Okay so on “pimp my novel”: Prithee Convince Me: Self-Publishing the blog poster wants self-publishing authors to “convince him” that self-publishing is a viable alternative to trad publishing. According to his blog bio, he works in the sales department of a publishing house.
What’s most interesting is in the comments section, almost all of the people commenting are trad publishing hopefuls. NOT indie authors. I tried to make a post but I got one of those ridiculous blogger errors (I HATE blogger. I don’t know why anyone uses the foul thing.) And it wouldn’t let me post. So I am reproducing my comment here. Hopefully within the next day or so the problem will be solved.
Most of the respondents to this have been trad published authors or trad pubbed author hopefuls. So, here is the perspective of an actual indie author.
Unless a publisher was willing to make me ludicrously rich (which I don’t expect to happen btw), they are completely irrelevant to me.
I love being an indie author. I’ve sold over 5,000 Kindle copies of my novella so far. (Over 23,000 total downloads including the free PDF’s out there) I’ve started to build a platform/fan base. Except instead of doing that to “impress someone” I’m doing it for my business to help it grow. I’m doing it for ME.
Self-publishing is a business.
I don’t like working for other people in any capacity. I don’t like being told what to do. When I pick a title for a work I don’t want someone’s marketing department coming by and trying to name it something else cause they think their title is “more marketable.”
Whether it is or isn’t, it’s my book and I’m not selling the rights to it.
I don’t want to have to wait 18 months from the point the book is FINISHED for it to be available for sale. It causes me to miss out on riding trend waves which I could otherwise benefit financially from.
I don’t want my e-rights mismanaged. And the Big 6, especially the “Agency Five” are proving over and over that they are just not willing to deal with ebooks in any sane way (overpricing, windowing, some books not even available in E with no plans to MAKE them available in E.)
Further, as an indie, I get full creative control. Full profit. (As of this moment I have made over $2000 on one kindle ebook. This may not be a lot of money, but it is my debut release and is more than I would have made as a newbie author for an advance for a novella with a major pub. And yes, almost all of that is straight profit.)
I get to pick my cover design. No one can “drop me” because I publish me. My audience can build organically over time as it should with no pressure or need to artificially inflate those numbers in order to hold onto a contract whose terms would be questionably beneficial to me anyway.
I can write and publish at my own speed.
My backlist doesn’t go “out of print.” Every single book I publish will be available both in print and in Ebook indefinitely. Until I get tired of selling it. Most midlist authors have many books “out of print” not making them money. How does one gain traction that way? Sure, they can put those out of print books (assuming the seven or more years has passed allowing them to get the rights back) on the Kindle, but that’s self-publishing. And if they will benefit from self-publishing THAT then why don’t they cut out the middle man (the publisher) from the equation altogether?
Authors are branded. Not publishers. Publishers will suffer if not die because of that stupid marketing choice way back in the day.
I have an excellent cover artist for the series I’m releasing (Starting with the book Blood Lust. For anyone who has seen my name, I don’t want them thinking my awesome cover artist designed the cover for Kept since the Kept cover isn’t as good. I did that cover. Though I’ve still sold over 5,000 Kindle copies with it.) I have a fabulous editor. Both my cover artist and editor *I* chose and were right for the project.
I have readers who love what I’m doing.
I love what I’m doing.
Before I decided to self-publish I could barely make myself write. I was miserable. I was depressed. I was anxious all the time. I HATED it. I will never go back to that type of literary slavery again.
The real question should be… Why exactly… in the world of the Internet, where mainstream publishers don’t truly market most of their list, with digital books growing exponentially and the publishing industry seriously in trouble… why is trad publishing viable for anyone who isn’t already a brand name?
And to the person who mentioned the types of people who self-publish, anyone can learn about the publishing business. It’s not mystical. You don’t have to be “inducted” into it. The knowledge is there. People are just lazy and unintelligent as a group.
But that has nothing to do with “me” or “you.” Each person chooses how much they will research and learn before making a business decision. The problem is, most writers have no business head on them no matter what route they take. And those authors won’t survive in the new publishing climate.
To the person who mentioned needing to be able to get into brick and mortar bookstores… brick and mortar bookstores will die. That is not where the money will be in the future. It’s a bad bet to aim all your energy in that direction. Brick and mortar bookstores are also entirely irrelevant since more than half of all book buyers buy at least SOME of their books on the Internet and ebooks require no physical stores.
A smart indie is going to aim all their marketing focus to online consumers. It’s a VERY large niche that is consistently growing. No need to chase after the wrong end of the 80/20 rule.