I’ve been on the fence and, at various times, on either side of it. There have been times I went to sleep on one side of the traditional vs. indie fence and woke up on the other.
But after considerable appeal from each lobe of my brain and ventricle of my heart, the gut took the spoils.
I’m full-on indie and ready to roar.
Indie? It means I’m publishing my new novel, “Three of Cups” independently.
Traditional publishing works great for known authors and the microscopic percentage of newbies with the right story and the right mojo at the right place at the right time. But my luck has always been to find the missing earring two days after I’ve decoupaged its mate to a craft project. And my mojo shows up only when I’m in control.
Plus, I’m impatient.
I published my first two books, “Jaybird’s Song” and “You’ve Got a Wedgie Cha Cha Cha” through CreateSpace, Amazon’s publishing arm, and loved the process. With those credentials under my belt, I was tempted to seek an agent and a publisher for “Three of Cups.” But my research, my meager attempts at the process, and my gut quickly reminded me that I don’t want anyone changing the name of my book. I like it. And the whole, “if we are interested, you will hear from us in 8- to 12-weeks, don’t call or email us in the interim, and send all 80,000 words in the body of the email because we won’t open any attachments” crushed my mojo and flattened my convictions.
So I’m presenting it with my words, my title, my cover design and my marketing efforts, and hope to find its audience.
Indie publishing is huge for many reasons. It’s simpler than ever to distribute author’s works via electronic e-book files. More, it’s simpler than ever to print paperback versions as each book is printed on demand. There’s no outlay for cases of pre-printed books. Best of all, it gives the artist the opportunity to present his or her work as truly his or her work.
I like that part. A lot.
That’s not to say it should really be done independently. Professional editor Wayne South Smith is currently doing a content read on “Three of Cups.” He gave me great ideas after my first draft of “Jaybird’s Song,” and I’m expecting he’ll have an insightful grasp of ways to improve upon this new one as well. And my crack team of beta readers is hard at work. Reader No. 1, Monica McGurk, has picked up on tweaks, inconsistencies and a few goofs as well as offered fabulous feedback and ideas. I’m taking every suggestion.
Beyond that, every author needs a meticulous line-by-line proofreader and grammarian before expecting the world to embrace their efforts.
And a great cover is critical. Use a professional. Fortunately for me, I know one. And my dear friend Sharon Moore is the most amazing artist I’ve ever met. She’s working on an illustration that will go on the cover.
And then there’s the whole marketing thing. But from what I hear and read, so much of this is on the author’s plate anyway. Unless, maybe if you’re John Grisham or J.K. Rowling.
The most important component of all, though, is readers.
Indie authors need readers and fans to help catapult their story. Your support is huge.
There are so many ways you can help:
- Be a reader. Indie published book libraries are LOADED with talented authors and fabulous stories. Look beyond the top ten lists and spend time reading reviews. You’ll be surprised at what you can uncover.
- Share posts. Help good work go viral by sharing your opinion with your own spheres. One sphere becomes two, becomes four, becomes sixteen, and ultimately becomes viral.
- Leave a review. Reviews are gold to authors. There are plenty of places to review books, Amazon and Goodreads being the most obvious. Leave a few words if you wish, but even a handful (or close) of stars means so much.
- Tell your friends. Invite your book club. Write your own posts. Share stories you love with people you know.
“Three of Cups” is coming soon. It tells the stories of three women — Rachel, Mandy and Ginger. Though their narratives begin decades apart, a secret between two of them and the amazing power of female friendships, bring their stories into one.
I hope you’ll like it. KWF