Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fearless and Frightened Female

Kind of an oxymoron, right? Fearless AND Frightened? 

I have written and deleted two other ideas for this blog.  All because I felt like talking about nonsense instead of what is really going on in my head.

Why force something  that should always come naturally?

I'm trying to make a decision. A big decision. A big, writer-ly decision.

Going Indie.

Now some of you nod your heads in understanding while others blink and say "What's that mean?"  Allow me to explain.
Going Indie means self-publishing, being completely independent, and forging the world in the "nontraditional" way.

Thing is, Indie is growing. It's becoming more of the "norm" as days go by. Publishing companies have to be picky in how they spend their money, especially since they're almost guaranteed to take a loss once they issue the advance (up to 95% of writers won't sell enough to match it, depending on the size).  There are those rare few - the J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and Stephanie Meyers, who manage to strike gold with their crafting, but how many amazing writers do you know of who no one else has heard of?

It happens, and Indie is a way for writers to take control.  They own the rights. They make the money (if any), and they take the risk.  Most notably of late is Hugh Howey, the author of WOOL - a NY Times best seller - who started with Amazon's Create Space and now is signed (keeping many of his rights) and even has a film adaptation in the works.

Karen Amanda Hooper is an Indie author I stumbled across who blew me away. I fell in love with TANGLED TIDES, her own take on mermaids. Man, does she deliver.

The fear, apart from the unknown, is (for me) putting out a book that isn't ready, isn't good enough, has mistakes.  That's not a name I want to make for myself.  Another fear would be no one being interested or wanting to read.

We've all seen those books - cheap or free on Amazon - that aren't very good. They're filled with grammatical mistakes, or even factual inaccuracies (that drive some crazy).  There is such a thing as "jumping the gun" and starting something too soon.

But that's something I have to face.  I don't plan to throw something out there unpolished and silly, and I hope people want to read.  I can't let fear dictate my life and keep me from my dreams, right?

I am lucky to have a ridiculously supportive family. They are fearless on my behalf in this endeavor, wanting to push me out into the world so everyone can see what they believe about me.
That I'm a writer.
A good one.

So we'll see where this goes.  We'll see if it's Indie or Traditional, but right now Indie has a good calling.

What say you, blog readers? What are your thoughts - from writers - on Indie VS Traditional?

For readers, what do you think about an author forging their own path? Are you up for supporting him/her?


Deb Kemper said...

Some of your fears are founded. A good editor can put your mind to rest for a few hundred dollars. They'll read and edit your work. A good critique, much less, would let you know if your book's any good. I've self-published 2 and love it. My husband and i started a small press in December to help writers who don't have the tech savvy to publish for a small fee, letting the author have control over all royalties and decisions on book cover, series, or not,all the things standard publishing venues take from the author, who by the way does most of the work. If you're interested check out

Deb Kemper said...

Kelsey-plain and simple said...

Thank you Deb! I appreciate the back story and encouragement. I am off to check out your books and your website!

LornaFaith said...

Kelsey I understand the dilemma you're facing. For myself, after thinking, long and hard, I decided to go with Indie publishing. I'm in the final stages of editing my 1st Historical Romantic suspense. I've had a good editor who has helped me to develop the story better. It's cost a little than we wanted to spend(around $2000...over the course of 8 months)but I've really grown and learned as a writer. She's done developmental edits, proofreading as well as formatting. I have a friend who is a graphic designer so she is in the process of finishing the book cover. There are a quite a few things to think about when self publishing, but I find the process quite fun :-) I just finished registering our business name, have gotten my EIN number and now I've picked up ISBN numbers. So I'm in the process of purchasing Scrivener which formats books for .mobi(for kindle) and ebooks(for places like Smashwords, iBookstore,etc.). A blog that I've found helpful is Anyway, those are my thoughts on indie publishing :-) Have fun learning.

Kelsey-plain and simple said...

Thank you Lorna! That's very helpful :) I do know it can get expensive, but when keeping the rights that can break even! Thanks for your help. I appreciate it!

Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...

Hey Kelsey - I think you know my thoughts, which are mainly to follow a lead like Lorna, and not take short-cuts if you go Indie. A good edit, proper formatting,and a nice cover. Oh and read, reread, and reread, and have betas do it too. (I volunteer to help beta!)
That said, I do think you should be comfortable with your decision whichever way you go. Take your time and get the book where you want it, and then make it shine.
BTW - I just read a very interesting little ebook on this subject called "Point of Sale" by Terri Main. Check it out, and I'd recommend it for you too, Lorna.

Robin Harnist said...

Everyone here has great information! The keys to going Indie include (but are not limited to) the following: 1. EDIT 2. Edit 3. Edit 4. Edit....5. Beta 6. Edit 7. Edit 8. Edit (repeat as needed) 9. Beta 10. Edit (repeat as needed) 11. Hire a professional editor (this will cost money, but well worth it in the end) 12. Edit (repeat as needed) 13. Editor again (repeat as needed. 14. Edit. 15. When you're happy with it, hire a cover artist. A professional. If they aren't a professional, your cover will look...well....people won't buy it. While they work on your cover, edit some more. 16. Format 17. Read through your work again and again until you're sure it is ready. Have others read (beta) continually as well. 18. Self Publish (but be sure to do so in a way that on't sell your rights (unless you want to) to whoever you publish through.

I smell a BMW blog post should do one!

DM Kilgore said...

I'm toying with the same fears and decisions Kelsey! I love this post, and all the helpful replies. I can say that the world of e-books has led me to many unknown but amazing writers. It has also led me to tears over good stories that were pushed out there full of errors. And, there are the slew of omgosh this is terrible ebooks. It's still something I think of doing though. The main thing to me is getting the word out so that we don't become just a name on a list in an endless pit of ebooks.

Kelsey-plain and simple said...

Thanks Stephanie and Robin :) Donna, I know how that goes!
Sometimes I wonder if I'd want to try the first one small press, see how they do everything, and then jump off the next cliff solo with book two.

Or vice versa.
Who knows!

Thanks everyone!

Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...

Ask Robin if she thinks it should be edited first. ;)

Katie Cross said...

This a fantastic post for any author to read. I think all of us toy with these, and take these fears head on.

Thanks for spilling your guts- I"m sure you've got this!