When did you begin indie publishing?
At the start of October 2013, with the release of my sci-fi / horror anthology “Memes of Loss and Devotion”.
Why did you make the choice to go indie?
Mainly for control, both of my image and my output, and to be honest for the potentially better royalty rate. I had also become disillusioned with a traditional publishing route that seemed to shun newcomers unless you had an advocate on the inside. It seemed a case of who and not what you know.
What do you enjoy most about being an indie author?
Being the one in control and writing what I want to – have to – write, without someone else dictating what is commercially viable. After all, how do you know whether a market exists without offering the product?
What do you think is the hardest part of being an indie author?
Having to do it all yourself. It’s not enough that you produce 70,000 compelling words, you then have to become an expert in cover design and typesetting. Then you have to become an expert marketer. Then you have to do all of the manual labour and heavy lifting yourself. Also, gaining traction and maintaining momentum is also hard when it’s all just you. You can’t rest and you’re often stretched in many different directions at once. Still, there’s plenty of advice out there. The indie author community is very generous when it comes to sharing its experiencing and giving away valuable advice.
What advice do you have for new indie authors?
Don’t give up! Keep writing and also keep reading. You have to read in order to have the basic tools to write. Also, be disciplined and single minded. Don’t let anyone diminish your self belief or stand in your way. Remember, your friends and family don’t know you as a writer, and getting them to believe in you is the first suspension of disbelief you have to overcome.
But mainly I think it’s a case of plot, plot, plot, followed by write, write, write followed by revise, revise, revise. Then it’s a case of work like a dog to promote your book.
If you had it to do over again, would you choose to go indie? Why/why not?
Yes, absolutely! The sense of achievement is greater when you’ve done it all for yourself. You can look at every aspect of production and take pride that “you made this”. You also get to learn from your mistakes, and know that next time it will be even better. Of course, there’s the small matter of writing 40,000+ words before you get to try again. I’ve had some experience of traditional routes and the journey can end very abruptly and without warning. In the indie world, you set the acceptance criteria and the pace and the quality gates. Then of course, you take all of the plaudits for the success. Also, in the indie world, your work is out there forever. It won’t go out of print or be pulped. You can play a much longer game. That’s why I chose the indie route, and that’s why I’d do it again.