As I prepare to release my first full-length young adult novel, I have spent hours ruminating over whether or not I should follow this path. Each time, I come to same conclusion – that even if my book were picked up by a big publisher, I would still retain the rights to e-publish my own work, for a few reasons.
1. I have control of my own stories and creative process. While I have fabulous beta readers and editors, I still retain the right to incorporate – or not – their suggestions.
2. Even if I only sell a couple hundred books (I hope for more, but I try to be realistic), I will still have made far more money per book than I ever would going through a traditional publisher.
3. Yes, there is a lot of dreck out there, but most readers are discerning, and those books that have been well-written and well-edited can be found easily. I’ve read many.
While I ponder these things, I have found encouragement from a writer’s forum, KBoards, and from other indie authors. Hugh Howey is one of those – he has found great success as an independent author with his Wool series and other books, but he still takes the time to encourage aspiring authors, and to point out encouraging success stories. Today, he brought my attention to a great blog post by Alyssa Rose Ivy, another indie author who has had phenomenal success selling her works online. What I love about her post is that she encourages other authors, and shows us the numbers of books she has sold over the last several years. Her first year might have been discouraging for her, but she just kept writing, and because of her great writing, and the team of people she has around her (beta readers, editor, cover designer), she’s sold over 300,000 books.
That’s encouraging. It make me think of Dora’s line in Finding Nemo – Just keep swimming!