I have a lot to be thankful for as an indie author. Many Indies will tell you the reason they chose to self-publish is because they wanted to avoid the slush pile of traditional publishing, to move to the head of the line and see their books being sold to readers who love them. It makes sense, but fewer Indies will tell you how much work goes into finding those readers who love your books. There is a give and take when it comes to self-publishing in order to have “all” the power you give up having the “team” that most of the big publishers provide to assist with launching your book. Of course, there are variables in every situation, but for the most part authors publishing with a traditional publisher will give up some rights in order to have mentorship and knowledge when it comes to successfully publishing their book. In the indie world you have to seek that mentorship and knowledge out.
The road to self-publishing is full of horror stories of how an indie author gave their rights away to a vanity press, or how they published their books and had zero sales despite how amazing their book is. I have my own story regarding both situations, but I don’t want to look back and cry over spilled milk. The best thing to come from negative situations is the education you receive that you can use to do better the next time. Poor sales can hurt your heart. Losing your rights to a one-sided contract can crush your soul. But neither of those things should define your success and declare you a failure.
As an indie you have all the power, even if you don’t see it yet. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You can relaunch yourself which is incredibly difficult for a traditionally published author who is burdened by “shelf-life”. My success was hard coming, but I eventually found it by being part of the indie community. I published and failed for almost four years before I released Broken Worlds: Book One of The Alorian Wars, which launched into the top 1,000 books on Amazon. That launch was one-hundred percent indie powered. In fact, I had little effect on my book’s success. The indie community of authors I have become friends with over the years refused to let me launch another book into the deep pond of no return. The indie community surrounded me and lifted me up, using their resources, mentorship, and knowledge to get me book seen by hundreds of readers. This is something that makes four years of getting it wrong completely worth it. I take nothing for granted and I love my friends who rallied behind me.
Like I said, as an indie you have all the power, but the power isn’t a singular person. It is the community of amazing authors who forged their own way and turn around to give a helping hand. It is the team mindset that most Indies carry with them that gives the lucrative teams behind traditional publishing a run for their money. That is the torch I carry for the indie author community and I hope that light shines brighter and hotter with each year we define our own successes. I want to thank my family of indie authors for the inspiration, motivation, and perspiration you put behind your craft and use to lift up others like you. I wouldn’t trade this amazing community for anything.