The Irony of Being An Indie Author

I think I first happened upon the idea of becoming a writer when I was in third grade. My reason for wanting to be a writer was probably the usual one: I loved to read. I loved the adventures books could give me without my ever having to leave my house (except maybe to read on the porch). I wanted to do what the authors I read did: create new worlds, new adventures, and new lives too.

Of course things didn’t work out quite as I planned. Tons of rejection letters, and, when I finally had a publisher ready to offer me a contract, that publisher was sold and the new owner decided, in corporate speak, ‘to take things in a different direction’ and no longer wanted my book — none of that was in my life plan. Then I learned about KDP, and since I’m not the most computer literate person in the world, it took me about six months and an e-class on e-publishing to figure out all the ins-and-outs of getting a manuscript ready to publish electronically. I finally managed that in January of this year, and now have four books published, and two more in various stages of preparation for publishing. (And please excuse a little bragging here as I’m so excited over this news: at the time I am writing this – Thursday, 8/21/14, around 10:30 a.m. – one of my books. Secrets in Stone, has reached #14 in its category, Romance-Gothic. I know this ranking won’t last, as it is updated every two hours or so, and I fully realize that it’s not the same as being on Amazon’s best-seller list. But considering the last time I had tried to market that book to an agent, I received an almost instantaneous automated return email rejecting it, even though there hadn’t been time for them to actually read my query. Getting that ranking enables me to say: Ha-ha, agent, I actually do have a book people want to read!)

Back to the irony: As an indie author, you are much more than just the author — you’re your own editor and proofreader; you’re your own publisher; whether you buy a ready-made book cover, hire an artist to produce one, or make it yourself, you’re your own book designer; and you’re your own marketing director. That’s a lot of hats to wear and a never-ending flow of work to get your books out there in front of buyers. I am finding with the time-consumption that wearing all these hats requires, I no longer have much time to actually read. I’m lucky if I can fit in ten minutes a day. There are no more long, lazy weekend afternoons spent on the couch with a good book. The very thing I loved enough to want to make producing books my life’s work is what I’m not able to fit into my life very easily any more. I suspect that other indie authors are having the same experience. I suppose as well that no matter what it is you choose to do with your life, it requires sacrifice in some other area. And I really, truly do love being an indie author.

It’s just that… I miss reading.

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2 thoughts on “The Irony of Being An Indie Author

  1. I just read Past Matters and absolutely loved it! Since it is so easy to find booked on Kindle, I feel like I go through so many books, but few make an impression on me. I read Secrets in Stone and enjoyed it, so I bought Past Matters. I have read so many mystery series in the past, and this has to be a favorite!! I cannot wait til the next in the series!!

    • Kristin, Thank you for your comment! It didn’t just make my day, I think it made my month and my year! I’m glad you enjoyed the books. I’ll have another one coming out next month, but the next Helen book won’t be out for a couple months.

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