Or this post should actually be called “The Power of the Back-post”, because this is SUPER late, but I’m acting like it came out on July 4th. But it’s not my fault, I promise you!
Okay, it’s my fault, lol. Been busy, but I couldn’t let July go without celebrating Independence Day, especially considering that I get to spend my time with the coolest indie authors and readers on the planet. CHYEAH!!
So in light of the glorious holiday weekend, not only did I rock out for America’s Independence (with hotdogs and fireworks), but I also got nostalgic about creative independence. So I wanted to give a brief PSA about how awesome it is to “keep it indie”, so to speak.
So why have I stayed indie? Well…
1. Total Freedom, Total Control, Total CHOICE
Okay, so don’t get me wrong, but I really love the flexibility and mastery that indies have over their brands, their products, their marketing & PR strategies, and… well, everything! For a long time, because traditional outlets were the primary outlets available to writers, authors were pretty under the thumb of the publishing giants. We were told what, how, and who to write and when we could actually write these things.
Furthermore, we had little control over how our work was marketed, including how our book looked, when it was released, and where it could be marketed. Omg, and FORGET IT if you sold the publisher your movie rights, tv rights, or any other rights outside of your paperback ones! That was (and still is) always a crapshoot when you’re dealing with the publisher as the middle man.
Now, this is not to say that traditional publishing is bad!! Nor am I trying to kick off a traditional vs indie debate. (Because I don’t believe in black-and-white, all or none scenarios where creativity is involved!) Plenty of indie authors are also traditionally published and find that the exposure, support, and benefits they get from traditional publishing are phenomenal. And there is no denying that!
Traditional publishers have a lot of clout in terms of production, marketing, and distribution; you know you’re going to get an awesome, time-tested editor and fantastic cover art. Not to mention, if a traditional publisher even sneezed in the direction of your book, hundreds to thousands of people are going to know about it. Not to mention they have exclusive access to all that glorious coveted shelf space in national bookstores!
The great part of being a part of the indie movement, though, is that we all now have a choice, and we have the ability to move from indie to traditional or to work with both. I love being able to craft my brand my way, organize my own marketing strategies, and reach out to my readers on a personal level, but even more so I love having a choice! (Go indie!)
2. More personal professional relationships
As an indie author and publisher, I have to deal with all of my collaborators (artists, graphic artists, editors, concept artists, and my audiobook narrator) directly, and as a result, I feel as though I forge a much more personal relationship with them. If I were traditionally-published, I’d never meet or communicate with anyone except my agent and maybe my editor. For some people, this might be a relief as they’d prefer to spend their time writing rather than chatting it up with their teammates. For me, though, I love hanging out with my folks!
3. More personal relationships, period
Being an indie author is NOT an easy road. There are so many of us out there that it’s hard to be heard above the noise, especially without help from other indies in our genres. But I see this more as a divine gift rather than as a nuisance, because I really love meeting other authors, collaborating with them, and learning from them. If each of us could be a massive success on our own, we might miss out on the opportunity to join forces with other creators, and that’d be so wack!
Hmm, I’m sure there are a lot of other reasons why I love being an independent author, but I’m feeling like I covered a big ole chunk of them in the above three points, lol!
Anyways, what about you? What do you think is so cool (or uncool) about being indie? Put your comments below, and in the meanwhile…
Happy Independence Day, and keep it indie!