February 10, 2017

Indie Publishing: From Your Dream to Your Hands (Part One)

Hey there!
Kara Swanson, here. Welcome to my blog series on independently publishing. Here, I'll talk about my personal experiences like I actually know what I’m doing J

I first indie published at seventeen, and am taking the plunge again for an urban fantasy/sci-fi novella called The Girl Who Could See (learn about it on Goodreads here) that releases in June.

As I grow and gain a little more knowledge about the vast ocean that is indie publishing, I’ll be sharing with you! So stay tuned.

I’m calling this series Indie Publishing: From Your Dreams to Your Hands for a very specific reason. People who independently publish their work are just that—dreamers. Those who are serious enough to learn the tangled web of formatting, cover design and CreateSpace. Those who have a story to tell, and have decided this is the best way for them to do it. Those who are willing to reach for the stars, even if that may take hours of long, hard dedication to being author, editor and publisher.

I’ve thrown around the word “indie (independent) publishing” several times already, and I’d like to explain briefly what that really is. There are two basic types of publishing in this industry. Some other options cross over, but these are the two most well-known:

Traditional Publishing
Independent Publishing

Traditional publishing has been around for…well…ever. It’s the one most people think of when they hear the word ‘publishing’. A traditional house will contract an author (after a very difficult submission/screening process that I can’t get into here) and then find editors, a cover designer, formatter, the best way to market and distribute the book, etc. They will essentially make your life easier, and pay you for writing and gaining an audience through book signings and any media. That’s the very, very basic version.

With Indie publishing, you become the publishing house. It is up to you to find editors, a cover designer, to format your book, to distribute it, to publish through various venues (generally Amazon Kindle/CreateSpace) and then market it. You must find an audience of people who will want to buy your book when it finally is available. You will have to get it into bookstores, libraries etc.

Seems like a lot of work, right? So, why go indie if a traditional house will do much of that for you?

There are many reasons people choose indie, here are a few:
  • Many want to retain all the control over the process they can, so that the book that ends up on bookshelves is the story they set out to tell.

  • For others, it’s their best option, as their stories fit outside the realm of what traditional publishers generally publish. (That’s one of the reasons why I’m doing my novella by myself, as it's too short/strange for most publishers. )

  • Some authors thrive by putting out their novel themselves, retaining far higher royalties, and already sitting on a large platform of readers.

So, there you have it! A basic explanation of what indie publishing is and why it might just be the perfect fit for you.

Okay, so you’ve chosen indie publishing…what next? Stay tuned for the second post in this series, as I walk you through the various aspects of indie publishing starting with the art of refining your craft as an author.

Are you considering indie publishing? Have you ever independently published your own novel? Was this post of any help to you? 

'Till next time, 

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