Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Indie Update #2

I blogged here about why I decided to go indie, and I had an update here on how I was doing. Time for another update, with the New Year and all.

My indie situation is, in a word, fab. Ooh, not even a full word! ;-) Fab may be a weee optimistic, but I don't think so.

Why fab?
-- My work's begun to win awards and might win more yet in 2012 (for the 2011 publication year) or be finalists. Awards are important to me in one way because of the stigma some people attach to being indie. The awards I won show my work is just as good as the publishers' work. I hope this quiets some people who wouldn't read my stuff.

-- The tangible greens. As of this writing, I am able to support myself entirely on my indie writing income. If need be, I could support my wife as well. I took a risk last week and passed on a teaching job. The pay actually would have been lower, and I have a M.S. in deaf education. I am getting paid to write, to do what I love. Writing clicks for me on all cylinders.

-- The little perks (or not so little perks). To wit: sleeping in, taking breaks whenever, eating lunch whenever, exercising whenever, no commute. And the little surprises: One big publisher said "Waiting" was not marketable, and it's my huge seller. I love these kinds of surprises.

It amazes me every day how little I made in three years with a regular publisher and how I make enough now to write full time. I never thought it was possible, especially in the lesbian fiction niche. It IS possible. I'm not the only lesfic indie writing full time. Publishers really are taking authors for granted by offering such low royalties. You would've seen that one reason I bypassed a publishing contract was because the publisher would not go beyond 30 percent NET on ebook royalties. (Net means after everyone else has had their cut.) I wanted to go up to 50 percent net, but even at 50 percent net, I wouldn't be able to support myself like I am doing now.

Going indie is a viable, viable choice. I've had a few authors contact me, some big-name authors, and ask me for tips and advice. Authors with publishers, if you're hesitant about signing your next contract, then don't. Chances are, your contract has a provision that says you can sign elsewhere if you find a better deal. Indie automatically gives you a better deal. You can do indie and still keep your day (or night) job. It will just take longer to publish than if you did it full time, but even working part time, you'd probably get your work out months before the publisher would have. You'll start making money on it sooner. Also, the rights to your works are yours. You keep making money on them until you die. And you get much more in the way of royalties. I think established authors are the perfect candidates to do well indie because they already have the fanbase. (I'll put my usual disclaimer here and say going indie is not for everyone. I can definitely see situations where it wouldn't work. But, as I said, it's a viable choice and becoming viablerererer by the day. Doing mixed publisher/indie is another viable choice.)

Wow, I got off track.

Back on track ;-) I'm not deluded enough to think this will last forever. It might. Ideally, it would. If it doesn't, I am glad I had this window out of a "normal" work life. I wouldn't trade what I'm doing now for the world. I want to take this opportunity to thank my readers and others who have helped me along this path. Thank you for giving me a chance, and I promise to do my best to keep putting out high-quality, intricate stories.

But first, my frappy run! :-)


ster said...

it's so awesome that you are making enough to make a living! i'm jealous! i'm an indie author with only 1 book currently out (next book slate for release next month), but i'm finding it EXTREMELY hard to figure out the marketing for my audience and what WORKS. right now, i feel like nothing works. LOL i refuse to give up though. and i'll figure it out- it just might take a little time

Q. Kelly said...

I will probably do a post on marketing fairly soon. I write in the lesfic genre, and I thought that put me at a disadvantage as far as income goes. But it actually doesn't. I think I am doing better in lesfic than I would in gen fic. The trick is to find niche genres and write lots in them.

Even if you write in broader genres, you can probably find a way to do marketing. I'd keep sending out book review requests and definitely keep writing. The more books you have out, chances are one will get noticed someday, then that leads to the others being noticed.

And thanks for commenting! :)