Saturday, 16 July 2016

Who Wants To Be An Indie Author?

Lynda and Tim O'Rourke
A few weeks back, my daughter Rachel mentioned that her friend, Joe, had a father who was a local independent author, Tim O'Rourke. Joe kindly offered his father's services to me, through Rachel, should I need any advice about self-publishing. Are you kidding? Of course I'd like to meet him.

So, this morning I arranged to meet up with Tim and his lovely wife Lynda (also an author) at our local Cafe Nero. After sorting out the coffee, we swapped life stories and then started talking about their experience to date with the publishing industry. Tim is the author of over 70 books including the No 1 bestselling 'Kiera Hudson Series' and Lynda has her successful 'Kassidy Bell Series'.

Tim was careful not to pressure me into a decision one way or the other, he just laid out what self-publishing allowed him to do. Tim is working with Amazon exclusively while Lynda likes the freedom of not being tied to one platform. We talked for a couple hours and Tim gave me plenty of references to chase down myself. After taking a few days to do my own research, I sum up the experience of independent authoring and self-publishing as a snappy top ten list:
  1. Full ownership. You retain full rights to you own work and it is yours to craft, publish and market as you desire - but you have to do it or make it happen;
  2. Total editorial freedom. You are not bound by a publishers views on the content of your work. Of course get objective editorial assessments of your work, but the final word is your's;
  3. Change. If you need to change, edit or update your work you are free to do so;
  4. Design authority. You have complete design authority of your cover art. You can change your cover art at any time as you see fit;
  5. It's quicker. Traditional publishing if you manage to find someone to take you on) can take up to years to get to market - you have no control over this;
  6. Royalties are higher. The average royalty figure from traditional publishing is 10%. Amazon will give you 70% for eBooks and 60% on paperbacks;
  7. Experience. Indie authors have been around for a while now and there is a wealth of experience available for you to call on. Indie authors like to share;
  8. Control. The empowerment that indie authors can attain through taking total control of your work cannot be understated. You can learn by your own or other's mistakes,  creating a drive to succeed. You have a tangible investment in your own future, the rewards in this case are far more than just financial;
  9. Gateway. If you are successful, the traditional publishing industry may take you on anyway - if you want it. There are many examples of main stream authors who went this route; Andy Weir's The Martian and E. L. James's 50 Shades of Grey;
  10. Investment. If you choose the independent route, you must be prepared to invest your time, effort, dedication and money into your venture with no promise of success. However, this is exactly the spirit of entrepreneurship and has spurred on many a new business.
It didn't take me long to make my mind up and I'm eternally grateful to Tim & Lynda for giving their time so readily and freely - I am now an indie author!

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