Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Selfpublished Writer

Is It Really Worth Being a Self-Published Author ?


I need to make my use of the term “Self-Published” clear—mostly because of another term—“Indie Author”… 

Back in 2013, in the post, “What IS An Indie Author?”, I quoted a question I’d asked The Alliance of Independent Authors concerning something said on their site about membership:

“I notice the first ‘definitive’ statement is:
‘You have self-published at least one book.’
What is ALLi’s definition of ‘self-published’?”

Orna Ross, the Founder of ALLi, made this reply:

“Essentially, that the author paid and was the creative director of the book.”

I thanked her, then received another reply:

“You’ve actually sparked an entire debate in the office, Alexander…”

So, I gave this post I’m writing the title, Is It Really Worth Being a Self-Published Author ?

And, I’m going to give a partial answer to that question by sharing excerpts from an article by Joanna PennPros And Cons Of Being An Indie Author—I feel “Self-Published” and “Indie” are interchangeable—other folks don’t think they are and, perhaps within another decade or so, opinions will achieve some coherence

Whew!

So, here are Joanna’s Pros and Cons for Being an Indie a Self-Published author:

PROS

Total creative control over content and design

Empowerment

Faster time to market

Higher royalties

Sell by any means in any global market, as you retain the rights

Niche books can reach an audience

Use it to get into the game

{ Joanna, by the way, in her discussion of that last Pro, actually uses “Indie” and “Self-Publish” somewhat interchangeably…}

CONS

You need to do it all yourself or find suitable professionals to help

There’s no prestige, kudos or validation by the industry

You need a budget upfront if you want a professional result

It’s difficult to get print distribution in bookstores

Most literary prizes don’t accept indie books and most literary critics for mainstream media

Even with a bit of confusion over what to call authors who don’t do it traditionally, Joanna’s article is worth a full read—she goes on to talk about being a “Hybrid” author and shares other publishing options

One thing is certain—there are more options for authors now then ever before in Human History.
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Independence, Freedom, and Self-Determination


For thousands of years, most writers have worked alone, then faced the challenge of finding readers.

Indie Authors

Image courtesy of Mateusz Stachowski ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/Mattox

Some, of course, didn’t care if anyone read their work—they’d just had to write it

These days, many folks have the impression that “being a writer” automatically means the person wants to make a living with their authorial efforts.

And, these days, it’s just a bit more likely a writer could make a living with words—if they work awfully hard or happen to catch a genre-wave at the right moment.

If you want some sage information about writers making money, check out the info I reported on in these past posts:

Is The Success of Indie Authors Just A Bunch of Hype?

Making A Living As A Writer . . .

Certainly, self-publishing has enabled more writers than ever before to get their work published—having it read is up to one’s manipulation of the mysterious forces that swirl around the mountain of Book Promotion

Recently, Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, wrote an article called Indie Author Manifesto.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

“…as any indie author will tell you, the joy of self publishing cannot be distilled to dollar metrics alone.  How does one describe the importance of independence, freedom and self-determination?”

Yes, self publishing will enable more horrible books to be published than ever before, but it will also enable more better books to be published…”

It’s not an exaggeration to describe the indie author revolution as a global cultural movement.”

What does it mean to be an indie author?  I’ve distilled the movement down to ten principles that I think capture the mindset of indie authors.”

I am an indie author

I have experienced the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from self-publishing

I have a right to publish

My creative control is important to me.  I decide when, where and how my writing graduates to become a published book.

Indie does not mean “alone.”  I choose my partners.

I shall not bow beholden or subservient to any publisher. In my business relationships, I seek partnership, fairness, equity and mutually aligned interests.

We indie authors comprise diverse writers unified by a common purpose to advance, empower and celebrate writers everywhere.

I am a professional.  I take pride in my work, and I strive to improve my craft to better serve my readers, myself, my fellow indie authors and the culture of books.

My writing is valuable and important.  This value and importance cannot be measured by commercial sales alone.

I celebrate the success of my fellow indie authors, for their success is mine, and mine theirs.

Together we are pioneering a better future for books marked by greater quality, creativity, diversity, choice, availability, affordability and accessibility.

And, if you like that Manifesto and want one to hang over your writing space, go check out the free download at the end of Mark’s article :-)
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