thanks for introducing me to your blog. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do. amber@ambergarr.com
      :)

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