Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy “Indie”-pendence Day!

There has been a lot for indie authors to be happy about lately so today, on Independence Day, is a good time to talk about what is going on in the indie world. More and more indie authors are climbing the sales charts directly competing with books published by the biggest of the New York publishing houses. When the first indie authors, like Amanda Hocking, accomplished this everyone in traditional publishing said it was a fluke and pointed out that Hocking was only too eager to sign a contract with a trad pub when one as offered. This is true but even that is changing. More and more indie authors are seeing big sales numbers and making the choice to stay independent.
Photo by Jay Albert's Cape Ann Images
H.M. Ward has been an indie phenomenon. Her New Adult novel Damaged shot up to be an Amazon #1 bestseller and has stayed in Amazon's Top Twenty for months now beside Dan Brown, Khaled Hossein and James Patterson. So it is not surprising that she was made an offer by a big publisher for her second book, Damaged 2. She turned it down. SHE TURNED IT DOWN! This is what she wrote in a forum she participates in, “In ONE week that title outsold the highest offer for the entire series. It was really hard to say no over and over again. There was a lot of pressure on me to just take the deal. I'm not gonna lie and say I was laughing about it, because it really freaked me out. I walked away from a huge pile of cash, it was painstakingly difficult, and it paid off." She turned down a huge offer for a series, trusted her instincts, and made more in sales in one week than ... well, you read what she had to say.

Recently I read a book of interviews by indie authors titled The Self-Pubishing Playbook. It offers twelve interviews with successful indie authors including Sibel Hodge who has written for this blog and Hugh Howey who is not only wildly successful with his Wool series but one of the most wildly independent of the indies. Th interviews are inspiring. Over and over these authors talk about their process for writing, publishing, marketing, and writing some more.

It is true that for every H.M. Ward and Hugh Howey there are a thousand indie authors who sell a few books and then sink into obscurity but the good news is that there are indies who succeed and succeed wildly and still choose to stay independent.

I've been at this business for four years now and have close to 30 titles available (this includes series with their boxed set or omnibus edition) and, while I have yet to return to the halcyon days of mega sales between November 2011 and March 2012, my books are selling steadily and I'm excited every month when I pay the bills mostly from book royalties. I'll keep writing and I'm pretty sure I'll remain independent. It's an exciting time to be an author. The market is very competitive but every month I seem to find new tools that help.

So, on Independence Day, I want to acknowledge the spirit of independence on which this country was founded and which lives on in the independent spirit of its people—especially its indie authors.


Happy 4th of July.

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