This could be controversial but here goes!
This week I am about to make a momentous decision – or, at least, I think I’m maybe half way there!
I’ve always balked against Indie publishing – for several reasons:
1) I’ve needed an editor’s approval/acceptance of my work
2) I know I don’t have the technical expertise to format my work
3) I wouldn’t have the first idea how to create a cover for my novel
4) (and I hate to admit to this one!) I’ve tended to think of ‘indie’ publishing as a kind of vanity publishing, putting one’s work online without any professional editorial acceptance or input.
So why am I changing my mind?
First, because over the last couple of years, I’ve finally gained some confidence in myself and my writing. It’s only taken me about 40 years to get to this point! So I’m thinking that maybe I don’t need an editor’s ‘approval’ anymore.Why not? This takes me back to the sixties. At the time I was reading every romance novel I could find in the local library. I wrote my own romance novel, purely for myself, but then I started to think my novel was as good (if not better?) than a lot of the romances I was reading. To cut a long story short, I submitted it to one of the very few publishers of romance here in the UK (and also the biggest) and it was accepted. This should have given me confidence, but it didn’t, even though they accepted two more of my novels, and their American ‘partners’ published two of them, and one was serialised in a UK women’s magazine.
I’m digressing. The main point is that none of my novels has ever been ‘edited’ by a professional editor. The publisher who accepted my first 3 novels, and another publisher who accepted my 4th novel, published my stories as I’d written them, and more recently, the same has happened with my latest novels. This means I have produced 6 published novels so far without any detailed professional editing or editorial consultation. Conclusion – they must think my stories and my writing are okay!
Secondly, yes, I’m a wimp. I completely balk at formatting my work for publication or trying to work out how to produce a cover (‘artistic’ is the last word you could use to describe me!). I’ve also been aware of some of the problems other writers have had with formatting their work on the various sites there are out there.However, I have discovered that there are ‘indie’ publishers who do all the formatting AND have artists to design the cover. In fact, they seem to do everything that 'traditional' publishers do regarding the actual publishing process (formatting, cover design etc). So that covers points 2 and 3 above.
Thirdly – vanity publishing? There are plenty of vanity publishers who charge thousands of pounds/dollars to produce someone’s book. I have no intention of approaching one of these. However, there are also the ‘indie’ publishers who don’t charge any advance fees, either for e-books or printed books. It seems there are very few differences between many ‘small’ traditional publishers and ‘indie’ publishers – although I’m sure someone will correct me if that’s wrong. The most significant differences I’ve seen is that the indie ones seem to get things done a lot faster, charge less for their e-books and print books (which hopefully means more sales) and give the author a larger percentage of royalties. The indie publishers don’t offer much in the way of editing (but then neither do some of the traditional ones) and, apart from some advertising on their websites, they don’t do any publicity – but I’m used to having to do that anyway!
For all these reasons, I may be going the ‘indie’ way. It’s actually quite a scary decision to make, but, as I said at the start, I’m half-way there.