So, last week I wrote a short post expressing some gratitude to Amazon for creating a place where independent fiction can thrive. Today I figured I’d talk a little bit about why I went independent in the first place.
A little bit of history to start:
I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve known how to. Someday, I’ll share with you some of the first stories I wrote in second grade. They are of course, beyond horrible, but they’re pretty funny.
But even though I’ve always written, I’d never, ever considered a career as an author. In hindsight, maybe I should have, but I focused on education and youth work, and worked in those fields for over a decade. Through it all though, I kept writing, just for myself.
I’d have to go back and check my files, but Nightblade was either the second or third full-length novel I wrote. However, it was the first one I liked. But even after writing it (in 2012), I didn’t even consider publishing it. It was just a good story. I wrote another novel afterwords, which was also horrible.
To make a long story of discovery short, I came upon the Self-publishing podcast. I read their first non-fiction work, Write, Publish, Repeat, and for the first time I thought to myself that perhaps there was something to this idea of independent publishing.
After a substantial amount of debate with myself, I made the decision to go independent. There were a few reasons for this.
First, I hadn’t really expected to make a career out of it. I was dissatisfied with my other work in life and was looking to figure out how to work from home, but I was focused much more on consulting and freelance writing. I figured if I could make an extra $50-$100 a month through Amazon, why not? Being as I wasn’t looking at making a career out of it, I figured there was no point going through the traditional publishing cycle of rejection. I’d just make something as nice as I could and put it out there.
Second, I liked the idea of control over your work and your success. With independent publishing, there’s no one else to blame but yourself. I got to pick the cover and decide how the story ended. Anything good or bad about the book is entirely in my hands – and I liked that idea.
Finally, I liked the idea of connecting with fans directly. With independent publishing, there’s no one between me and readers, and I thought that was great.
To say the story took some twists and turns is an understatement, but I’m glad I went independent!