Friday, March 11, 2011

Why I've decided to "Indie" Publish.

First of all for those who don't know, "Indie publish" is similar to self-publishing, but it is the new word for those selling their own books mostly in e-format.

This sums up the basics of the reason.....

"Agents are, with extremely rare exceptions, perfectly horrible at recognizing great new writers. Agents only know how to sell last year’s bestseller" - Orson Scott Card.

So good grief, if they can't recognize greatness how will they recognize me? I'm a fan of Orson. I also love his books on writing, so this quote from him is spurring me on.

I've learned one thing. It's rare for an agent to work with an unknown author, and one could wait years for either an agent or a traditional publisher. I've been writing a long time. I've rewritten my novel three times, trying to break in like so many others. This, of course, has been annoying to my beta readers who like the previous versions.

I have had a few successes in writing, but not enough to impress an agent.

I have considered submitting directly to publishers. I think this method is better than going the agent route. But my novel is science fiction and there are maybe four traditional publishers of science fiction. So if you get four rejections - that's it. Plus you may end up waiting a year to get those rejections.

I've decided life is too short. I can put my novel on Amazon and reach people who like to read my kind of stories. After all, it's possible they do exist. *grin*

There are a couple of good small publishers I could've have submitted it to. At least one, I'm sure I could've gotten it in there. I think highly of them both, but the other factor is price control.

The hardest part though is the proofreading. I can't afford an editor. Beta readers tend to get busy and not finish. I don't blame them. Life is hectic. I've listened to it on the Kindle twice with that monotone voice. It's rather torturous, but it's the best way to catch little typos.

The artwork is the second hardest part of it. I'm fortunate to have a friend who does computer graphics and was kind enough to help me out for free.

Anyway, my novel is polished and almost ready to go.

Oh yes, you can see the
cover if you're curious.

Happy Writing.


Dan said...

I've been thinking about doing the same thing for pretty much the same reasons. I could query for the next year or two, and if I'm really lucky, get an agent, then wait another year or two, if I'm even luckier, the agent might sell the book, then it's another year or two...well, you get the point.

With traditional publishing, you could wait years just to not be successful, with "Indie" publishing (I like that), if you're going to fail, you're going to fail right away. Or you could be successful, and on your own terms, too.

Good luck!


J.L. Campbell said...

I looked at the cover and I'm seeing the face fine. As to the ship, maybe you could show a feature or two to make it more realistic. Total layman here, so by 'feature' I mean shiny 'knobs' or 'portholes' or something along those lines.

I understand why you would want to self publish. You go with a small publisher and you're doing just as much work anyway. On your own, at least you have total control over your product.

Wishing you every success with Vallar.

Cinders said...

Thanks Dan.

JL, yeah, I know the ship could be better. Thus the difficulty of Indie publishing. I had thought about removing the ship? One person said to keep it in. So not sure.

Botanist said...

The cover looks great IMO. I love the colour, and the ship looks kinda menacing - not sure if that's what you wanted to achieve. I could see the face, but only just.

Good luck with the venture, and let us know how things go. I'm hoping to try the traditional agent route (again) this year but am starting to wonder about other options.

Botanist said...

The cover looks great IMO. I love the colour, and the ship looks kinda menacing - not sure if that's what you wanted to achieve. I could see the face, but only just.

Good luck with the venture, and let us know how things go. I'm hoping to try the traditional agent route (again) this year but am starting to wonder about other options.

Tanya Reimer said...

ok. First off, the cover rocks. Who the heck designed that? Impressive.

Second, good-luck, but let us know when it's out there so I can download it. Can't wait.

Third. I'm so excited for you. Big decision, good for you.

Cinders said...

Botanist, thanks. Yes, the ship is supposed to look menacing. I'm glad you noticed.

Tanya, thanks. My friend Lauri designed it. She does freelance work. Here is a link to her site.

Rusty Webb said...

Much like Dan, I've been debating the same thing too. I've got several drafts of different novels I've written over the years but only have one that is close to complete. I think I'm going to try to submit it straight to major sci-fi publishers though. I may waste a year and get a slow round of rejections, but at least then I won't always wonder.

I think I'll skip the agents if I can. Kathryn Rusch, her husband Dean Wesley Smith, and Laura Resnick (I probably misspelled all those names) are all pretty successful authors and all seem to think that agents are a detriment to success for a writer. Read their blogs if you get a chance. Interesting viewpoints.

About the typos, I did print out my whole novel a couple of weeks ago and just marked it up with a red pencil. You wouldn't believe how much stuff I found, even though I'd read it over twenty times.

The only problem with listening to it though, it would be easy to miss the there/there/they're, its/it's types of errors. As I've learned from my own writing, just because I know how to use them properly doesn't mean I don't goof up a lot with those types of typos.

Still, your cover looks fine. I see the face, the ship looks fine, a bit like a high tech spy plane, but cool. Doing covers are hard. I've done a couple over the years, I have great respect for those that can do them well.

Good luck. I hope your "indie" experiment is wildly successful.

Rogue Mutt said...

Yeah, but it's extremely hard to get anyone to notice your work. Now that everyone can put their stuff on Amazon and sell it for 99 cents the challenge is to get anyone to pay attention.

jabeard said...

Hrmm. That's a rather nice cover, I think.

Cinders said...

Rusty, yes the proofreading is the hardest. People don't realize how it's so easy for things to become invisible in your own writing. I have some other methods besides listening. I scan my novel for all trouble words and review them one by one. All homonyms, all words like breath/breathe..passed/past, lay/lie, lose/loose, your/you're.

And Rogue, this is absolutely true. But the exact same thing is true if I would've gone with a small press....maybe even with a large press because I'm an unknown. We don't hear much about how many large press books fail, but many of them do. And the difference is I wouldn't be able to sell my book at .99 cents. Making it even harder to sell.

Believe me. I thought about this long and hard. Whether I sell a little or a lot I think it will be fun.

Great thoughts everyone.

Carol Riggs said...

Nice cover, really!! I think the face shows up fine--just barely there enough to be intriguing, and the ship looks fine, dark and a little foreboding. I did see an agent say on Twitter a coupla days ago that sci-fi is selling well to publishers. *shrug*

Cinders said...

Thanks Carol. Foreboding is good. I'm glad that's coming across.

David Powers King said...

Card has a point. I'm a big fan of his too. The trick is figuring out which path is right for you. I'm sure you'll come to a winning conclusion.

I'm passing an award onto you. Come check it out :)

Cinders said...

An award? oooo...thanks. I'll be right over.

Michael Offutt said...

Orson Scott Card is intelligent but he's also a bigot. He says gay marriage will ruin America. Go look at his wikipedia page. Good luck with your book and I like the cover.

Cinders said...

I couldn't find that exact statement on his wikipedia page. I did see something that basically said he doesn't believe in gay marriage.

Anyway, I admire Orson for his writing, not whatever his opinions on controversial subjects.

Witless Exposition said...

I think a lot of people are leaning more and more to indie publishing (myself included). I know even with a publishing house I won't be able to quit my day job, so why not do it on my own terms?

Looking forward to checking out your novel and the short stories you have up!

Cinders said...

That would be great.