Take it away, Rachel.
Four reasons why it’s great to be an indie author
First of all, thanks for having me today, Misha!
Writing can be a lonely job. Especially if you’re an indie author. You don’t have the support of a giant publishing house behind you, you’re not getting paid millions of pounds to write and you’re still stuck in your day job for the foreseeable future. Let’s face it: in our lowest moments, everyone has those days when they’d rather just quit this whole writing business and become a hermit instead.
Well today, I’m here to spread the indie author love and tell you why being an indie author rocks. Here are my four reasons why you should be celebrating the fact that you’re an indie author:
1. You wrote a book
Okay, so this isn’t strictly reserved for indie authors, but I think a lot of indie authors don’t give themselves enough credit. Can we all just stop for a moment please, and recognise the fact that you wrote a book. An actual book. With actual words. That actual people can read. At some point you took all those weird little thoughts that have been swirling around your fantastically weird* brain and you’ve made something out of them. This is such a massive achievement and you should be shouting it from the rooftops. I’ve read a lot of blogs and articles from authors (whether traditionally or indie published) who say that it’s always been their dream to write a book. Well guess what? Give yourself a great big tick – you’ve accomplished that dream.
*this is in no way a bad thing. Weird brains are awesome. We wouldn’t be writers without them.
2. You get to keep creative control
I’ve heard horror stories about authors being forced to change every little thing about their books in order to fit in with what their editor/publisher/agent deems to be ‘marketable’. Or they’re expected to sign over all their rights to the highest bidder, regardless of what the author actually wants. But I like to think of the publishing world as a load of people frantically trying to find a needle in a haystack. No one really knows whats going to happen. No one really knows what the ‘next big thing’ will be. Yes, people can make educated guesses on what readers might like, but who would’ve thought that erotica based on Twilight fan fiction would’ve turned out to be such a huge success? Or Twilight itself for that matter? True, most indie authors don’t have thousands of pounds to spend on marketing campaigns, but my point is that no one can really predict the future, and no one can tell you with 100% certainty what readers will or won’t like. Want to write that book about cake-loving aliens? Or a mash-up between GoT and Terminator with a handful of Jurassic Park thrown in for good measure? Go for it. I’m not saying it’ll sell. I’m not saying it won’t. I’m saying that you should be writing whatever it it you want to write – no one else. And that’s why I love being an indie author. I can write what I want – if it works, great! If not, well then, I’ve learnt a valuable lesson and I can keep moving forward with my writing. And the cherry on top of the cake is that as an indie author, you also get to keep all your rights to your novel. Boom.
3. You can work at your own pace
It’s up to you how much (or how little) you write. Want to release one book a year? Or churn out five in six months? It really is up to you. You’re in control of your writing and your time – which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. It’s good because if you suddenly get busy at work, or you’re dragged out of your writing cave by your significant other to interact with real people instead of the ones in your head, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. You don’t have to answer to anyone and I find this an incredibly liberating thought. It’s up to me how much I write. My writing career is entirely in my hands – and I rather like the thought that I don’t have any kind of boss to answer to. On the other hand, if you’re a huge procrastinator (like me), this probably isn’t such a good thing. But hey, at the end of the day, your time and your writing is still your own. So go forth and write prolifically! Or not. Whatever, it’s all cool.
4. An awesome indie community
I’ve saved my best point for last. There is no way I ever would’ve had the courage or confidence to keep writing if it hadn’t been for the wonderful indie author community. Without their support and encouragement, I never would’ve had the confidence to self-publish my book. I honestly think that indie bloggers, reviewers and writers are the best bunch of people ever – each and every person that I’ve reached out to over the past few years has been friendly, welcoming, supportive and cheered me on every step of the way. I can’t thank them enough. They do amazing work every single day, simply because they love to do what they do, and I hope to be a part of this community for a long time to come. Being an indie author rocks, because you know that no matter what, you have the support of the whole indie community behind you.
So, in conclusion, if you want a career that involves tears, tantrums, throwing your laptop across the room in frustration, becoming addicted to tea and sugar AND YET being able to write about fantastical worlds every day, and having the support of a truly fantastic bunch of readers and writers, then indie publishing just may be for you. There’s a whole lot more to indie publishing than what I’ve listed here, but if you’re an indie author and you’re having a bad day, just remember this: you rock.
Now go and conquer the world.
About the author
Rachel Pattinson graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BA Hons in Publishing Media. Born and raised in the north of England, she shares a love for anything to do with tea, cake, bread and butter, rain, the dark, lakes, fells and Lord of the Rings. She now lives in Norfolk with her partner in crime and is currently working on several new projects. Her debut novel Synthetica is available now from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
If you fancy a chat or have a query, you can contact her on her blog, Rachel’s Ramblings.
Email her at: rachelsramblingsblog[at]gmail.com.
Or follow her on Twitter at: @REPattinson1
Add Synthetica to your TBR on Goodreads!