Firstly, let’s define independent publishing. A hybrid between traditional publishing and self publishing, indie publishing is when a writer hires professionals to assist them in the making of their print/digital/audio book. The indie author not only creates the content but also becomes the creative director/manager seeing the project through from concept to sales.
To some, taking on the role of creative director/manager does not suit them as they wish to only write. However, the days of simply writing a manuscript and turning it over to a publishing house to do the rest are gone. Even traditionally published authors have to market and promote their work. Nevertheless, traditional publishing has its appeal, particularly for those who do not want to do the hard work of producing.
Before I started publishing, I held restrictive doubts based on a mixture of fear, incompetence and pride. I was afraid of embarrassing myself; of failing publicly. I was worried that I would not be able to learn and execute skills needed to complete and produce a quality product. I was concerned about adopting the stigma that sometimes follows independent and self publishing.
As I became more educated, these doubts lost their power. Slowly I began to see that independent publishing was not only possible, but also the most beneficial for me. If you are already an indie author, you are familiar with the benefits. You know that often the decision to publish independently is based on the fact that indie publishing outshines other publishing options when it comes to 3 things.
Personally, I desire not just to write poetry books, but to create them. I want to make the final decisions when it comes to book size, cover design, typesetting/interior design, and creative marketing. As an indie author having creative control means I can create the books I dream of creating to serve my targeted audience without the need to gain permission or please gatekeepers. I can choose who I wish to collaborate with, building the right team of creatives to make my vision a reality. For those writers, who have felt contained creatively, indie publishing is a dream.
When it comes to profits, Independent Authors benefit from full ownership of rights and higher royalties. They have significantly higher profit potential as they can create numerous products from one manuscript. For example, print books ( paperback, hardback, large print, workbooks) , ebooks, audio books, translations, merchandise, radio plays, podcasts, apps and other online experiences can all be made by turning the same content into multiple streams of income. Indie’s can also decide the price of their books, when to offer discounts, whether to set up pre-orders or run patreon campaigns offering book extras for loyal readers.
Being able to publish multiple titles per year, indies publish fast to market. This is liberating, as compared to a traditional publishing, which on average takes between 9 -18 months to publish one book. With the exception of international best sellers, most trade books have a 3 month shelf life and trade publishers are often unwilling to reprint more copies if the book has not reached a certain number of sales in this time. Indie authors have the power to rebrand and market their books over and over bringing in sales long after it has first been released.
It is important to assess what kind of publishing is best for each project. When it comes to my poetry, indie publishing has proven to have been a great decision. If you would like to know more about indie publishing/book creation I would love to help you. I encourage all who have a ‘book dream’ to go forth and create.