Going Indie or Self-Publishing

Author Theresa Sneed

Though I am the author of two traditionally published books, No Angel and Earthbound, I have recently been researching the possibility and indeed the probability of going indie – or independent. Why would a traditionally published author even consider leaving the comfort of a publishing house? For me – the answer is obvious, going indie will mean more control over my writing – no more waiting for my books to come out, no more sitting on unpublished novels that have already become best loved stories of the few that have had access to them as beta readers.

And here’s a big reason – indie means more money – lots more if you consider the percentages. Traditional publishing got me 10% with paperbacks and 20% with e -books – but through indie, I will be receiving around 70% . Because No Angel and Earthbound are published in a small publishing house, I already have been responsible for most of the marketing, so assuming that role as an indie author will be no problem at all and in fact, it will become a passion.

From what I’ve researched, successful indie authors must be prolific. One cannot expect to succeed with publishing only one or two books a year. As of today, I have my third angel book, PLUS an additional three books in that series already written. As an indie author, I will be in complete control of when I want to publish them – and it won’t be once a year! I envision the No Angel series to have a minimum of ten to fifteen books, and by going indie, I can continue to write this remarkable story – publish it after each book is finished and then move onto a new series.

My books on display in Thompson Free Library

However, along with my No Angel Series, I have already written in two other genres. My fantasy, Sons of Elderberry has one completed novel and part of a sequel written. I envision that series to have a minimum of three books. My mystery/suspense novel, Escape is one of a two-book series, with that sequel partially written too.

Going indie just makes sense to me, though I must admit, I am a little skirmish, because so much of my books’ success rests on me alone, but wait – that’s a good thing, isn’t it? As a realist, I don’t expect it to be smooth ride at first, but as I work out the kinks, eventually, the ride will be thrilling! I hope you will come along with me for that ride.

Here’s what I know about going indie:

First ~ write a good story.

Second ~ revise and edit that story.

Third ~ have three or four beta readers read your story.

Fourth ~ revise and edit your story from your beta readers’ suggestions.

Fifth ~ have your story professionally edited. This will cost anywhere from $300.00 – $1000.00 or much more depending on the service you use.

Sixth ~ revise and edit per suggestions from your professional edit.

Seventh ~  paying a professional to design the ever-important cover – the first thing my readers will see.

Eighth ~ this is where I begin my journey of self-publishing. I believe this step will involve paying someone to format my book – both for hard copies and e – book.

Ninth ~ before my book is on the path to publication,  I will undergo an aggressive marketing campaign – more to come.

Tenth ~ Now my book will be ready to be published ~ probably through Amazon, but we shall see. I will do much more research before I make that decision.

Eleventh ~ put the next book on this same path, and then the next, etc. while continuing to aggressively market the other three books (the two traditional and the first indie.)

Sounds like a good plan and one I know will continue to evolve as I learn more about becoming an independently published author. Stay tuned! 🙂

Here are some excellent articles I’ve read on indie:

Publishing is Broken, We’re Drowning in Indie Books, And That’s a Good Thing written by David Vinjamuri.

Ten Visual Steps to Self-Publishing Your Book on Amazon

The Real Skinny About Indie Publishing by Tracy Marchini via Nathan Bransford

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About Theresa Sneed ~ Author

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13 Responses to Going Indie or Self-Publishing

  1. Jean Benton-Sneed says:

    I feel good about decision. You have the right attitude and determination to undertake this adventure!!! And most of all u have the right support. You will be happy with this decision as tme goes on.

  2. Great list… so agree! I spend between $500-$1200 on each of my Indie publications (editing/cover/interior design)… but I have made all of that back within a few months of release. Just the other day, I changed the price on 2 of my books, and then updated one of the manuscripts with new hyperlinks at the end of the book. I love being able to do that! I have a ton of flexibility and am never told “no” for my marketing ideas.

  3. You have to do what’s best for you. With two Whitney Award nominated books, you know what’s involved in publishing a book. You’ve already built an audience. With a great editor and savvy people helping with your covers, you should do great. Good luck!

  4. When it comes to editing there are three different kinds.
    1.) developmental edit. This kind professional editing may have been given to you through your previous publisher – or not.
    Developmental editing can include consultation before the writing begins. The developmental editor may help plan the organization, features, and other aspects of the work, and prepare developmental reviews or analyses. Duties often include the following:
    •Suggesting formats to communicate the message.
    •Rewriting and restructuring the text to fit the format.
    •Moving entire paragraphs and sentences to improve flow.
    •Ensuring consistent structure by adding or deleting headings.
    •Identifying gaps in content, and supplying or describing the needed copy, so the author can resolve them.
    •Deleting content that is outdated or that does not achieve the desired marketing focus or tone.
    •Developing an effective system for handling trademarks and notes.

    Developmental editing may also involve altering the content to meet the recommendations of reviewers and determining the style and general content of the illustrations and/or diagrams. Copyediting is a separate step after the developmental stage. The developmental editor does not ensure the consistency or correctness of spelling and usage, routinely check cross-references, typemark manuscripts, or enforce parallelism in running text. The developmental editor may, however, provide the copyeditor with a skeletal style sheet and a few pages of sample copyediting that show preferred forms and usage. The developmental editor may also articulate for the copyeditor the desired level, tone, and focus, and may suggest specific means by which the copyeditor can effect and fine-tune them.
    2.) Copyediting is the nitty gritty processes of ensuring correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.
    3.) Proof reader / editor is the last person that goes through the entire manuscript prior to printing to make sure everything is done correctly. They do not do any developmental editing.
    When self-publishing or going “indie” it is important to have all three kinds of editing done by professionals. Your budget needs to have room for all three. Having one doesn’t mean you get the other two.

  5. I read the articles and I think it might be the best way to go. You are wise beautiful lady. You amaze me!
    I wonder if the book stores will start letting indie books hit their shelves. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Gook luck and I wish you much success.
    Thanks for posting the articles on pros and cons of indie writing.

  6. Susan H. says:

    I appreciate your reasoning. This is a reason so many authors are going indie.
    I on the other hand haven’t even sent a manuscript off, yet. Although I hope to do so in the near future. I need the assistance and the stamp of quality that traditional publishing offers for my own insecurities, not to mention I don’t have funds to back myself.
    Keep me updated on your progress. What ever you decide it will be successful.

    • Thanks Susan! Yes it can be expensive to go indie, but with our wealth of resources, it doesn’t have to be as much as it could be. Keep following this website for updates as I discover all I can about self-publishing. You might be pleasantly surprised! btw ~ in the long run, you may actually lose a lot more money going traditional than you would make going indie ~ 10% compared top 70%.

  7. Debra Erfert says:

    I completely understand your reasoning behind going indie, and I believe you’re 100% correct going this route in your career. It’s frustrating knowing so many of your already written works are just sitting, waiting to be published instead of being out there earning you money. The delays are frustrating enough, and then not having control over your edits or what the cover art looks like. . . yeah, I agree that you’ll be much happier being your own publisher.

    You’re my hero, Theresa! And my inspiration.

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