On Being an Indie Writer

Indie Writer

I’m proud to be an indie writer. Insert eye roll, right? Indie writers “settle” to publish on Amazon and Smashwords because they can’t get a contract from a “real” publisher, right? Indie authors just THINK they know how to write, but really can’t, right? Well, that isn’t always the case.

I’ve been writing since I was ten years old. Just think thousands of pieces of lined paper in warped binders and ringed notebooks. Everywhere. That was followed by numerous typed manuscripts. Typewriter, word processor, first computer. Ancient technology. Then, short story publications. Many. And sending envelopes big and small to editors and agents. Not all indie writers are people who woke up one morning at the age of forty and decided to write a book. Some indie authors have been doing this stuff for a long time and made a conscious choice to go the self-publishing route for any number of reasons. I count myself as one of those authors.

Here are some of my reasons for choosing indie over traditional publishing.

Control. The biggest issue I had with traditional publishers is that I had to write what they wanted me to write. No, I want to write what makes me happy, what I want to write. And if my book turns out to be 500 pages long, so be it. I write books until I feel they’re “done.” Until my characters are satisfied. Until I’m satisfied that my characters are satisfied. Unless you’re James Patterson (and who is, other than James Patterson?) that can be a pretty tough call with a traditional publisher. Being an indie writer I have total control over content, covers, editing, marketing, promo. I also have to pay for covers, editing, formatting, and getting my books out there. The learning curve is enormous. And exhausting. But it’s also interesting, educational, and fulfilling. In fact, I’ve recently decided that I’m not looking for an agent or publisher any longer. Here’s the number one reason for me to continue as is.

Mobility. Because of the lifestyle I lead, and the life I plan on living in a few years, indie is for me. I can bring my laptop anywhere and upload, download, and write. All I need is a decent connection. I travel a lot, and deadlines from an editor or publisher wouldn’t work for me. Making my own schedule is a lot more convenient for me because of all the moving around I do.

Pay. This is an obvious one, but not really the most important one for me. Nevertheless, why should I do so much work, then let a publisher not only impose a cover and editing on my baby that I might not even like, then give me a tiny percentage of the profit? Yes, the market is flooded, but the sky is still the limit if you work hard and don’t give up.

I found this today and thought it was kind of cool. It’s especially true when you’re doing everything on your own:

Writer 1

Are you an indie author? What are your thoughts on the subject?


Author: barblee

Barb Lee is a native of Western Massachusetts who loves to write, travel and hike the world, and hang out with her beautiful Jersey Wooly bunny Muffin. Her whole life changed when she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in October of 2019. By January of 2020, she was bouncing back in a major way. Now, in addition to all her favorite activities, she wants to help others make the most of life following a devastating diagnosis, while she continues to beat the odds.

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