Adventures in Indie, #1

Now I know there’s a lot of angst out there about Indie Publishing. Some people despise it, some people say it’s the only way to go, and a goodly portion of those two groups would cheerfully strangle members of the opposing group.

I’ve published with small publishers, magazines, and large traditional publishers, but I’ve got indie published works as well. I’m one of the growing number of writers who believe that both courses have validity.

So for the next few months, I’m going to talk about my indie experiences.  From time to time I’m going to talk here about people who’ve helped me along the way. Because they’re pretty darn awesome people.

First, a little history:

Back in 2012, I self-published my backlist of short fiction. My main desire was to make my old work available for people who didn’t like to read on a computer. Because I wasn’t really looking for huge profits, I formatted the ebooks and made the covers by myself.

Back in 2012, that was okay…so long as you weren’t using crayon to do the covers and you did a decent job self-editing. I’m not a terrible editor, and I could patch together a cover based on covers that I’d already found online.

But by mid-2015, the ebook market had changed. What had looked acceptable in 2012…looked dated and unprofessional in 2015. (Yes, that’s how fast this market is changing.) 

After a lot of consideration, I began to take down my old ebooks and redo the parts that were important. My goals had changed. I suspected by then that I was going to lose the support of my publisher, and started thinking about getting my indie career going. My writers groups all have members going indie on the side, so I had a lot of examples before me of other people doing this, and doing it well.

In 2015, I checked with my publisher and, once I had their approval (there was a contract concern), I got ready to publish my first new book on my own. 

The Seer’s Choice came out in October 2015.

For this book, I hired an amazing cover artist (Rachel A. Marks).  I chose Rachel because I’d seen her work before (specifically the work she’d done for Alethea Kontis–scroll down to the covers for The Trix Adventures) and I knew her via one of my writers’ groups.

I wanted a cover that carried forward the theme of my Golden City covers. I wanted one that would match the new story. And I was delighted with the cover. She did a far better job than I could ever had done!

I also hired a publisher–e-Quality Press–to help me get the formatting right. While the interiors of the old books were passable (yes, I know how to put in a hyperlink), they lacked the little bows and flourishes that make an ebook look professional.

Again, EQP was recommended by one of my writers groups, and I’d previously met Rick Fisher. It’s been great working with him, because he makes my work look far better than I ever could.

(I have actually used an auto-formatting service for one ebook, but that was a special situation, and I would not choose this as my go-to-method. I’ll talk about that process later.)

So for my first foray into the world of Indie Publishing, I feel like it went pretty smoothly.While this hasn’t been a break-out best seller, The Seer’s Choice earned out (that means my profits exceeded what I spent on the book) in early 2016 and continues to sell now. That makes it a good investment.

I’ll break this process down further as the next few months go along, and talk about the print version of the book as well–that’s a totally different can of worms!

 

 

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