Sunday, February 24, 2013

Being an indie author is a tough job...

Ever since I decided to become an Indie author, I've started living a double life, just like Superman, Batman and Spiderman - only, without the superpowers. And I have to say, it can get a little exhausting and overwhelming at times. I'm a normal person working full-time during the day, and then at night and over the weekend I shed the mask, and turn into Superindie, the writer. Well, I don't know how Clark Kent, Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne managed - I have to say having a double life really is a tough job!

When I decided to self-publish, I guess I didn't think of all the aspects that would go with it. I didn't want to wait for one agent among millions to like my manuscript and give me a chance; I had tried the traditional route but it didn't work, and I was running out of time - I wanted people to read my story and get feedback, because I needed to know if all the sweat, the tears and the weekend cooped up in my room, typing franctically on my computer had been worth it. Yes, I guess I could've simply joined a critique group or found beta readers, but I just couldn't wait any longer. I'd been working so hard on my novel, and I wanted the world to meet my baby; even if I found an agent, he/she would have to find a publisher, get a contract, organize everything and it would take at least another year.
Let me tell you straight out that patience is definitely NOT a virtue I possess. I'm more like what Freddie Mercury sang: "I want it all, and I want it now" - so... no, I couldn't wait for a traditional publishing contract.

But I hadn't really thought of all the other aspects of self-publishing that I would have to take care of myself. What was so hard about it? I'll get my book edited by a professional, I'll upload it, choose a cover (the fun part) and bam! It's online and on Amazon. How easy is that?
I know I've always said I'm a dreamer, and I guess that writers are that at the end of the day (or is it just me?) but I thought I wouldn't have to do much more than shout out "My book is available, world; go grab a copy!" and people would buy it and the next thing I knew, I could quit my day job (which I hate, just so you know) and be a full-time writer and reader. Wow, wouldn't that be awesome?

Well, sorry to disappoint you, Roberta, but this ain't gonna happen any time soon! Okay, that was my own Jiminy Cricket taking hold of my keyboard - sorry about that.

Anyway, in spite of all the efforts being an indie author requires, there are  good things about it. The first one is that I've learnt a lot about blogging, book tours, giveaways and stuff. A whole new world has opened its doors to me and I'm loving it - it's just what I love doing!
The downside though is that I've really had to work hard to get people to know that my book exists, to create a buzz around it and get people to read it. I'm just not good at marketing, and I definitely don't like boasting (I guess an author should do that, too to convince people that the novel is really good and they should give it a try - but I'm just too shy to do that!)

Being an indie author also helped me discover a wonderful world - the Indie World, which is made of struggling writers who, just like me, are keen to get their works out there, but are also happy to help one another, just because they know how much work is involved in writing a good novel and getting it published.
I've met great writers who, in my opinion, should have been asked to sign a contract by a publishing house, because their novels were really good. I've met people who helped me promote my book, even though they'd never heard my name before, and who didn't ask for anything in return. I've been glad to help other authors with my Indie Author Interview Corner, and I've met lovely people in the process of marketing my book.
Would have I met them, had I gone down the traditional publishing route? No, probably not. Maybe I would've made more money out of my book, I would have become a famous writer (doubt it! - aww, shut up Jim and let me dream for once!), but I would've probably missed all the good parts, like the happiness of belonging to a community, of not feeling like a black sheep in a flock of milky white ones (like I always do, being the only writer in my family), while sharing the same fears, doubts, expectations and dreams of hundreds of people out there, whom I would never have met otherwise.

So even if I'll still have to go to my boring office on Monday, and I'll have to use every spare moment in the week to write and promote, with hindsight I can say I'm proud to be part of the Indie World, with or without superpowers.

Are you an indie author, too? Please do leave a comment and share your thoughts!

5 commenti:

  1. I have aspirations of being an indie author, but am just concentrating on getting back into the swing of writing after a couple of years out. Great post.

  2. Awesome blog post! I feel just like you do! You should check out my blog because I just wrote a post about not liking my day job. I also just published my first novel and like you I am impatient and couldn't wait for approval from someone else and like's so much work to get your book noticed! So yup, we've got TWO full time jobs. One is amazing and fulfilling and the other, for the time being, puts food on the table. Now, if only we could find a way to combine the two into one awesome job! :)

  3. I guess we'll have to keep doing the job we love the most and keep hoping that one day we'll be able to make a living out of it! Good things come to those who wait... at least that's what they say, but try telling that to an aspiring author! :-)
    Thanks for your comment, Victoria.

  4. Happy writing then, good luck with it and thanks for your comment!
    (sorry for my late reply!)