Why do authors choose indie publishing?
What a difference a decade can make. In 2007 Amazon launched Kindle Direct Publishing, making self-publishing easier and more accessible than ever before. Here we are ten years later and self-publishing has become a viable choice for many authors––and NOT as a plan B alternative to traditional publishing.
So why would an author choose not to pursue traditional publishing? Of course, there are pros and cons to forgoing the traditional route, but one of the biggest benefits of self-publishing is that the author maintains control of every aspect of the product they produce. Translation? Total creative freedom. But with that creative freedom comes ALL of the responsibility. The self-published author has to be an author, a publisher and a business savvy workhorse. As if writing a book isn’t an insurmountable task all on its own, publishing and marketing it can be an even more daunting task.
But even with all that freedom, why would any author really want to tackle all that work? I sure didn’t, but for me it was all about the timing. When I completed my first book, YA trends were on point right at that moment for that particular genre. I feared that by the time I pursued an agent, secured an agent, and then waited patiently for that agent to help me secure a publishing deal, go through the editing process and finally get the book to market, reader interest would have significantly waned by then. To maximize on the fast moving YA trends, sometimes indie publishing is not only the best option for certain books, but it is often the only truly viable option for many authors.
I was on the fence for a long time before I finally decided to forgo the query letter path and focused my time and energy to educating myself about the world of self-publishing. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, and it can often be a very lonely endeavor, but it was absolutely the right choice for me.
It has been a thrill to see how far the indie world has come in just a few short years and I can’t wait to see how it will continue to change and evolve in the years to come. There will always be those … “what-were-they-thinking” indie books, but as a community, indie authors are raising the bar each year as more and more authors are taking the independent path ... and their readers are loving it!
-- Contributed by Melissa A. Craven
YABC Indie manager and author of the Emerge Series