Indie publishing is for many businesses, not just writers! A yoga teacher earning $70 teaching a one-hour class who sells three students a $12 indie-published book, has boosted her profits more than 50%. And an independent software vendor who sells manuals for his system isn't just sweetening his bottom line but reducing his tech support costs. So keep reading, you non-writers...
Why indie publish? Well, let's look at the alternative, what is now called legacy publishing. Here's the process, in a nutshell:
Send dozens of letters to agents or editors, begging them to read your manuscript. Wait—for weeks, or months, or (no joke) sometimes years, hoping one or two respond with interest. If they do, send a book proposal and/or “partial” manuscript (3 chapters plus detailed outline), and wait some more. If you're not rejected in this second round, then send your full manuscript in, and (you got it) wait some more. Maybe it will be accepted, or maybe they'll ask you for some edits, in which case you do them and...wait some more.
And for many authors, “acceptance” is where the headaches really begin. Stories of books that were essentially sabotaged by publishers' bad marketing and sales decisions are legion.
And all of the above for, in most cases, either no advance payment or a $5,000 - $10,000 advance—which sounds like a lot only until you consider it takes a year or more to write a book. And, after publication, most authors receive royalty payments amounting to a mere $1 or $2 per book sold.
Oh, and did I mention that you'll wind up doing all, or nearly all, of the marketing and sales, including paying for your Website and perhaps your own book tour?
The above scenario is why, for many authors, the decision to indie publish is a no-brainer. Sure, it's work, but it's interesting work, and you have a shot at fair compensation for your efforts. However, there's an arguably more important reason to indie publish. In my new (indie published!) book, The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: the Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Infinite Art, 2011), I discuss how procrastination, perfectionism, and blocks are NOT due to laziness, lack of willpower, lack of discipline, or other character flaws. They're due to disempowerment, a condition in which you are separated from your strengths, skills, energy, etc. Remove the forces that disempower you—and “exploitative career paths” is a big one--and you can “automagically” reclaim your energy, willpower, discipline, etc.
So, indie publish to retain not just your profit, but your personal power and productivity.
The trick to successfully indie publishing is to treat it like the business it is. That makes it a great fit for entrepreneurial e-Junkie users! In the next article, I'll give you some very specific and concrete tips that will help ensure that your indie-published book is a success, so stay tuned...
Ms. Rettig is also a satisfied e-Junkie customer. Visit her E-junkie-powered shop at www.hillaryrettig.com/shop/.