How many of you adorable readers (well, my readers are adorable anyway) are aware that when reading eBooks there is a strong chance you'll pick up/buy one from an Independent Author (meaning they don't belong to a Publishing House)?
These Authors have to do the following with no financial or creative support (unless they go and pay the big bucks to freelance professionals for it of course).
- The Manuscript (obviously – I roll my eyes at myself)
- Manuscript Formatting
- eBook Cover Design/Paperrback & Hardback Book Jacket
- Book Blurb & Hook
- Website Design, Build and Management
- Promotion - arranging blog reviews, press releases, merchandise, etc
- Marketing - advertisements, free book giveaways
- Profile Building
- Fan Correspondence & Social Networking
And a multitude of other things that I won't mention since we would be here all day. And they have to deal with pitching their novels against books that are plastered all over the place in big marketing campaigns and get bolstered by reviews from national newspapers or magazines with prime placement on chain bookstore shelves. And they have to be writing their next book. And they have to still be dealing with rejection from agents who still don't want to take a chance on them even when they have a small readership. And they probably all work a stressful 9 to 5's (like me) so that general life can go on and they can fund their writing addiction (trust me, it is an addiction).
That is a lot and 'ands' people!
Being an Indie Author is like working another full time job at times, because you have to be everything to everybody. You have to be a die hard lover of the written word or you won't survive it (yes, I am that dramatic).
My main downfall is promotion. I'm not an in your face personality, and I couldn't sell a box full of real £50 notes for a penny if I tried. But if I did want to heavily market and promote I know there would be major financial and emotional limitations to what I could achieve.
Trying to be traditionally published is like pushing a purple elephant that the Maharaja didn't want through a carnival guarded by an army with riot shields. So you dress your elephant up and you kick it though that door and hope it will knock down all the majestic gray elephants that were considered more beautiful and hope the Maharaja who rejected it will take notice. Of course your purple elephant may get shot by poachers. But there is a chance it will be worshiped by the citizens, and put in a lovely wildlife preserve. Allowing you to be free of the Maharaja.*
What was the point of this blog post? I've forgotten since I'm writing it at stupid o'clock – suffering a bout of insomnia – but interpret it any way that pleases you.
*For those not understanding my symbolic references;
Purple Elephant = Indie Novel
Gray Elephant = Traditionally Published Novel
Carnival = Book Market
Maharaja = Publishing house
Poachers = Bad Reviews
Army = Literary Agents
Riot Shields = Submission Guidelines
Citizens = Readers
Wildlife Preserve = A Praised Novel