Why Indie?

22 Jul

Happy YA Indie Carnival Day!  Woo-Hoo!!   In other words, Happy Friday!  Today’s topic for the carnival is….


My initial answer is easy.  There is one reason why I chose to go Indie… one person who led me down that path.  Wren Emerson.    Some people are aware, some people aren’t, that she and I grew up in the same tiny Kansas town.  She’s actually a couple of years younger than me- she was in my sister’s class. But anyway, long story short, we both moved away and got married.  Anywho, we met up again this past year on a critque partner wanted group.  We were both looking for a good crit partner.   We didn’t recognize each other’s name until we started talking and she mentioned that she grew up in Kansas and she mentioned the tiny town and I was like… “NO WAY.  That’s not even possible.”  I thought she was messing with me, or making fun of me for being from Kansas.  But she wasn’t- she was serious and we both figured out who the other one was.

At the time, I was talking with a couple of agents about my YA novel, Every Last Kiss.   Wren asked me why I was willing to wait on people to consider my work in their own (very slow) time, requesting for me to change it, who would then sell all of my rights away.   At first, I thought she was crazy- I mean, getting published with a big six publisher is a dream of every writer, I thought.  Why would I want to give up my shot for that?   But the more she talked about it (and she was soooo passionate about it), the more I listened.  The things she was saying really started to make sense.

As an indie, I could make more money, I would retain ownership over my novels and characters, I would keep all of my rights and I wouldn’t have to check with anyone else before I made any little decision.  Instead of negotiating and watiting on agents, etc, I could start getting my books in front of an audience, which is truly what every writer dreams about.  It started to look very appealing to me.  VERY.   I’ve always been independent and I have an entrepreunerial spirit, so one night in April while I was lying in bed thinking about it,  I just decided… “You know what?  Wren’s right.”

The very next morning, I withdrew my novel from the agents’ consideration and jumped into the indie world feet first.  And you know something?  I haven’t regretted it even one time.  Is it a lot of work?  Yes, certainly it is.  But any dream worth having is work.  Nothing is going to be handed to you on a silver platter.  But my books have found their way into thousands of readers’ hands already.  And that makes me very, very happy.   The reason that writers write is to be read, to be appreciated by an audience of readers.   And I can truly say that has happened to me.  Sales for my books continue to grow every month, which means that the number of readers who read my work continues to grow.  That makes me one very happy writer.

Being an indie is not going to work for everyone.  You have to be self-motivated, very ambitious, willing to work VERY hard, and you have to be willing to wear all the different hats yourself.  Every decision to be made is YOURS to make, and with that comes the responsibility for those decisions.  Not everyone likes that feeling. But I do.  And I’m very thankful to Wren for swaying me into making one of the best decisions of my life.   (Although she’s probably sick of hearing me tell her!)   I hope everyone has a great weekend and you’ve found some fun way to stay cool.   Don’t forget to visit these Indie authors next on the carnival merry-go-round!














7 Responses to “Why Indie?”

  1. Patti Larsen July 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    I’m with you, Courtney–I had a writer friend bombard me with proof until it finally got through to me–why was I hanging my career on a ‘dream’ that didn’t exist anymore (if it ever did) when I could make my OWN dreams? LOVE THIS. Go Indie!!!

  2. PJ Hoover July 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    I love the feet first attitude! It’s great!

  3. Tina Renee Graves July 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Your story is the perfect example of the types of people who exist within the Indie world…and the reason I’m comfortable here. Thanks for sharing.

    • 1questionaday July 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

      Courtney, You are so right about Indie being a huge responsibility. In trad. pub. authors are pretty much responsible for all their promo and maybe don’t really get that until they have to promote their book. I’d rather own all that responsibility up front and give it everything I’ve got [and make lots of mistakes] than think someone else was going to help champion my book when so often that isn’t the case with the big six.

  4. cynditefft July 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    I love that you and Wren knew each other, lost touch and then came back together while looking for crit partners. Very cool! I’ll have to tap into your crit resources when my sequel is finished and ready for some input.

    My indie publishing experience has been positive (apart from the demons that take over my computer whenever I am trying to format page numbers- LOL). No looking back! 🙂


  5. Mary Preston July 23, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    Great post!! I rather like the WHY NOT?? attitude. Being mistress of your own destiny.

  6. Amy Jones July 23, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Wow, what a small world! Your story must make you feel as if you were destined to be indie. I know I feel that way. It was my stubborn independence and determination to navigate my destiny (as much as possible) that landed me in indie wonderland. Every time someone reads my book and says something wonderful about it I realize how I have done something that not every person has enough passion or dedication to do. It is a unique and awesome feeling, you know?


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