friday five: something about indie publishing…


So I’ve been fairly quiet this week. That’s because my words are back and I’ve been belting out some productive gabble.

And yes, that does make a weird sort of sense.

Yesterday I spent a rainy day at a seminar that was part of the Sydney Writers Festival. Titled Forest for the Trees, it was a series on panels and author talks looking at publishing- both traditional and indie- in 2013.  Check out the link for some of the amazing people that we listened to.

Anyways, the subject is a pertinent one for me at the moment.

Regular readers know that I’m looking for a publisher, but just lately I’ve also been struggling with the lack of control I have in the process.

I’m writing both fiction (chick lit) and non fiction (astrology). Each has a different audience and commercial appeal.

To break it down further, one of my astro titles has commercial potential, complete with sequels, while others will be interesting only to students of astrology.

There is no single fit for what I’m doing.

Part of me is drawn to indie publishing for the astro and traditional for the fiction. Yet, there’s still something inside me that says that my writing is not good enough unless someone else says it is.

Logically I know this is not the case- rejections can be for many reasons. It may be that the work doesn’t quite fit, it may be that the publishing house has a full stable, it may be that it is terrible.

There is still a stigma about self-publishing largely because there is a lot of crap out there. The thing is, there’s also some gold out there written by really talented writers who have chosen, for whatever reason, to go the indie route.

Todays Friday Five is just a handful of what I took away from yesterday- specifically as it applies to self publishing. Believe me when I say I took away so very much more.

Will I be going down this route? I have no idea…but I’m so much better informed now than I was.

Talking about writing isn’t the same as writing.

This little gem is self evident, yet so often overlooked. We kid ourselves into thinking that the forums we participate in, the festivals we attend, the chat we engage in on facebook and Twitter, is productive. It is, and it isn’t. It’s vital, it’s energising, it’s educational, it’s supportive…but at the end of the day, it isn’t writing. It’s more like our version of the water cooler discussion or coffee break.

Indie Publishing isn’t the easy way out

The reason there is a stigma about self publishing is that there is a lot of crap out there. When you self publish, you (and only you) are accountable for the end product- so you need to be proud of it.

You have full control of the process, but you are also responsible for the process. All of the process…

It’s about the product

Self publishing costs money, so make sure that you develop your budget along with your book. Prioritise editing as an expense and give thought to creating your own cover to avoid future licensing issues.

Oh, and on the subject of editors, ask for recommendations…and sample chapters.

The business of being a writer is more than a creative process- it’s a business

This is especially the case if you are self publishing. You are your brand. You’re the editing department, the creative talent, the marketing department, the promotions department, the design department, the accounts department and social media coordinator. Be aware of this.

The best marketing you can do is write another good book.

Says it all really!

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

8 thoughts

  1. Ha, I have never kidded myself to believe that social media is writing. It may have its place but I feel it does far more harm than good when it comes to productivity, in anything not just writing ( my own opinion, of course!!). I am very, very close to a full-on BAN from Facebook. Lucky you to be able to attend the Sydney Writers Festival!!!

    1. I actually tried to decommission my personal FB page until I realised I’d lose my astro page as well. It’s a serious time waster.

      1. I want off it too but I like keeping in touch with people I know I would lose touch with if it weren’t for FB. I also like the info and advice from my writing & photography groups. It’s a hard one. I’m gearing myself up for a month of June ban. Is social media just another vice? Another addiction and distraction to add to the list? Booze, drugs, pills, cigarettes, food, shopping, gambling, sex, Twitter, FB…

    1. Thanks for the tip- I haven’t read her blog…yet! I tend to go out to where I can’t get the internet- although I must admit that catch up TV is the biggest distraction for me. I justify it by saying that I’m watching good writing…

      1. Hee hee. Yes. I think I mentioned I’ve become a bit anal about daytime TV of late. Since I had the cover for the TV made, uncovering it (even to put on while I’m eating my lunch) feels a bit decadent. Not that I’m hugely productive during the day (without the tv)…

      2. Oh and PS. Joanna’s latest post is about the legitimacy of self-publishing. I read her blog daily (or whenever she posts) but rarely comment. I did a session when she lived in Oz a few years ago. (BEST WORKSHOP I’VE EVER DONE – about social media and writers.)

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