I’ve been seeing a lot of advice lately about how to hide a writer’s indie publishing status. Things like buy your own ISBN numbers (not such a bad idea if you can afford it), start your own publishing company, use IngramSpark for the print version, etc. The logic behind the advice is if you want your book to make it into bookstores, or be a bestseller you have to look like you’ve been traditionally published.
The thing is, it sounds a whole lot like these people are ashamed of being Independently published. I’m not. I made a considered choice to publish indie. I didn’t bother sending my manuscripts to traditional publishers or agents. Not because I think my work isn’t good enough, but because I want to keep more of profits I earn instead of giving some big company 75%. Plus, I in my early 60’s and I’d rather spend my time writing the best books I can than frantically shopping around for agents and publishers.
I tried doing that early in my writing career. I wrote short stories and dutifully submitted them to various magazines then waited for replies. Some of them were encouraging. Some of them never came and some of them were outright rejections. (I did manage to get one story published in a magazine with a readership of about 5 people. For my payment I got copies of the poorly printed magazine.) It was this experience, the increased popularity of self-publishing and the well established fact that I’m lousy at marketing and salesmanship that led me to choose Independent Publishing.
I know what you’re thinking. That as an self-published author sales and marketing skills are even more important. And you’d be right. But the truth is, I’m not that fussed about it. I honestly don’t care if my friends and family are the only people who buy and read my books. I wrote them. I put them out there. Some people read them and liked them. I’m a happy woman. Maybe when I have more books out there in the marketplace more people will buy and read my stories. That’s how some indie authors do it. Sounds good to me.
Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s because I don’t really need the money. Or, maybe it’s my shy and introverted temperament that dampens my ambitions. Most likely it’s all of the above, but it doesn’t matter. This is the kind of writer I want to be and self-publishing allows me to be just that. Younger more ambitious authors will absorb all the advice the Internet has to offer and market their socks off. They will hit bestseller status and be able to make a decent living as writers and I am sincerely happy for them.
And that’s why I’m proud as hell to be an Indie Author. Self-publishing opens up a world of opportunity for writers of all types. We are free to write when and how and what we want and we can create marketing platforms as unique as we are at any level we are comfortable with. We are free to choose.