Traditional publishing VS Independent publishing
When an author is published traditionally, they don’t have to pay smack. The publisher will take care of hiring an editor, a cover artist, even a marketer at times (though the author is still expected to do most of the publicity themselves). That’s pretty neat, but it’s also the reason why traditionally published authors have reduced royalties that they split with their publisher and their literary agent if they have one. That’s all fine and dandy, and most authors dream of finding a big enough publisher to be able to make money while focusing only on the writing part. Truthfully, it’s pretty rare to find yourself in such a situation, and even acclaimed authors had to work hard for at least a decade before ending up there. Quite often you will find a small press or an indie publisher, especially if you’re just starting out.
Why choose Indie Publishing?
I chose to self-publish for a number of reasons but the main one is full control. I choose my editors, my release date, my cover art, the format of my books. That comes of course with an initial investment for every book, considering that you need an ISBN for every format, a professional editor costs about $3,000 per book, and the less expensive cover artists are $200 per cover. Add to that a digital artist if you wish to illustrate your book ($150 on average for a black and white portrait), an advertising fund (ideally, an uncapped one)… and that’s it, you spent a whole lot of money on one novel.
How do I feel about self-publishing so far?
Being a self-published author is a job without vacation days or schedule or week-ends. You do what you’ve got to do, at the best recommended times, and you still don’t know if you’ll ever see some returns. That being said, it’s not all sad and grim, otherwise, I would have stopped. Self-publishing allows me to write without filters and without having to alter my stories so that they are “easier to sell” or “less controversial”. I’ve found and I keep finding readers who enjoy my work, my time, and my effort, and I want to keep going.
How can you support an indie author’s journey?
The best form of support for an author is for readers to purchase and review your book. If you wish to support me, that’s the number one thing you could do.
But if you wish to support me with the upfront costs of self-publishing, even by tipping only $5, I have created a money pool that you can access here. You can even choose to stay anonymous if you wish to (though I’d like to see a name for future acknowledgments in my books).