I’m proud to say I’m an indie author.
What does that mean, you ask? Quite simply, it means that I am responsible for every aspect of writing, publishing, and marketing my work.
This is the point where most people tend to look at me with an odd expression and ask, “Why would you want to do that?” or “Don’t you need to get a publisher?”
See, there is a common misconception that people who don’t go the traditional route of sending out queries, getting an agent, and signing a contract with one of the large publishing houses aren’t real authors—they aren’t any good.
Sure there are some writers who choose to push the Publish button just because they can. They send their book out into the world without any thought, preparation, or consideration for the readers who will be spending their valuable time reading that book. Their characters aren’t developed. Their story line has holes and inconsistencies. Their book is riddled with errors because they’ve made the careless mistake of skipping the editing process.
These folks have given serious indie authors a bad name.
There are a lot of authors who are happy or content to go the traditional route, and that’s perfectly fine . . . for them.
And some authors only choose the indie path after the traditional publishing route doesn’t work out. But don’t get me wrong—that does’t necessarily mean their books aren’t worthy of publishing. In fact I’ve read some great books by very talented and successful authors that fall into this category.
For me, and for many other authors I’ve met, indie was the first choice—a conscious decision.
Which brings us back to, “Why?” Although the question really doesn’t make much sense to me.
You wouldn’t ask a doctor why she set up her own practice or a carpenter why he set up his own shop. People open up hair salons, boutiques, and pizzerias without questions. The world is filled with countless businesses of all types and sizes, owned and operated by people just like you and me—people who want to be in control of their own lives and futures.
THAT is why I chose to go the indie route.
I’ve admitted before that I am a bit of a control freak. I’ve spent years creating story ideas and characters, breathing life into them by putting them on the page and giving them each a unique voice. I want to be the one responsible for making the decisions that affect my work and choose the people I believe can help make it better.
Being indie is more than just being an author. We are business owners and entrepreneurs. We are our own bosses. We are driven and educated individuals, pushing ourselves to be successful and always looking to grow . . . just like entrepreneurs in any other field.
Indie author-entrepreneurs need to know and understand every step in the life of a book, from capturing the first spark of a story idea to putting a quality finished book in the hands of eager readers. And we need to be willing to hire experts to handle some of those processes.
In the past two years, I’ve had many chances to interact with fellow indies—some of whom have become friends. In the beginning I was amazed by how freely others offered help and guidance, but I soon learned that this is “the indie way.” I am thrilled and lucky to be a part of this amazing community.
In keeping with that spirit, I am working on a way to add my contribution and help out other writers who are just beginning their journey . . . more on that coming soon.
I have faced numerous challenges on my journey as an author, and there are plenty more in front of me. But I can honestly say that I have never loved any job more or felt more pride in each accomplishment. This is what I was meant to do. I believe that in the very depths of my soul.
Succeed or fail, it all lies on my shoulders. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Why indie? Why not? For me it is the perfect choice! ~CJ
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