Leaving the Harbor — The Voyage of the Indie Treader

I have to admit, I’m starting to feel a bit giddy and excited about the path I’m thinking of taking.

Did I say “thinking”?  Well, yeah, because I don’t just jump into things and there are other considerations, other research I must do before the final leap.  Or — sticking with the nautical theme I seem to have picked up — before I hoist anchor and set sail.

One of the points I stumbled upon in my Indie/Self Pub research suggests that to be truly successful, you must be a prolific writer.  Sure, there are some authors out there doing fairly well in for themselves with only one or two e-books.  But just about everyone who can make a living off e-books and some hard copies, has a lot of books for their loyal readers to choose from.  A.  Lot.  With new ones being launched within months of each other.  Not years.

I am not a prolific writer.  This year I put the finishing edits to a novel that took me well over five years to write, began the second book in the series, completed a 20k novella for publication, started a short story for a competition (but have not finished it), and filled my virtual notebook with scenes/characters/dialogue that may or may not ever find themselves in a finished work.  I try to write every day.  But writing, in and of itself, is not finishing.

Here then is my first crashing wave of doubt.  Will I be able to produce enough, quickly enough, without sacrificing quality, to catch and hold readers?  I’m not even talking about the financial end of things here.  Although I’d love to repeat the success of those authors raking in several grand a month mainly off their e-book sales, I know that’s a long road I may never find . . . er . . . that’s a part of the ocean I may never sail, not having Jack Sparrow’s handy compass.

I mean, what if I launch BD&L and it takes YEARS to finish book 2?

Okay, that’s silly.  The answer is; it would be no different than series put out by traditional publishers.

Bazinga!

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

The truth is, I’d be forced to plow on and git’r dun!  Right now, I can coast.  No agent is banging my door down for BD&L 1 so the incentive to get BD&L 2 done is low.  Besides the fact I *want* to get it done.  If BD&L 1 were in the hands of readers, readers who enjoyed it and wanted more, would I be dilly-dallying?  Heck no!

Supply and demand could force me to become more prolific — so long as my Beta readers never let me slack on quality. *ahem*

As Chuck Wendig  so succinctly put it:

Your writing will never chase you — you need to chase your writing. If it’s what you want, then pursue it. . . Life rewards action, not inertia. What the fuck are you waiting for? To reap the rewards of the future, you must take action in the present. Do so now.

So, action it is.  A launch date is being prepared, the cover art is under way, formatting is being done, a marketing plan is being formulated.

I believe it’s time to set sail.

8 Comments:

  1. Good. It’s ’bout damned time!

  2. I say go for it! And what could be better incentive to write than readers asking for the next book?

    Few writers can give up the day job with a traditional agent/press deal. So the indie route won’t be different there. In reality, though, it requires fewer sales on the indie route since you get a better rate of return.

    Even at $3.99, you’d get more return as an indie than a press-represented new author at $12.99. Personally, with a well-edited and professionally prepared e-book/POD book, I’d go for at least $4.99 or $5.99. Play with the numbers, and a good book offered as an indie looks even more tempting.

    • Going, going, *gulp* . . .

      You know, not that I’m all about the money, but one of the biggest selling points to my decision was when I took a hard look at rate of return via traditional publishing vs indie. And since most traditional publishers make the author do a lot of the work anyhow — well, you don’t need to hit me with a hammer more than once. Okay, maybe twice. ;P

  3. I just got a chill running throuogh me with this post — a good chill, mind you. I know how long, how fierce you have fought this fight. And I’ve been fighting the same kind of fight. I know exactly how you’ve been feeling, and your questions are my questions. It’s really kind of neat to see you moving from one direction to another. I really like the enthusiasm that is emanating from your posts lately, ever since you started questioning your next step. Surely that is a sign…

    • My writing produces chills – that’s a good thing, right? ;p

      I’m not sure if I’m totally crazy, giving up a dream, or just being realistic. The answer to that varies from day to day. It’s not been easy, but it’s actually fun and exciting in a way passively waiting for that magic someone – agent or publisher – to validate my existence has never felt. Not to say I won’t look at that route again, but I so badly want people to read BD&L because I believe in it. I want them to read it sooner than later because the rest of the story is crying to be told. It’s jazzed me up and motivated me to write more and write better.

      Time alone will tell if I’m right or wrong.

  4. Keep in mind that just because you self publish doesn’t mean you can’t still actively pursue an agent or publisher. In fact, if you get good sales it might actually help you. So I don’t think you are giving up at all. I think you are taking your writerly future into your own hands and I think that is brilliant. Self-publishing gets a bad rep because people publish before they are ready. It sounds like you are really taking the time (and have already taken the time to do some serious polishing) to figure things out rather than just jumping off a ledge.

    As for marketing, you should look into blog tours. I know someone who sent invites to all their Goodreads friends to do a cover reveal and ask to host a blog tour stop and I think the turn out was pretty well. And you can always sign up on the blog tour site Curiosity Quills has created (you don’t have to be published with them). I’m no expert in the business, but it seems to me that marketing for indie publishing is getting a bit easier as indie publishers come together more.

    That was a lot of words to just say YAY! =)

    • Thanks for the tour tips, Mara! I will definitely look into them. Yes, that’s one thing I have to keep reminding myself: It doesn’t have to be all one, and not the other.

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