Our once-a-month guest, Terry Odell has some great reasons for going indie. Thanks Terry. Be sure to stop by next week to hear from Morgan Mandel, who also embraces indie publishing in a big way.
Indie publishing is, according to Angela James, Carina Press editor, "the new black." Although I've never been much for fashion, this is one trend I'm happy to follow.
Of my nine novels, I've indie-published eight titles. Only two of them would qualify as indie books, since the other five are back list titles, previously released by several different publishers. However, since the rights have reverted to me, they're now mine. And number nine will be on its way this summer.
Indie publishing creates new opportunities for authors. Why did I decide to go indie with mine? Each one had its own reasons.
1. Blurred genre lines. When I tried the traditional route with my mystery, Deadly Secrets, the comments I got included things like, "great writing, great voice, but we can't figure out if it's a cozy or a police procedural." Traditional publisher like boxes. I tend to write outside them.
2. Book in a back list series. My newest release, Saving Scott, is part of my Pine Hills Police series. However, I had the rights back to the first 2 books, and they were already re-released as indie titles. No publisher would want to jump in with Book 3.
3. The bottom line. The small-press publisher of my Blackthorne, Inc. series doesn't contract multi-book deals. Each book has to be completed, submitted, and then it's a waiting game to see if it will be picked up. Plus, for other reasons, including a restructuring of their imprints, there was a good chance that they wouldn't take Danger in Deer Ridge, and even if they did it would be at least 2 years before I would see it published. And although they pay an advance, it is small and barely covers the promotion they expect their authors to do. Since they produce only hard covers for the library market, it's a tough sell to readers who aren't going to shell out $25.95 for an unknown author.
4. It's fallen off the radar. E-publishers publish a lot of books, so you're competing with countless other authors. New releases get the visibility. And, again, it's a bottom line thing. If you have to do your own marketing, are you going to spend it pushing a book where the publisher gets most of the money? Check your contract for reversion of rights. If your book isn't doing as well as you think it could, you might be able to get rights back and publish it yourself. But publishers are growing more aware of the value of e-books, and are tightening the reins on their control.
My advice to those who want to try indie publishing: Just because "anyone can do it" does not mean everyone should. If you've been getting rejections for reasons other than, "we're not sure how to sell this", it's quite likely you haven't yet crossed the line into presenting a professional product. Readers recognize inferior writing, and getting a book out there too soon is likely to do more harm than good.
For all my indie books, I hired a cover artist. I paid for a professional editor. And this is after my crit partners had their way with my manuscripts. About the only place I didn't hire out was for formatting, although I'm still picking up tips on how to deal with the various e-stores' software. (The Smashwords Style Guide is excellent, and their "meatgrinder" will catch a lot of errors.)
You're not restricted to e-books when you go indie. CreateSpace is one outlet that makes it easy to produce quality print books. But it's been my experience that the sales are in the e-books, despite all those who say, "I want to turn real pages."
Another aspect of going indie is the marketing … but that's another story.
Terry Odell is the author of numerous romantic suspense novels, as well as contemporary romance short stories. Her newest indie release, Saving Scott, is part of the Nook First promotion. It will be exclusive at Barnes & Noble for 30 days, but will be available at all other e-book stores the latter part of April. Her next traditional release is Rooted in Danger, which is book 3 in her Blackthorne, Inc. series. It's available for pre-order. Buy links are HERE. To see all her books, visit her Web site. You can also find her at her blog, Terry's Place, as well as follow her on Twitter, or visit her Facebook page.
Posted by Maryann Miller who has a hard time keeping up with all the new releases by Terry. Good reads all.