I’ve had some people emailing me and asking why I’m doing the stuff with my indie projects a lot.
Especially since last summer I was warning people not to look for fame and riches if they go the do-it-yourself route with self-digital publishing. I still don’t think you’re going to find it, especialy if you’re a NEW writer, especially if you haven’t found a reader base, and especially if you aren’t willing to invest in in things like editorial services, cover art, etc. Shoot, I still haven’t found fame and riches. And how long have I been writing?
Anyway. Those who are curious…here’s the deal.
With some stories… like the one I’m doing with Larissa and Stephanie, and then again, the one with Hunter’s Choice, stories that were previously published yet I still had rights to…it makes sense. Another publisher isn’t going to take these. But those who prefer ebook over print, this gives them the option, right?
Other stories, like Beg Me or Tempt Me, could they go to one of my epublishers? Yeah. Possibly. But one of the things I’ve always loved about my epublishers is that I could turn in a rough idea several months in advance, then the story a few months before release, have my cover, my blurb, etc… and still have my release date. This worked…for me…because I’m not always an organized thinker and these shorter stories were kind of a brain break for me.
I’ve never been a writer who uses a synopsis, who turns in a completed idea before the story is done. My NY publishers/editors don’t require this of me… the shorthand term, from what I can understand, is ‘buying on spec’… they take the rough idea, some sample chapters, and a rough outline and they offer me a contract based on this.
Previously with my epubs I’d had a similar freedom, although without the upfront money offered-and I was fine with that–I’d turn in a rough idea, without a synopsis and then the story came later, and the synopsis came with the story, because I just don’t know where a story is going until I’ve written it.
I’ve never missed a deadline in my career, knock on wood, and please God, let that continue. Not once. If somebody tells me that a book is needed by a set date? I get it to them.
But that freedom I’d previously experienced is kind of going away. Books are wanted earlier-not just partials, but completed books. This isn’t a bad thing for those who don’t work as I do, and it’s not a bad thing for the presses who are growing. Except when you’re working it in around busy schedules that include contracted works for other publishers, it makes it tricky.
Another problem is… it doesn’t work as well for me. As I’m not offered a contract from my epublishers until the book is completed and turned in…well…not even my NY pubs require that. And they offer a better deal-they’ll offer me a contract based on an idea with a few roughed out chapters and an idea. They don’t require me to ‘work on spec’. In short, they aren’t requiring me to invest time on a project with no guarantee it will be accepted. They’ve already accepted it, and offered me a contract. Before I’ve done much more than a few chapters. I don’t have that with my epubs and I also don’t have the freedom I used to have.
This long, drawn-out rambling explanation leads to this… the indie projects are just giving me the freedom I need.
Now try to understand…I’m not knocking anybody. For an organized writer, this set-up isn’t going to be an issue. But that’s not me. I am not an organized writer, I never have been and I know I probably frustrate people. But what works for me…well, it kinda of works for me, and I can’t change how I write, and how I work to suit somebody else. Chances are, with my paranoias, I’d screw things up anyway.
I’m just not always able to work within certain confines. They work for some. They don’t work as well as for me. They stress me out. When I’m stressed, I don’t work well.
Plus… those indie projects are playing out pretty fricking well right now. I’ve made more on Beg Me that I did on Crazed Hearts and Tarnished Knight combined-frankly, my sales on Tarnished Knight sucked and that was my favorite Grimm book. I realize the fact that Beg Me is almost a niche book, and that plays into the sales, and I know the fact that I’ve got a reader base to draw on plays into it. But if it’s working… well… it’s working, right?
I don’t plan on not writing for my epubs any more. Some things will just go better there–I’ve got readers who are really into my Grimm series and many of them love print. I’m still not sure about how to do the print deal on my own, although I’ll figure it out sooner or later.
Right now, I’m just having more freedom with the indie things-the freedom I used to have with my epubs. I need that freedom-it’s a stress reliever. I’m at a point where I need stress relievers…not stress-inducers. And I’m still muddling through things, playing with covers on my own, the right amount of promo, finding ‘the’ freelance editor, etc…although man, I wonder if Sara Reinke would hire herself out to be my freelance editor. Forever. She’s one of those few authors who did the editing thing and the author thing and from what I saw when she did an edit for me? Whoa…I can’t edit worth crap. She can. Rambling, rambling…
Back to the issue at hand.
The indie things are a way to let me breathe. A less stressful way of letting me tell a story on my timetable, a way of letting me get a story out on my timetable…a way of having a little more control over things. Contrary to popular opinion, writers don’t tend to have that much control once the book leaves their hands.
I confess, I’m a control freak, and sometimes, I just need more control. This way…I have it. And it’s paying me pretty decent. Why mess with a good thing?
3 Replies to “Why the Indie projects… filed under… Qs I get asked a lot…”
I think the main reason you were so successful with Beg Me is because you didn’t skimp on quality. I have seen several indie/self-pub projects out there that obviously were NOT edited at all. It was clear to anyone that bought Beg Me (like me) that you had taken the time & money to do the story right. I also agree that having an established reader base also contributed to the success of your indie project. I am looking forward to Tempt Me!
You are absolutely correct. The structured system is good for really organized writers. I’m just glad there is an outlet for others who are talented but just work a different way. And, it’s important for anyone who wants to self publish to take the lessons learned by the big publishers and pay for editing and cover art. It really does make a world of difference. When I pay for a book, whether ebook or print, I don’t want to feel like I am reading something along the lines of fan fiction. Unless I know up front that is what I am getting. Thanks for the interesting post.
I say if it works for you, then it works for me.
I won’t buy self published books from new authors, or authors I don’t know, but for authors like you, who I’ve read in print and in digital formats…I don’t care who it’s published with as long as the stories are great and the quality is the same. If that means more freedom and money in your pocket than I am all for it!
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