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III. Goodreads Readers > Why authors go 'indie', and why the standard varies

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message 1: by Jan (last edited Feb 19, 2011 10:50AM) (new)

Jan Hurst-Nicholson (janhurst-nicholson) | 256 comments I have read several reviews where the reader has been delighted to find a new ‘indie’ author whose book is both enjoyable, and also free from typos, poor spelling and grammar. However, I have also read reviews where the reader has been disappointed at the number of typos, and spelling and grammar issues, and has been put off sampling more indie books.

I thought it might be useful for readers to know why authors go ‘indie’, and why the standard varies.

Some indie books have been previously published in print form by mainstream publishers. The authors have reclaimed their copyright and have then indie published them as e-books. These authors often have other books that, for various reasons, never made it into print, so the authors have e-published them.

Authors are also realising that by indie publishing they have autonomy over their books - content, style, cover and price. But most importantly, it also gives them a bigger share of the royalties.

Other writers, despite having a good product, have not managed to find a publisher. Perhaps their book is considered a cross-over genre, or the publisher feels it won’t sell sufficient copies. There are many reasons for a publisher to decline a quality book. These writers have now found an outlet for their work through e-publishing, bypassing the gatekeeper agents and publishers and selling directly to readers. The readers themselves will now decide whether the book is worth buying.

Then we have the eager new writers who have seen the opportunity afforded by e-publishing and have gone straight into e-books. Many of these writers are talented and offer a good product, but unfortunately there are some who are over-eager to upload their books and have not done sufficient homework with their editing. These writers should be encouraged to seek professional help to raise the quality of their work.

Readers should remember ‘Caveat Emptor’ – let the buyer beware. Don’t rely on the title, cover and blurb. Several reviews have mentioned that the cover and title were misleading (probably not intentional on the part of the author). Always try a sample before buying. It is better for all concerned that a reader is not ‘forced’ to read a poor quality book and then give a bad review.

The Breadwinners
But Can You Drink The Water?
Something to Read on the Plane
Mystery at Ocean Drive
Leon Chameleon P.I. and the case of the kidnapped mouse

message 2: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) | 69 comments Um, most authors go "indie" to have financial control of their work and to not be robbed blind by big faceless companies...

message 3: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 58 comments In the last year or so the sale of books has dropped.
But at the same time the sale of e-books has increased by 40% , that is enough to interest the new and experienced writer.

Anybody 'trying' to be noticed by an agent or publisher has a hard task on their hands. And out there lies a marathon like number of writers hoping to publish their novel for the first time. Fact. All I suggest is would be writers aim to build up their platform and keep trying.

The art of writing is often done alone, but it is important to have fun and kindle those sparks within that fan the flames of interest and the next good idea. This comes from sharing and being in the company of writers.

I've ventured into world of 'sound printing' and was pleased with my finished product. The stories made more money in total than the cost of the book. So besides e-publishing keep 'sound printing' in mind. But quality is the main thought to consider.

Of course there are many other considerations but that's the nature of the game.

Best wishing for all your writing projects.
Award winner . Poem.

message 4: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) | 69 comments I think we have a miscommunication.

Indie means Independent. Any book published with an Independent company, I guarantee, has a whole team of editors, so no typos, etc.

I can't help but wonder if what you really mean is self-published books, and that's a completely different story. That should never be confused with "indie."

message 5: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 58 comments Not exactly.

"Indie means Independent... so no typos, etc".

Those who publish on their own through an Independent Company might pay for editorial services... so no typos,etc.

It is better to use Independent rather than indie on case the audience is also in favour of indie bands. maybe it's just us Brits in the UK playing around with the meaning of indie, garage,subway, and so forth.
Have fun.

message 6: by Jan (new)

Jan Hurst-Nicholson (janhurst-nicholson) | 256 comments Rightly or wrongly, I think the term 'indie' is now considered an alternative to 'self-published' i.e. anyone who publishes independently. Lots of self-published writers are tagging their books 'indie', and some readers are actively seeking 'indie' authors.

message 7: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 140 comments Hi All,
I am most definitely 'Indie' if technically self published. My first book, years ago epitomised everything which was wrong, rushed, in the excitement, full of typos etc
Now after years of campaigning to raise standards we are now at the point were the majority of the best new books out there are 'Indies' mostly self published, there is no longer a clear divide.
It is the main stream where standards are declining. cutting costs, cheaper grade paper, reducing editing, in some cases it appears they haven't bothered with the editing at all. then there is the pressure many of them put on their authors to meet difficult deadlines, a major cause of the complaint of 'sameness' to previous work.
I'm 'Indie' and PROUD of it!! and proud of the way many 'Indies' have raised their game.
All the best Paul Rix [oldgeezer]

message 8: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (carrieking) | 17 comments Timothy wrote: "Hi All,
I am most definitely 'Indie' if technically self published. My first book, years ago epitomised everything which was wrong, rushed, in the excitement, full of typos etc
Now after ..."

And so you should be proud, Young Man, you unselfishly and tirelessly work so hard to, not only, promote 'Indie' publishers but also you work even harder to encourage 'Indie' authors. I am looking forward, so much, to working with you soon.

Did someone in this thread somewhere mention a 'New Children's Classic'? I can't believe Joni-Pip has been dubbed that amazing title several times already.....I am so unworthy but thrilled all the same.

Much love,


message 9: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 140 comments Hi All,
To perfectly illustrate my point about the best books being 'Indie' Who pops up, Carrie King. Although I do know Carrie, I promise I didn't put her up to the post. Carrie went the small independant press route, unlike me who uses a service provider, but we are both Indie by any definition, I may be wrong but I don't think Carrie's brilliant book 'The Life in the Woods with Joni-Pip' is available as an ebook. My books are, via Authors OnLine, my efforts are mainly aimed at paperback sales, but as I use POD this excludes me from the main high street stores, Oh they'll get them for you, at full price, but they won't stock them. Now I'm not as good as Carrie, and write in a totally different genre, but I dare put 'The Day the Ravens Died' beside ANY mainstream military/terrorist action adventure. If there is a better 'mainstream' book out of that type I'd love to read it. So how good does that make Carrie King in the young adult fantasy world? Or David Elliot in the historical horrorish fantasyish type of book, or Sue Rule with her trilogy. I could list dozens of brilliant authors in the 'Indie world' who's books are available as POD or short run printing with ebooks as an option. What we should all be looking for is a practical way of getting the best of these 'Indies'noticed, a way to make the great stories, well written and edited to stand out from the ordinary, 'rushed' efforts [like my first!!]
All the best Paul Rix [oldgeezer]

message 10: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (carrieking) | 17 comments Timothy wrote: "Hi All,
To perfectly illustrate my point about the best books being 'Indie' Who pops up, Carrie King. Although I do know Carrie, I promise I didn't put her up to the post. Carrie went the s..."

Hi Paul

Thank you for the great words!

Just in the remotest case that someone is interested....

Bothy Books have put Joni-Pip on Lulu, so it is available as a novel and an e-book, until they consider is the link.....

Wishing all you authors and would-be-authors brilliant success!


message 11: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 140 comments Just goes to show, old smart a---e here does get things wrong!
CORRECTION TO THE EARLIER POST;- 'JONI-PIP' IS AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK!!! check it out it's worth every cent/penny etc.
All the best Paul Rix [Oldgeezer]

message 12: by Tara (new)

Tara Woolpy | 6 comments I went "indie" when I finally got frustrated with pounding on the gatekeeper (agent) door and being told that while they really enjoyed my writing/story/concept/whatever, my kind of book (basic good read) was too hard to sell. And a glance at the publishing industry told me that if I did ever make it through the door I would have six weeks to make it or break it. I didn't feel like taking up sprinting at my age. Meanwhile, sequels were piling up as I tried to sell my first book. So I started a publishing company and I'm putting them out myself. I spent enough years in writing classes/workshops to make that step a challenge for my ego. For me the way to self-publish with pride is to treat my company like a real press and hire professional editors and designers, put out advanced review copies and do my level best to give my books a fighting chance to be read and enjoyed.

message 13: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (carrieking) | 17 comments Tara wrote: "I went "indie" when I finally got frustrated with pounding on the gatekeeper (agent) door and being told that while they really enjoyed my writing/story/concept/whatever, my kind of book (basic goo..."

Very well done, You, Tara!

message 14: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 140 comments Evnin' all,
It really has been one of 'those' days, the sort where you think you really have bitten off more than you can chew.
Among several promotional projects I am involved in is a series of book signings in the main county library here in Norfolk for some of the best 'Indie' authors around. Easy you would think, well it would have been if I hadn't tried to get clever and tie each signing in with an interview on the local BBC station which just happens to be right next to the foyer of the Library. The complications caused by a single presenters holidays are mind numbing!! Any way that is not what this post was about!
Among my other projects was organising a 'work shop' on the evening of Friday the first of July at the Winchester Writers conference. The theme was going to be 'Indie' publishing, warts and all'. The first guest speaker was to have been Richard Fitt to put the service providers/publishers point of view, followed by four, maybe five of the very best Indie authors in the U.K, all of whom had done things differently. Today I discover Richard has had to bow out for perfectly valid family reasons. Oh drat!! This means the task of introducing these stars of the 'Indie' book world looks like falling on lil'ole me!! eek!!
The line up, in no particular order includes such luminaries as Sue Rule, Sarah Whitaker, our own David Elliot, [he's promised NOT to wear a kilt] and the brilliant Carrie King [of the above post].
Now before some one spots they are all my friends, I would like to make one thing clear, they are my friends because their work is brilliant. Condemn me if you like for hoping some of their talent would rub off on me if you like, but it will be my honour to introduce them. All have done things differently, between them they have used service providers, small publishers, POD ,short run printing and any format of ebooks doing the rounds. So if you are thinking of publishing/self or otherwise, and can get to Winchester on the Friday evening,1st of July. can you really afford to miss this opportunity to ask those who have been there and done it any questions you like about the process. Some of those taking part will also be around on Saturday. I will post further updates as I have them, so watch this space.
All the best Paul Rix [oldgeezer]

message 15: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 140 comments Hi Simon,
I'll have to buy one of the tornado gr4s from just up the road, they are two seaters.
mind you, a harrier would have been better, then we wouldn't have needed a runway to land on!!
All the best Paul Rix [oldgeezer]

message 16: by Kasi (new)

Kasi Blake (kcblake) | 44 comments I decided to go 'Indie' because Twilight made it near impossible to publish a book with a vampire in it. I had an agent who believed in the book, and she tried for a year to find a home for it. Two editors told us they would have published it if I'd sent it to them three years earlier. Unfortunately it hadn't been written at that time.

I finally decided it would be better to publish it myself than to let it sit on the computer forever. I've had three separate people edit it, and it's almost ready. I've been marketing non-stop, and most of the people who've read the sample chapter on my blog have liked it. It's very exciting.

message 17: by Jan (new)

Jan Hurst-Nicholson (janhurst-nicholson) | 256 comments Hi Kasi,
Good luck with your book. I had the same sort of response about my book, but I'm glad I didn't find a publisher because I've now sold over 8000 Kindle copies. I'm sure I wouldn't have done as well if I'd be trad published.

But Can You Drink The Water?

message 18: by Mark (new)

Mark Adair (markadairauthor) | 6 comments I went the indie route when a friend of mine challenged me on my writing career and its progress, or lack thereof. He kept hammering on me for about 2 hours and I kept coming up with excuses all related to traditional publishing processes (query responses, ms requests, good feedback, etc.). He kept bringing the point back to do you believe in your novel, do you believe in your writing ability?

That night I went home and decided he was right - time to move forward in the avenue open to me. The next day I studied up on the Kindle and Amazon's publishing process. A few weeks later my suspense/thriller The Father's Child showed up on Amazon, then B&N, and finally Smashwords.

I'm glad I did, although it's been much harder than I would have ever imagined. Over the past few months, my novel reached #16 in technothrillers and #43 in romantic suspense on Amazon.

message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 25, 2011 03:32PM) (new)

I went "indie" when my publisher surprised my agent and I in passing on the res of my series. I didn't have time to wait around for another publisher to pick it up since "Book 1" was on the cover and already getting questions from readers about Book 2. Book 3 came out the beginning of this month (April) and book 4 is scheduled for August.

The industry is changing so rapidly, that many authors scrambled to figure it out. When they have the opportunity to do what the traditionalist have denied, they jump at it. Of course, that doesn't mean by passing on the editing phase. I blog about writing and the industry, proving tips and insight.

message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol Costa | 8 comments After doing four books for my NYC publisher, the third book in
my Dana Sloan mystery series sat on an editor's desk for over a year without being read. This was even after the mass market paperback rights on the first two books, A Deadly Hand and The Master Plan were sold to Harlequin's Worldwide imprint. I had just done a book with an Indie press, Happiness Awaits You!, that was great to work with, so I took, When Nothing Else Was Right, to him and it was published and released within a few months.

message 21: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 140 comments Hi,
As many of you will know, I am fiercely 'Indie', Today has made me ask myself why? First off I came across a book marked 'to read' in an email from goodreads updating me on what my 'friends' were planning to read. The book in question was 'The Apothecary, a book I know written by Dereck Hucklesbury, I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone who is a fan of historic fiction type novels. It now appears a book with the same title is to be released by Putman juvenile written by Maile Meloy. Odds on someone, somewhere ends up with the wrong one.
This afternoon I got a few emails on the theme 'is it me?' The email which initiated this was from David Elliot the author of Clan, sold by Red cap publishing. He had stumbled across a new ebook [short story] called robins cap, published by Carina publishing, the digital arm of Harlequin. Now it wasn't that the story written by Esmeralda Bishop was based in Hermitage Castle and featured murderous little characters which incensed David, it was the cover! To all intents it is the bottom half of his cover, at least it LOOKS like the cover of 'Clan' at a glance. Granted it is not Hermitage Castle, it's just there are so many similarities to the casual glance.
Davids is a a well produced novel which stands among any company, I suppose you'd call it historical horror fantasy fiction. I'm not quite sure how to describe 'Robins Cap' Erotic horror?
I'm not going to criticise another author, but a bit of advice to 'Esmeralda', get an editor!!! I bust my back as a soldier when my paraCHUTE had a problem, may be I should have used a paraSHOOT! Mind you, if you are signed up to a 'big' publisher you have the right to expect better, they charge enough.
I suppose both of the above are symptoms of the malaise effecting the publishing world just now.
I think I'll stay 'indie', at least the mistakes are mine! and I made enough of them with my early efforts!!
All the best Paul Rix [oldgeezer]

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey, Paul, haven't seen you awhile. Are you still tilting at industry windmills? Go, indie attack dog! lol

message 23: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 140 comments Hi Shawn,
WOT? in a house full of dog eating moggies!
I've been a bit busy, not only with the follow up to 'The Day the Ravens Died' but typing up a load of poems for a lovely little old lady who's dream is to have them published. There are some people you just have to help.
All the best Paul Rix [oldgeezer]

message 24: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (carrieking) | 17 comments How sweet and kind you always are, Paul!

message 25: by Nellee (new)

Nellee | 4 comments I self-published because while I was searching for new agents to send queries to, I was reading horror stories about editors taking over, replacing things in the books with their ideas and the author had no say. I didn't want that happening to my book. With self-publishing, I have all the rights, more control, and I have a bigger royalty than most best-selling authors.

I've written blog posts about why I self-published on my blog:

message 26: by Rashaad (new)

Rashaad Bell (rashaadbell) | 24 comments I self publish because I can. "The Gods will do nothing for us that We will not do for ourselves."

Forgotten Future

message 27: by Steven (last edited May 08, 2011 09:02AM) (new)

Steven Jordan (stevenlylejordan) | 23 comments I self-published, not because the publishing houses turned my book down, but because they told me not to bother to submit it... they didn't want any fresh, non-agent-solicited material! That attitude pushed me to seek alternatives, and self-publishing ebooks was the way to go.

I've had mixed quality with my books, I admit; a few of them had sloppy typos in them (not a ton of them, but still). That's why I spend more time on proofing passes, and why I'm going to reissue my older books only after a fresh proofing pass... the six books available at present are much cleaner than some of my earlier stories.

Self-publishing hasn't gotten me much yet, but I'm hoping to hit that "critical mass" that results in a steady upward climb of sales across the board.

message 28: by Rashaad (last edited May 08, 2011 09:12AM) (new)

Rashaad Bell (rashaadbell) | 24 comments Myself, I don't have an editor,so I'm forced to do everything, write, edit, cover design, manual upload. However, the editing process is the hardest, but it is what it is. If I find mistakes that I've missed, I go through, make changes, then upload the new version. Its all I can do, but it makes me better.

Forgotten Future

message 29: by Tony (new)

Tony Rabig | 10 comments I'm just starting in the indie/self-publishing game; I'd intended to send the work to editors and agents, as I'd done while in college and shortly after, but the publishing landscape has changed quite a bit since the late 60s and early 70s. I'm past sixty and don't feel like pounding on mostly closed doors for a decade -- I'll take my chances getting the work out there myself.

Bests to all,

message 30: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins I'm moving towards the "indie" route in part because I've had some less-than-ideal experiences with small presses. I like the flexibility of ebooks as well; my first published novel, "Expert Assistance," would never have been picked up by a major because it was under 65k words. I'm looking at releasing later this year a novella in ebook form.

I work hard to find and correct any mistakes that pop up. That's why I like ordering proof copies from Create Space before approving any book for sale.

Here's where you can find me at Goodreads:

message 31: by George (new)

George Straatman My decision to take the Indie route came impart due to my rather ruthless intransigence in controlling my creative process and that encompassed everything from the Cover graphic to the point size of the text for my first two novels...It was always my fundamental belief that I would rather sell a small number of copies of a novel that was my own creation, told in a voice that was exclusively my own, than sell a substantial amount of a novel that was only a pale facsimile of the story as I envisioned it. The decision was also reached as a result of the disdain that the traditional publishing machinery seems to hold for new writers...who are often treated as pariahs by many...The variation in quality, it will be argued by many, comes from the talents level of the writers and while this may, in part be true, another major factor is the simple cost of producing a book...from a decent cover graphic that gives the novel a professional appearance to the editorial work done between the covers...these are extensive undertakings and many writers simply do not have the financial wherewithal to invest the money required to bring the product up to traditional publishing house standards...While the authors groups embrace the Indie scene and its voice, I was shocked to discover how many good readers readers hold the entire indie segment of the industry in complete contempt.

message 32: by J. (new)

J. Rubino (jrubino) | 90 comments I think there is a difference between an independent publisher and being self-published. My first books were published by a small independent press (and some were picked up by larger pressed for pb reprint). Small presses often use freelance editorial talent, which can be very good or very bad - there are also few to no editorial passes which might give the author that last chance to pick up errors. A self-published author will have to either edit the book, or hire an editor and again, talent varies.
I don't know what horror stories have been told about editors changing material but in my experience with a large house (Crown/Random House), the editorial and copyediting talent was superb. The editor did not change anything, she refined certain things and her input certainly improved the book - good editing is a true talent - and the copyeditor was extremely detail oriented. I did not find that anything the publisher did interfered with creativity, and while the initial decisions on certain things (cover art, for example) were made by the house, we (my co-author and I) were consulted on everything.

message 33: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 140 comments Hi,
for anyone who is interested, and can get there, I will be introducing the speakers at the friday evening session at the Winchester writers conference on friday the 1st july.
The session is entitled 'warts and all' it is an in depth look at the alternative ways of getting published. I've got some of the very best 'indie' authors, Sue Rule, David Elliot, Carrie King and Sarah Whitaker, all have gone different routes to achieve their dream of having their work published, short run, P.O.D. ebooks, audio books, between them they've done it. Kim Cross, the M.D of Grosvenor House will be giving the publishers/ service providers side of things.

It should be an exceptional evening, and between us we should be able to answer most of your questions.
I look forward to meeting some of you, feel free to come over and have a chat, I'll be on the 'Authors OnLine stand, friday and saturday.
All the best Paul Rix [oldgeezer]

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Congrats, Paul! Let us know how it goes. I'll be participating in the 1st Nashville Book Festival this weekend - June 3-5 at Rivergate Mall. Long days, but should be fun. My daughter will be dressed in costume - kids love it.

message 35: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Green (stacygreen) | 21 comments HI everyone! I'm an unpublished author just finishing my second book. I have a long round of edits ahead of me, and I'm willing to look into a pro editor, but I have a few questions. Self-publishing is Indie, but do the authors become their own publishing company? How exactly does it work?

I've told myself I'm going to query agents for at least six months and see what happens, if not just for the experience, but I know I'll likely have to look into self-publishing. I'm blogging and working on connecting, but for those of you who've had self publishing success, how did you successfully market the book(s)? What's the secret to getting yourself heard among the din of voices?


message 36: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 09, 2011 01:58PM) (new)

Stacy, when you learn the secret of 'getting heard among the din of voices' pass it along. :) That is something an author is constantly trying to accomplish. Marketing is HARD work, and publishers aren't as accommodating as they used to be with new authors.

In answer to your question, I believe 'success' in publishing depends upon the individual, their aims and desires. The odds are stacked against any author becoming an overnight sensation and mega hit. People such as Meyer and Rowlings took years before they reached that status.

I started writing my YA fantasy series at the request of my daughter. The first book was traditionally published - now I'm self with 3 books in print and the 4th due out in August. That's success. Am I a household name? Not yet. Have a made a bestseller list? Not yet, but I have kids who are anxiously waiting for the next installment.

message 37: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Green (stacygreen) | 21 comments Shawn,
I think for me, success would first be to have a book out there I could be proud of, one that I'd love to read.

Marketing is hard, and confusing. I'm blogging and slowly gaining followers, but I keep hearing about branding and I wonder how to do that. All I know to do is to be myself and reach out to others.

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

You said the key in your last sentence "All I know to do is be myself and reach out to others." If you attempt anything else, it won't last long before others find out. Keep a level head, realistic expectations and do the best you can. No one can ask more.

As for "branding", that's a marketing term for finding something unique, a hook. Branding is nice, but can also be an annoying device when marketing. I'm blessed with a creative family, so we've done everything 'in-house' as we feel comfortable with.

I use the name Allon Books for easy recognition, but I haven't filed to become a 'company'. By acting as an individual (indie) author, I don't have to.

Keep it simple and start slow and grow as you feel comfortable. Doing what you are at present will give you a base for when you finally get 'published'.

message 39: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 55 comments I went indie for a lot of reasons, most of all to save time. I know I wrote a challenging book. I know it's not going to be a bestseller. And because of that I knew it was going to be a long slog to see about getting an agent and then the agent selling it.

So there was time on that dimension. There's time on the dimension of getting the book from manuscript to on the shelf. Even with spending eight months on editing and revising to get the book just the way I wanted it, I still saved time over the industry standard year long wait.

There was time to build an audience. Since I'm self published I can take the time to do a slow build. The book didn't have to take off yesterday or face years of obscurity until I got my rights back.

My guess was that I was probably looking at three or four years from finishing my ms to book on the shelf if I had gone trad. In that three year period I'll have the sequel done and selling, and the first draft of the prequel done. To my way of thinking that's all the reason one needs to go indie.

Sylvianna (For those of you who are curious as to what my finished product looked like.)

message 40: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Green (stacygreen) | 21 comments Shawn wrote: "You said the key in your last sentence "All I know to do is be myself and reach out to others." If you attempt anything else, it won't last long before others find out. Keep a level head, realistic..."

Thanks for the encouragement. Getting the blog on its feet is tough. I know I can't blog about writing but finding something that resonates with readers is also challenging.

Thanks for explaining that. I've heard of some self-publishers forming their own publishing co. and was never clear of their reasoning.

message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Some SP authors do form their own companies. I don't know why either, since it's hard enough being an indie author, I couldn't imagine starting my own business.

We were approached by an indie author at an event last week who wanted to know if my hubby and daughter were willing to do freelance work. They politely refused since I keep them busy full-time with my books. :)

Some see it as networking, but that seems lame to me if all you're doing is soliciting and advertising to other indie authors for purchasing your work, asking for reviews, help editing, etc. At some point you have to expand beyond the circle to reach people.

message 42: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 55 comments J. wrote: "I think there is a difference between an independent publisher and being self-published. My first books were published by a small independent press (and some were picked up by larger pressed for pb..."

I think these days, especially as medium and small houses are popping up like mushrooms and may publish only a few titles (often through CreateSpace and Smashwords) the difference between the Independent Publishing House and the Independent Publishing Author is getting awfully small.

As for the big six, I've heard authors who had a blast. They were treated like princes, well paid, their input considered, and the wouldn't have traded that experience for anything. Nor do I blame them.

Likewise, I've seen authors report they were treated like dirt, and their books made worse by their publisher. No one wants to go through that, and I fully understand how that situation could put a person off going trad for life.

These days it really does seem like a roll of the dice as to who you get and how you do.

message 43: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Green (stacygreen) | 21 comments Shawn wrote: "Some SP authors do form their own companies. I don't know why either, since it's hard enough being an indie author, I couldn't imagine starting my own business.

We were approached by an indie auth..."

I know what you mean. Seems like it would make a big, confusing mess. I'm not the best business person. And the issue of covers, art, etc., is a whole other can of worms. That's something I would have to learn as well, or hire it out.

message 44: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 55 comments I can tell you why you set up a company. In the long run, if you're going to be publishing a lot of books, it makes things easier for tax purposes. And if you incorporate you can get the corporate tax rates instead of personal tax rates, which depending on your income levels may be a better deal. Also you can set yourself up as an LLC which may benefit you as well.

Plus, if you set up an imprint you have something of a work around for the "I don't take self-published books" book reviewers. Personally I think that's a bit on the sleazy side, but I know it happens.

Some authors who work under multiple pen names in different genres set up an imprint to keep all of their books under one easily searchable umbrella.

So, lots of reasons for setting up your own company. Even though I didn't set up my own imprint, I certainly set up a business license. It makes it that much easier when I do my taxes to look like a real business instead of a hobby. And, with no income at all last year, and almost 3k in expenses, I wanted everything I could find to not look like a hobby writer.

message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Interesting, Keryl. I run Allon Books like a business and know that side of it since my husband did freelance for years. But I haven't taken the last step because I don't want to deal with people coming out of the woodwork offering me their services, making book pitches,or looking for a job, etc.

I still get the tax benefits as an individual, only less headache of being a 'publisher'. :)

message 46: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 55 comments Shawn wrote: "Interesting, Keryl. I run Allon Books like a business and know that side of it since my husband did freelance for years. But I haven't taken the last step because I don't want to deal with people ..."

If you've only got a few titles, I just don't see much reason to be a "publisher." But, give me ten years, I may have a whole bunch out by then, and at that point, it might make things easier, and look a little more professional, if I've got Magefire Press (or whatever I call it) up and running.

Granted, if I go that far, I might also start offering publishing to other pet writers as well.

message 47: by J.L. (new)

J.L. Murphey (JLMurphey) | 38 comments While my nonfictions were published traditionally by the likes of Doubleday and about four other publishers, when I decided to write fiction I chose indie. Keep in mind I have over 25 title credits to my name in nonfiction. I have been an author/freelance journalist for over 30 years. I chose indie not because I couldn't find representation or a publisher, I've had offers and refused.

Here are the reasons why...
1) I get payments quarterly instead of bi-yearly. Imagine paying all your bills six months in advance or budgeting.

2) I am faster to my reading public. Traditional publishing from the time you finish your manuscript until it's in the reader's hands is 18 months at the shortest and years at the longest.

3) More control. I am not a control freak. Once my traditionally published books were in the publisher's hands I had no control over art work, where it was sold, how it was sold, buy backs, returns etc. There are about twelve different hands which touch your book before it is put on the shelves. This does not include your agent.

4) More money in my pocket. My nonfictions earn royalties at between 12%-25% to me whereas, indie earns me 75%-85% in my pocket. Yes, I still receive some royalty checks from the publishers also.

Yes as an indie it is up to me to promote, edit, distribution and do all the things those twelve other hands did.

As an indie I use beta readers for each story. These are people I use to be honest about what works and doesn't work in a story. I also keep my own editing skills up to par by editing other authors.

Being an indie author you are a sole prop entity as far as taxes goes so save your receipts. I have a background in marketing and accounting so this is no worry for me, but may be for others. If sales continue I'll have to PC myself (professional incorporation for the tax breaks).

message 48: by Editio (new)

Editio  (editiomedia) | 12 comments There are so many reasons why authors go Indie now a days.

1. More control over work
2. More money ( if you are successful)
3. You have to wait 2 minutes to have it published instead of 5 years
4. You can publish from the comfort of your own home
5. Pride of doing it yourself
6. Some people enjoy creating their own covers
7. Flexibility
8. Low stress

message 49: by P.J. (new)

P.J. Johns (PJJohns) | 10 comments I decided to go indie (I agree with an earlier post, in that I prefer calling myself an 'indie-author' over self-published - the latter has a few negative connotations linked to vanity publishing for me) after getting frustrated with not even managing to get past those darn gatekeeper agents.

The biggest hurdle I have is that my first novel straddles sci fi and fantasy, and sits closer to steampunk fantasy, which makes it a little obscure and difficult to market.

On the plus side, it's nice to know that my book is available to millions, and that people beside my family and friends actually like it!

I guess the biggest problem with self publishing is the lack of professional editing, that a big publishing house (or even a smaller one) would offer, so most authors, myself included are forced to rely on ourselves to edit, and let's face it, we miss stuff (I'm spotting quite a few now, despite having edited my book a number of times). Paying for a professional editor is expensive, as is paying for a cover artist. On the plus side, it's much easier to generate a new edition, and I've learnt an awful lot with publishing my first book.

But I won't let it deter me. I'm working on my next novel now, which I also intend to self-publish, and with luck, this time I might even have the funds to pay for that edit and cover.

message 50: by Mary (new)

Mary Aris (thegoldenpen) | 21 comments I agree with you, P.J. But take pride...we Indie Authors work hard and should be recognized on a professional level. I have to rely on myself to Edit my work and I often miss something out; but I try to fix the mistakes even if it means publishing a second edition of my work. I've published 8 books already. My Gothic Novel, The Curse of Anna Greene had to be revised 8 times! I missed the word lynch mob; somehow I thought for years that it was 'wince' mob. LOL I've corrected the minor mistake and published a second edition of the novel.
So a pat on the back and let's keep on trucking!

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