Indie Publishing

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So, if you’re reading this, it probably means you’ve decided to take your book indie instead of the much longer traditional route. For many authors, this is a great decision. BUT your decision isn’t finished.

I’ll bet you thought indie only meant self-published, right? Wrong. There is also an entire slice of the pie owned by indie publishers. These publishers take on many authors and do a lot of the same things as the big boys – but on a smaller scale.

I won’t talk today about finding a good indie. That will be next week’s post. This is simply about deciding if a publisher is right for you or if you’d be better off on your own. There are pros and cons to each path to market. Let’s start with the good stuff, shall we?

Pros –

Self Publishing:

  • The obvious: Control. This isn’t over content because most indie publishers will let you have full content control. What I mean by this is the ability to craft your own marketing strategy. To control when or if your book is discounted. Control to choose your own cover designer and editor.
  • Price point: Many indie publishers make the same mistake that some of the big ones do in pricing unknown authors too high. If you’re doing it yourself, you have the ability to experiment with price points to find the best bang for your buck.
  • Making changes: Your book not selling? Okay, go find yourself a new cover or a new strategy.
  • Full royalties: No one besides you and the bookseller gets a cut.

Indie Publisher:

  • Money money money money: Any indie publisher worth their salt will pay for editing, cover, and formatting.
  • Ease: Once you finish a manuscript, you send it to the publisher and begin your next one. There’s no wrangling of designers and editors. No setting up KDP or Createspace.
  • Expertise: The good publishers will know much more than you do. They will have ideas that you haven’t thought of because they’ve worked on many more books than you.
  • Community: You’ll be connected to every other author in their fold.
  • Marketing: Hopefully the publisher you choose will handle the bulk of your promotions.

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Cons –

Self Publishing:

  • Money Money Money Money: It’s very expensive.
  • Knowledge: If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get very lost.
  • Inferior product: If you don’t spend the money on editing and cover, you’ll be putting out an inferior product.
  • Harder: Everything will fall to your shoulders.

Indie Publisher:

  • Royalty Cut: They get a percentage of everything you make.
  • Control: When they handle everything for you, it can leave you feeling disconnected to your books. It’s also harder to coordinate promos to create a comprehensive strategy.
  • The editors and designers in their employ are the ones you have to use.

I hope this helps with your impending decisions. Some authors on both sides will tell you their way is the only way, but that is insanely false. This business is not one size fits all. Yes, many people get screwed over by publishers. That’s why it’s important to do your research.

I have been published both ways and can tell you that it has all been valuable experience and I’ve benefited immensely from each avenue.

Good luck on your writing journey.


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