The past year has been a big learning curve for me when it comes to all things books. I have become so much more appreciative of authors and everything that goes into writing a book. Its a tough gig. If like me you thought it was easy then let me tell you the nature of the beast that is writing is anything but easy. Whilst i support all authors, indies have a special place in my heart. Why? Because of the standard of work, the time and hard work upfront and the fact its all them. So what are the differences? There are pro’s and con’s to both of course but for me indie publishing seems to be more for the love of writing. Not how many can be sold and how much can be made. I heart indie authors. ❤ ❤
With a traditional publisher it can take up to two years for them to publish your book. There are more rules, for example you are more restricted to what you can write. You have to ask permission. Traditional publishers do all of the up front work such as editing and cover design. And physically getting the book out in to the world. They handle all of the marketing and ads. Earnings arent as high.
More freedom to write the stories they want. They can keep 70 or 80% of their book sales revenue, as compare to 20% under the traditional model. Choosing your own cover design. No upfront costs for physical copies, a print on demand service. Platforms such as Draft2Digital allows the author to distribute to a number of suppliers.
Sarah Northwood, Authors says, ‘ I love being an indie author because of the freedom it gives me. I can make changes to my books and covers any time. I don’t need to seek permission to write a certain story or go in a different direction. I also enjoy that i can ask for feedback on a story idea, a picture or poem anytime during the writing/publishing process giving me more control.’ Sarah’s books can be found here Amazon
Helen Pryke, Author says, ‘ There are pros and cons to both routes of publishing. The length of time from writing and editing to publishing, the earnings and getting physical copies into book stores. Bad editors and cover designers or ask for money upfront and disappear or use copyrighted images without permission are also pitfuls of indie publishing if you are not careful and know where not to look. Helen who has experienced the illegal piracy of her books also says that, ‘There are alot of people out there preying on naive and in experienced indie authors. Keen to publish their work but then hitting them with high contribution costs and buy a certain amount of copies which can lead tot thousands of pounds. She continues to say that its really important to join as many writing communities as possible to help you look out for these things.’ Helen’s books can be found here Amazon
Question and Answer With Fantastical Foodie Author @IsabellaMayBks.
Author of Pavlova, Cocktails, Churros and coming soon Ice cream. The Ice Cream Palour is her fourth novel and first as an indie Author. Isabella’s first three books were published under a small press, Crooked Cat.
Firstly thank you Isabella for taking time out to talk to me.
Thanks very much for inviting me onto your blog, Kayleigh!
1) As an author who has been published traditionally, why have you decided to go Indie?
I’m going to be honest, I naively assumed I’d bag an agent and/or one of the top 5 publishers for my fourth book (after three successful novels with a small press). I’d also attracted a loyal and lovely readership, and had lots of glowing reviews to boot. Alas, it wasn’t to be and I was emotionally exhausted by the rigmarole of the submissions process. I never really suffer from anxiety, but this journey tested me and left me feeling thoroughly depressed.
Although I received many positive rejections and much praise for my style, the publishers who showed an interest were asking me to change key elements of my writing and plot, all of which would have been akin to selling my soul. So I decided to stay true to myself; true to my writing voice (and my tendency to write multi-faceted fiction), and try the indie route instead. It’s been a steep learning curve but already I am addicted to the freedom it’s giving me to go ahead and get on with things without waiting for permission!
I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a traditional publishing deal in the future, but I know I am now in an even stronger position to stand my ground and ‘interview the publishing house/agent’ should that opportunity ever come around. Too many authors are compromising their USP to fit into a neatly pigeonholed marketing box. The only way to change the industry… is to change the industry!
2)What experiences have you gained from going Indie?
It’s definitely forced me to be less of a technophobe! It’s improved my marketing skills too. It’s ultimately been one of the most uplifting and empowering experiences. I choose my cover, I choose my launch date, and I only have my lovely readers to answer to in terms of my stories and my characters. What could be better?
3)Did being traditionally published give you more insight and understanding to help you go Indie?
Yes it did. One of the disadvantages of being published with a small press is you end up doing 99% of the marketing. But the flipside to that is you are well prepared to journey alone if you decide to independently publish. I feel I have nothing to lose and I will hopefully earn more in the process as only the online platforms I sell through will be taking a cut. The proof will be in the pudding with the latter!
4)What are the postives of being with a publisher?
I have made so many author friends. Crooked Cat, the publisher of my first three books, offered a fantastic platform to mingle with fellow CATS and support one another. That has been priceless. Both the contacts and friendships made, and the invaluable skills learned.
5)Pros and Cons of both Traditional and Indie publishing.
I think the pros and cons will differ wildly depending on whether you are with a big or small press. If I’d been snapped up by one of the Penguins – and their ilk – I’d be reluctant to walk away from all of that lovely marketing support. As an indie author (heck, as an author with a small press) it takes up 50% of your time. And that’s no exaggeration!
At my particular stage of the journey, I have to say it as it is: the only con to me going indie is losing the ‘badge of approval’ from my publishing house… and, as we are seeing more and more frequently, an author really doesn’t need that to be taken seriously any more.
The stigma has almost gone!
Often, our indie books are produced to a far higher standard than those with traditional presses. I know the levels of editing and proofreading (and love) that went into my own Book 4, The Ice Cream Parlour – my very first indie book – have far surpassed anything I have experienced before. Don’t get me wrong, my traditionally published books are written and produced to a decent standard. But my indie book has had to shine that much brighter to stand out from the pack, and no stone has been left unturned in polishing this baby up!
Every indie authors path is unique to them because ultimately each author is uniqe. So, I urge everyone who is skeptical about indie publishing, to think about the story behind it, and the effort it’s taken to get it out there, and the determination the writer has. Indie publishing is not for the impatient … it’s for authors who want their fate to rest in their own hands. I hope that those of you who read this will consider supporting these wonderful authors.
Big thank you to Helen, Sarah and Isabella for all of your input with this blog post.