Indie publishing

You are planning on publishing your fiction yourself. That’s great!

But let’s stop right here for a moment.

If you have chosen to publish your novel independently because you think it will be easier or net you more money, both of these ideas are wrong. That you might make more money than going with a traditional publisher can be true, but isn’t for the vast majority of self-published authors. That it is “easier” than writing a query letter and seeking out agent representation is patently false, and gets even more false as you try to make the fabled “more money” — meaning, the amount of effort (and funds) it can take to generate significant sales will take a lot more work than you probably realize.

That is not to say it’s a bad idea to go indie. That is not to say that you won’t sell thousands of books or make millions of dollars. Of course it’s possible; we’ve all seen proof of that. But before embarking on an indie career, what I need you to do is have a very long, very serious talk–perhaps involving wine or coffee–with yourself about your expectations.

As with all things publishing, it is best to set your expectations very, very low. (By the way, if you haven’t clicked through the “traditional publishing” pages on the site, I’ll tell you right now that I say the same thing to those writers as I am saying to you.)

But here’s another reality for you: The vast majority of traditionally published authors also have to spend a great deal of time pushing their own work. That’s one reason so many traditionally published authors are jumping ship with the big houses and going indie — they were doing the work anyway, so why not try to make more money doing it?

There’s no question that the returns can be much bigger for indie authors. But just as you should not expect Stephen-King-level success with a legacy publisher, you should also not expect Hugh- Howey-level success as an indie writer. In both cases, these are successes on the far, far right of the bell curve. In fact, there probably isn’t a bell curve at all; most authors are simply not making a living on writing fiction, much less supporting an entire family, much less flying private jets.

And that’s okay. 

As I said in the opening video, this site is not about get-rich-quick Kindle books, guaranteed income for life, hitting bestseller lists, or even being able to quit your day job. All of those things are possible, but I’m not here to sell you them (and I urge caution in buying anything from anyone who is offering those things). This is a site about Art, Business, and Craft. I can help you improve all three of those things, which will in turn improve your writing and your acumen, which can turn into greater sales.

But I won’t promise it. Okay? Are we on the same page?

Great. Here we go:

Click the sentence that best describes you:

I have a completed manuscript, ready to publish.

I do not yet have a finished manuscript.