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!