As I am sure it has become evident over time that I am a HUGE proponent of indie/ self-published authors. I have been extremely interested in why authors turn to self-publishing, therefore I am excited to share with you today a guest post by author Tahlia Newland where she explains the benefits of self-publishing and why she personally decided to go this route.
Ebooks have brought us many changes and one of the major ones is that authors can publish their own work on ebook for very little outlay. This has resulted in an upsurge of authors doing exactly that, and the coining of the phrase ‘indie authors’ or ‘indie publishing’ honours the fact that these authors are not-self published in the old meaning of the word, rather they have proudly embraced the ideal of publishing independently from the traditional style publishing houses. Real indie authors don’t just publish a book, they run a business (often with their own publishing company because there’s a team involved) and they pride themselves on their professionalism.
In the past, authors who self published did so primarily because they couldn’t get an agent or a publisher interested in their work, but many indie authors today
- have some works traditionally published and some Indie published.
- Like me, have agents in the process of looking for a publisher for one of their books but are indie publishing other ones, or are publishing works their agent wasn’t able to sell.
- Haven’t tried to get either an agent or a publisher because they prefer being an indie author.
Essentially it’s about freedom and control.
An Indie author publishing on ebook has the freedom
- to publish whatever length of story they want. Traditional publishing won’t look at novellas and short stories but they’re a growing market in ebooks.
- to set the price they want, a price that because they have fewer overheads can be a lot lower than that charged by traditional publishers.
- to sell directly to the reader and develop relationships with their readers.
- to publish what they want, rather than what someone else thinks should be published.
- sidestep the tedious process of making submissions and waiting for responses.
An Indie author publishing on ebook has control over (& responsibility for)
- the cover
- the marketing
- the editorial decisions
- the timing of publication – it usually takes at least 18 months from the time a publisher agrees to publish a book before that book is released. An Indie author can have their book in the stores a few weeks after it’s finished.
- the price.
- the progress and direction of their career
- and everything else related to their books – including their failure.
Indie publishing will never be for everyone. Some prefer someone else to take control and a traditional publisher generally still gets a better ‘reach’ to the public in print books in stores and in visibility on line.
What about quality control?
This is the reason self-publishing has had a bad name in the past and it’s also the reason why indie authors will have at least one work priced at 99c or free, so you can read a little of their work and see the quality before you buy something priced higher. A true indie author will have several reliable readers read their work to check it for faults before publishing and will also have it professionally edited.
Even so, there are still – and probably always will be - some terrible or not so good works out there, but you’ll either hear bad things about them or nothing about them. Unless the book has just come out, if a book has no reviews, it’s as bad as having bad reviews be cause a lot of reviewers won’t bother writing a review about something that is really terrible.
Reviewers are the new quality control.
All the books I buy I have found on a review site and if I like a review enough to look further, I go to Goodreads and check out the reviews on that book before buying. If my friends (all people who read and like the same kind of books as I do) like it, I’m likely to like it, but not always because I am rather more picy than a lot of people. Some people will ignore poor writing but I won’t, and if a reviewer mentions that the book despite its good qualities has plot holes or a terrible ending, I’ll probably not buy it because both those things ruin a book for me. (I’ve been told that I write good endings and I have a beta reader who is really good at picking up plot holes so my stories shouldn’t have those faults.)
In the end, it is you, the readers, who through places like Goodreads, will decide if a book is worth buying or not.
How do you decide whether to buy a book or not?
Tahlia writes young adult/adult urban fantasy with a touch or more of romance in it and a focus on challenging readers’ perception of reality. Her agent is looking for a publisher for her novel ‘Lethal Inheritance’ and in the meantime, she is indie publishing shorter works. ‘The Drorgon Slayer’s Choice’, a short paranormal romance, and A Matter of Perception, an anthology of urban fantasy & magical realism stories, are available now. ‘Realm Hunter,’ a Diamond Peak novella, will be released in December.
About A Matter of PerceptionWhat is real and what is not? Take modern gods, alien monsters, ghosts in the service of sirens, a battle of magical light, a mysterious hole in the pavement, a dream of a future past and a pair of rose-coloured glasses, mix them with a little romance and a smidgen of philosophy and you might be left wondering if it isn’t all just a matter of perception. This thought-provoking collection of urban fantasy and magical realism stories includes ‘The Grorgon Slayer’s Choice’ and ‘The Boneyard’, a semi finalist in the Aussiecon 4 Make Ready fantasy/scfi competition of 2010.
And onto the fun stuff!
- The THREE (3) winners will receive an e-book copy of 'The Drorgon Slayer's Choice' by Tahlia.
Hows it work?
- One only entry per person.
- There will be THREE (3) winners.
- Contest is International (as the prize is an e-book copy of the book).
- The prize is being distributed by a third party (the author), I am not responsible if the prize is eaten by your email or something along those lines.
- Giveaway ends Tuesday November 15th, 2011 at 11:59 p.m.
- Winners will have 48 hours after notification to respond.
- You do not have to be a follower of my blog to enter this giveaway!
- If you Tweet (or spread the word) about the giveaway you will receive an additional point in the draw (FYI: See that little "Tweet" button at the bottom of this post? Click on it and all of the information you should include in the Tweet is already in it!)
To enter, fill out the form below