Although I have been traditionally published for many years, with various publishers, I recently saw the opportunities opening up in independent publishing, and jumped on board. I’d had a few books I’d written early in my career, which had never found homes with traditional publishers, and decided to make them available for my readers.
I’m very glad I did. I have found independent publishing to be a wonderful, engaging experience that has broadened my audience and my horizons. I’ve loved being able to write what I wanted to write, what I thought my readers might enjoy, without having to worry about someone else’s expectations.
Once I’d succeeded in bringing some romances to market, I realized I’d found a perfect place to publish my Veronica Sloan series. I’d tried to sell the series to the “big” publishers several years ago, but was rejected, mostly by people who said the stories were too dark, or that I, as a “little romance author” probably couldn’t pull off writing thrillers.
Many years and books later, I knew that not only could I write suspense-thrillers, but that I could do it well. So I was determined to throw myself entirely at the indie revolution and bring Ronnie Sloan and her friends, in their dark, dangerous world, to market.
Along the way, I’ve learned a few things about “indie” publishing…
- It’s popular—duh. It seems like everybody is doing it. And I know some people who are doing very—VERY—well at it. But I also know some people who are crashing and burning, selling a handful of copies a month and coming nowhere close to the money they made—or are still making—through traditional publishing.
- Those who are doing well:
- Authors who have a whole lot of books. The common scuttlebutt at the Romance Writers of American conference this summer was that it takes a minimum of five books for an indie author to really start seeing some good income. Less than that, and there’s not that “glom” factor—or not enough of one to keep the momentum going.
- Authors who already have a big following.
- Authors who have a lot of books in a connected series.
- Authors who excel at playing the games with pricing, promotion, connected books, free giveaways.
- Authors who buy the audience for the next book while they’re writing the current one by including lots of hooks that lead into other books.
- Those who are not doing well:
- Authors who haven’t really learned how to write a good book before they indie publish it. They might do well for a book or two, there are always flashes in the pan, but they won’t sustain the audience.
- Authors who don’t produce new content for their audience
- Authors who throw up poorly edited books with cheap, amateur-looking covers
- Authors who put a book up and don’t do a thing to promote it
As for me, not only do I love writing books that I intend to independently publish, I definitely love reading indie books. I’ve discovered so many new books, in genres I love that just aren’t being represented by traditional publishers. I think I’ve read every independently published zombie series there is…and will continue glomming them as long as daring, talented indie authors keep putting them out there.
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Genre - Thriller
Rating – R
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