Being indie (independent publisher) means, basically, that I do it all and do it on a shoestring budget. And I am inundated constantly by advice telling me I must pay to get my work professionally edited (at literally thousands of dollars a pop, ain’t gonna happen!) and get professionally made covers (ditto), and have someone else write the sales copy (like who?), and make a really cool website (which I have to make by myself, muddling through “knowledge bases” made for professionals, not for the likes of me), and write a smashing bio (another silk-purse-from-sow’s-ear proposition).
Moreover, my Inbox is full of offers for software, plugins, courses, and other stuff that may or may not be useful and that all costs at least an arm, if not a first-born, and time besides.
Then, there’s marketing (i.e. salemanship). A scary word even before the experts start hammering away about what is “essential in order to succeed.” One of those essential elements, by the way, is reviews. But it’s a catch-22: Authors need sales to get reviews (lots of sales, since most buyers don’t send in reviews anyway–and I confess that I am as guilty of that as the next person), but first, authors need reviews to get sales.
But like most authors, I just want to write stories and have people read them.
So, as an independent publisher, I keep writing and doing the best I can, learning along the way in the School of Hard Knocks and hoping to do better in future. [P.S. Fortunately, I have come across Derek Murphy of www.creativindie.com and find his brand of marketing instruction much easier to understand. I highly recommend to any authors out there that they check out his books and courses.]
Are any of your favourite authors independently published? If you are a writer, do you publish independently?