Sunday, February 12, 2012

Indie Misconception Busters #1

Indie Misconception Busters #1: This blog post is probably the first in what could be an ongoing series on misconceptions about going indie. It's no secret that indies get looked down on all the time (although this is lessening, thank goodness). I deal with it, but what I notice more are the misconceptions many authors (with publishers, wannabe authors or already indies themselves) have. Going indie is not for everyone, but a misconception (or several) should not stop you. So, this series is designed to put the facts forth. It's up to you to decide what to do with the facts as they apply to your situation. The bottom line is that the indie experience isn't as hard as many people make it out to be. It's actually a lot of FUN.

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Oh boy. Going indie as an author. Hard work, right? You need to do it full time. And forget about having a life. Your job has full benefits, a nice 401(k). You don't want to go indie and quit all that. Right? Right?

Here's the thing. You don't need to quit. It's a misconception that indies need to be full time. I'm not sure why that misconception's occured, but you can certainly do indie part time or just a few hours a week (or a few hours a month). It takes longer than it would full time, but it is usually still faster than with a publisher. Indies part time can still get a book out faster than a publisher could.

Chances are you don't write full time, so why would going indie need to be any different? (And if you're spending lots of time querying agents and all that, that's time right there you can apply to the indie business.) The only difference in time between indie authors and authors with publishers is that indies (some, anyway) do their own covers, formatting and uploading. Some indies farm out these jobs. The other jobs: writing, revising, editing, blogging, promotion, going to workshops, etc., etc., etc., etc., you would do if you were with a publisher.

Cover.
Formatting.
Uploading.

That's really all that's separating indies from authors with publishers time wise. You can do your covers yourself in a few hours (Dean Wesley Smith recommends PowerPoint as an easy, cheap, but quality way). Same goes with formatting. Uploading is even quicker. The time these tasks take is probably less than the time you've spent querying agents and publishers and waiting (many months, most likely) for a response. If you were indie, you could've gotten the book out in that time and it'd be making you money already.

I do indie full time now, but I did not always. "Strange Bedfellows," my first indie book, was released in late August. I did indie/writing part time. In middle or late October is when I made the shift to going indie full time because the money coming in was justifying such a shift. In December, I made the decision (it was a hard one, yes) to pass up a teaching job so I could continue doing indie full time. Even if I'd taken the job, would I have had to quit indie? Nope. I'd just do it part time, like I always did writing part time before October.

I won't lie and say the process is roses and daffodils and tulips, especially at first. The first indie book is going to be the most difficult (at least it was for me), but it's much smoooover after that.

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