Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Going Indie

I recently made a big decision for my writing career. I've decided to go indie. Why now after I've had many books traditionally published? To be honest, I've been burned too many times in this industry. I know as writers we aren't supposed to talk about this, but I'm going to anyway. I've been burned by both publishers. And it hurts. Really hurts. As writers we put our dreams in the hands of others and sometimes that works out great. I've had some really great experiences. Fantastic support and more than I've ever dreamed possible.

But that isn't always the case. Sometimes your dreams are shattered by the people you thought were going to help you succeed. I will not be naming names because that isn't the point of this post and I choose to focus on those who have helped me succeed and for whom I'm forever grateful. The point of the post is that I finally realized I have to do what's best for me, and right now, that's going indie. I want control over my career. Yes, it's a lot of work. A LOT! But I've worked in this industry long enough that I've been involved in each aspect of publishing, and I believe I'm ready to take on this challenge. And it will be a challenge. I have no doubt about that.

Does this mean I'll never seek a traditional deal again? Of course not. I've learned not to say "never" because it's like tempting the devil. ;) But for now, I'm going indie and I'm really excited about it.

What decision have you made lately that was tough but for the betterment of your career?


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

42 comments:

  1. Deciding to ghostwrite drafts for a living. I never thought I'd have completed more drafts for others than myself. But it proves that whatever has been holding up most of my manuscripts was something within myself not my writing speed or talent. When freelance writing picked up two years ago for me I never thought it could be my career. Back then I thought I'd have my first book out by now but life happens and while I had to move my first book release to 2017. I'm glad to know I can do something full time that I actually enjoy. Though it's tough writing for both myself and others. However I am grateful and glad. Sorry trad burned you Kelly but at least you have readers that will stick with you.

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    1. I'm glad ghostwriting is working out well for you, Sheena-kay. :)

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  2. Congratulations on taking control, Kelly. I'm sorry you haven't always had the best experience of traditional publishing. I'd love to be published traditionally but I also see self publishing as a possible path for me too. Good luck with it all.

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  3. You've made a brave choice! I also think that it's right to talk about those bad things that happen in the industry. Nothing ever changes without honest discussion.

    I haven't done decision for career directly but for life yes: I'm going to put my studies aside for a year and move to Australia for au pair work, farm work and travel adventures. Can't believe this is really happening, but it is, and I'm super excited! ^^

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    1. How exciting! Best of luck with the au pair work!

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    2. Thank you Kelly! :) this is so exciting!

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  4. I think it's fine to blog about the downside of traditional publishing. Aspiring authors need to know what they are getting into and if you can point out things to watch out for without naming names, you are doing them a service. Good luck with the indie publishing!

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    1. That's true, Tamara. It definitely does help others when writers share the truth about publishing.

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  5. It's a tough decision, Kelly, but I think you've got enough traction and following to do really well. You're way ahead of the game compared to where I was when I decided to go indie. I'm sorry you've been burned. Glad you're talking about it, though. It's a very real part of why so many are going indie and very much needs to be said. Good luck! Let me know if I can help in any way.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I hate that it's taboo to talk about certain things in this industry. How else can we help others if we don't talk about it?

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  6. I wish you the greatest experience with Indie publishing, Kelly! Congrats on your decision.

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  7. It sounds like you've made the right choice.

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  8. What a big decision! I'd love to go indie, because the pace is my own, but I just don't have the readership/reach to do it successfully. I still need the distribution traditional offers. I wish you loads of luck and am here to help in anyway I can!

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    1. Thank you, Kai! I hope my reach is good enough to start this and that it will only continue to grow as I put out more books.

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  9. Good for you, Kelly! Best of luck in your full throttle indie decision.

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  10. Way to go! I'm wishing you uber sanity and success. It's definitely terrifying, but having the control? That's epic.

    Hm. Big decision for me? To enter a writing contest on a whim and win. Yeah. Game changer on the confidence level.

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  11. I wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor. :-) Welcome to the club.

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    1. Thank you, Angelia! :) Happy to be joining the club.

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  12. I'm not the least bit worried for you, everything you touch is gold somehow;-) I appreciate you sharing a bit of your experience and feel like more and more writers are taking the same road - for the very same reasons. Good for you!

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    1. Thanks, Diedre. That's really sweet of you to say. I know I'm not alone in my path, and that's very comforting.

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  13. Congrats on your accepting your own challenge of going indie. You've come a long way and with your knowledge of the business, I'm sure success will only grow. You are one of the busiest writers/editors/people I know.

    I for one can't wait to here what you have in store for us.

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    1. Thank you, Rick. I'm excited because going indie means putting out more books and on a schedule that works for both me and my readers. :)

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  14. It's fine to talk about the downsides of publishing. Even now, many aspiring writers have a wrong view of traditional and indie publishing.

    Congrats on your big decision. Good luck!

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    1. Yes, I'm amazed by some of the incorrect views I've heard. We need to talk more to correct this.

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  15. I waited for your Wednesday announcement, and was glad to see what it is. I think you are well positioned to be your own publisher, Kelly. Not only because your books have a following already and you have a lot of experience in editing and promoting, but because you are disciplined and always productive.

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    1. Thank you, Mirka. I don't expect an easy road by any means, but I know I'm making the right decision for me.

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  16. Publishing can for sure be a tough world! You have enough support here to go indie, though. I don't know much about the process of publishing that way, but I know it definitely puts you in control. Go for it!

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    1. I'm hoping my experience editing and doing other tasks for publishers will serve me well.

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  17. Last year I sent out a novel (a Wicca story). I had three requests straight away for a full. All came back to me with requests to change the story, including suggestions. Unfortunately, or perhaps surprisingly, none of the suggested changes were similar. All liked the story premise but thought this and that would make it even better. Not sure what to do, I worked with a story editor. I enjoyed the experience, but her suggested changes were entirely different from that of the publishing house and the two agents. I put the novel on the shelf and floundered. Finally, I started writing another book. It wasn’t until I started the third rewrite of the newest novel did I decide what I wanted to do with my Wicca story. I have always wanted to be Indy but didn’t know how to go about it (yes, self-publishing 101 books are readily available), but I suck at marketing or did.. the long-winded answer to your question is I had to give myself permission to do it my way. Figure how to do it. Finally, I had to grow up as a writer and not collapse every time I have a setback or become overwhelmed.

    You edited a book for me earlier this year… when I sat down to work on the edits, reread my story, I howled. The writing was shite, but in your WW’s earlier this year, can’t remember which one, I found my way back to the novel. It was painful to rewrite the book, but it’s got a chance now.

    You’re a fighter. You might not realize it, but your honesty and the story you’ve told overtime on Writer Wednesday (I’ve been reading it for a long time) is one of perseverance. You’re one of a kind, Kelly. I believe you’ve helped or encouraged more than one writer to keep at it. Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring all of us who are defining our path.

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    1. Thank you, Brenda. That means a lot to me. I believe in being yourself no matter what. I tend to put myself out there and that's scary sometimes. I hate failure, and there's a strong part of me that believes telling the world my dreams will make me push harder to achieve them. And I want to share my journey with others in the hope that it will help someone who is going through something similar, even if only to know they aren't alone.

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    2. Oh, and I love your Wicca book. I've felt for a while that you'd do well going indie. I'm not trying to sway you though. It's a lot of work.

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  18. I'm having an issue with one of my publishers and now I'm tempted to gain rights back and do things on my own. I'd like to return to querying agents and getting submitted to big publishers, but I know that's not the only path.

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    1. I've been there. I've reverted rights and it can be a nasty battle, unfortunately. You have to do what's best for you, and only you can know what that is. I'm here to help if I can. You can always email me.

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  19. Kelly, I love what you've written here. We are in control of our writing careers and things all boil down to how we want to lead this creative life. This year has been a lot of new beginnings for me, too, and I wish you the best, the most brilliant, the most beautiful outcomes with your creative career!

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