Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction Writers => Self Publishing Discussion => Topic started by: NedMarcus on May 11, 2018, 02:30:59 AM

Title: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: NedMarcus on May 11, 2018, 02:30:59 AM
I'm curious about how many writers here would choose to go the traditional publishing route, and how many would choose the indie route? I'm naturally independent, and for me the indie route is more attractive because of the artistic control I have, plus I just like it. And if I start selling lots of books I'll make more money, too.

I've never considered going the traditional route at all. That said, I never say never, but it would take a lot for me to consider going with a traditional publisher.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: cupiscent on May 11, 2018, 04:54:58 AM
I'll take the other end of the scale: I am aiming for traditional all the way. I write because I want to write, so I want to minimise the amount of publisher-role jobs I have to also take on. Plus, I love the thrill of working with professionals to improve my work, and I don't feel quite as good about that relationship when I'm paying the professional.

That said, once I have established a trad-pub career, I would certainly not be averse to considering hybrid strategies with shorter/related/hard-sell works, a patreon model, etc etc. But landing that trad-pub career is my goal.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: NedMarcus on May 11, 2018, 06:20:04 AM
I don't feel quite as good about that relationship when I'm paying the professional.

Paying can be quite painful  :'(

But I enjoy working with editors and proofreaders. So far, they don't seem to be holding back because I'm paying them, although it's a hard one to judge without experiencing both sides, and even then, much will depend on the individual editor. One thing I don't get is instructions to write to certain lengths or to try to fit closer into the genre they want. I guess that has advantages and disadvantages.

Finding the right freelance professionals can be difficult at times, though.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: dinogenetics on May 11, 2018, 01:41:58 PM
I agree with @NedMarcus... I've gone the indie route and, as long strings of emails and inside jokes would show, absolutely loved working with my editor and cover designer.

I've learned a lot this year, and I would say that going the indie path (and doing it well) is a lot like buying a house. Lots of research, too much money, detailed timing... dotting the i's and crossing the t's! It is certainly not for everyone and, as @cupiscent alluded to, it can keep a writer from writing. I probably lost two months of writing time this year in preparation of publication. However, I love the final product.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Skip on May 11, 2018, 05:12:04 PM
The killer isn't the editor, proofreader, cartographer, cover designer, formatter ... it's the marketing. It's doing all those other things, producing a good product, and being utterly un-noticed in the the crowd of three thousand other books published *every day*.  It's making oneself heard in the din.

Now, going tradpub doesn't guarantee you'll be heard. Most likely you'll be heard only briefly and will disappear as thoroughly as going indie. This is not a business for the faint of heart.

Also, tradpub doesn't exactly get you off the hook with non-writing work. Finding an agent is as time-consuming and chancy as finding an editor, and their response time is worse. And even if you land a contract, it will be many months to a couple of years before your book is actually out.

Go with whatever feels comfortable. Writers will write, regardless of how or if they are published.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: tebakutis on May 11, 2018, 06:46:14 PM
I'll take the other end of the scale: I am aiming for traditional all the way. I write because I want to write, so I want to minimise the amount of publisher-role jobs I have to also take on. Plus, I love the thrill of working with professionals to improve my work, and I don't feel quite as good about that relationship when I'm paying the professional.

That said, once I have established a trad-pub career, I would certainly not be averse to considering hybrid strategies with shorter/related/hard-sell works, a patreon model, etc etc. But landing that trad-pub career is my goal.

I think always exhausting your traditional options before going indie is definitely the way to go (I may have said that in a similar thread on this topic, actually). So 100% on this. I published my last sci-fi book indie, but only after it had been turned down by every agent/major publishing house to which I pitched it, and there was nowhere (through traditional press) it had left to go.

Since the feedback from my advance and beta readers on that book had been so uniformly positive (40+ people loved it, even the editors who rejected it said they thought it would sell, and reviews since I published it have been equally positive) I was comfortable doing it myself, but with the sequel, I again plan to exhaust all traditional publishing options before going indie again.

It's not like my most recent indie book is flying off the shelves, so there's no need to rush the next one...
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: NedMarcus on May 12, 2018, 02:04:52 AM
The killer isn't the editor, proofreader, cartographer, cover designer, formatter ... it's the marketing. It's doing all those other things, producing a good product, and being utterly un-noticed in the the crowd of three thousand other books published *every day*.  It's making oneself heard in the din.

I don't think going trad helps at all with marketing. You are still expected to do everything. All the publisher will do is issue a press release and put you on their list of new releases. You'll get in some bookshops for a few months—but that's about it—and most sales are online.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: NedMarcus on May 12, 2018, 02:07:42 AM

I think always exhausting your traditional options before going indie is definitely the way to go (I may have said that in a similar thread on this topic, actually). So 100% on this.

It seems the opposite to me. What advantage do you think you'll get through traditional publishing?
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Skip on May 12, 2018, 05:17:34 AM
I'm with NedMarcus on this. Going the tradpub route means, for most of us, spending many months, even years, trying to snag an agent, who in turn tries to snag a publisher, who in turn hires an editor, who in turn rakes through your book until it's "marketable." Then wait still longer for the book to be worked into the publisher's schedule (often a year or more out). After which you find you still must carry much of the marketing burden and your mid-list title soon sinks without a trace. So, after ... oh, let's be generous and say five years ... you think hm maybe I should try indie.

I considered all of that. I ain't got that much time. I have to get on with it. But I'm fortunate; I'm retired and I'm not trying to make a livable income at this.  I only do the marketing part because I'd really like to have more than ten people read my stuff.

Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: CameronJohnston on May 12, 2018, 11:22:05 AM
I'm clearly biased towards going with the trade/traditional publishers, but that's for a number of very good reasons:

1) You don't pay a single thing towards structural editing, copy editing, proof reading, cover artist, production or marketing. In fact, they pay you up front for your hard work writing and work with you on all of the above, because it is in their interest to push your book and have it do well. And you don't always have to sacrifice creative control to do it either (in my case anyway).

2) The doors they open...oh jeez, so, so many. They have an in-built market, fans, book bloggers, reviewers, press people... they do so much that most people will never see it all but people will see some of it.

3) Reviews, endorsements and interviews. They will arrange those for you prior to launch, so that your book starts off with a buzz and already has some good reviews (hopefully anyway). The publishers really do a lot behind the scenes.

4) Brick and mortar book shops and libraries will stock it. And that is just damn cool.

Of course your mileage will vary along with the publisher, with bigger publishers having much more reach, and getting your book noticed by more people. The quality and reach of smaller publishers may vary and you may be better off going indie rather than with a small publisher.

The problem going with the indie route - and it CAN go very well indeed - is that even if you produce an amazing book that has been professionally edited and has a cracking cover art, it will still be an uphill struggle to get noticed. Nobody will read it if they don't know about it, and it can be like screaming into the void trying to get it noticed in the first place. Things like SPFBO are excellent for highlighting the good ones from the dross that gets pumped out directly onto Amazon. The problem is that people don't tend to wade through and find the good ones, not when they have the quality control of trade/traditional publishers where they know a book will usually be of a certain quality - and likely one that they have heard of already.

Quite a few people are making a name for themselves in the trade/traditional publishers and then put out indie novels. Because people by then know who they are, and how they write and it bypasses the whole shouting into the void aspect of indie publishing.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: abatch on May 13, 2018, 12:36:17 AM
Indie!

Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: NedMarcus on May 13, 2018, 03:00:15 AM
Thanks for the post, and for the mention of SPFBO. I'd never heard of them before.

 
I'm clearly biased towards going with the trade/traditional publishers

I'm clearly biased, too, in the other direction. We both have reasons, of course.

Quote
1) You don't pay a single thing towards structural editing, copy editing, proof reading, cover artist, production or marketing. In fact, they pay you up front for your hard work writing and work with you on all of the above, because it is in their interest to push your book and have it do well. And you don't always have to sacrifice creative control to do it either (in my case anyway).

Perhaps your points 2 and 3 are correct when working with a big publisher—I don't know enough about that. But point 1 is more complicated. Actually, you do pay, if you sell more than a few books, because your earnings per book will be much lower, and you'll very likely be granting the publisher other rights: audio (in its various forms), foreign language, film, TV, graphic comic, and others. So you pay later instead of sooner. The costs you mentioned are fixed costs, and if the book sells moderately well, then they become almost irrelevant. Of course, if the book doesn't sell, then you're better off with a trad deal.

Quote
4) Brick and mortar book shops and libraries will stock it. And that is just damn cool.

Agreed, but most sales are online.

Quote
The problem going with the indie route - and it CAN go very well indeed - is that even if you produce an amazing book that has been professionally edited and has a cracking cover art, it will still be an uphill struggle to get noticed. Nobody will read it if they don't know about it, and it can be like screaming into the void trying to get it noticed in the first place.

This is true, but it's also true for many traditionally published authors.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: cupiscent on May 13, 2018, 06:31:18 AM
4) Brick and mortar book shops and libraries will stock it. And that is just damn cool.

Agreed, but most sales are online.

Can't argue with that; I don't know the numbers. But my personal experience is that I don't buy unless I know I will enjoy the book, either because I've read it already (library) or because I love the author's work already. Sooooometimes I will take a punt on buying a book cold because it just looks so good, but for a book to come to my attention like that it needs a lot of buzz (very hard for an indie to generate) or for me to have seen it when I'm browsing a bookshop.

Also, I don't buy electronic (unless there is no other format and I'm desperate to have access to the book). I buy hardcopy. I have heard about and had too many bad "electronic purchase is not ownership" experiences.

I know lots and lots of other readers do things differently. But that's my experience, so it's hard for me to conceptualise a sales model outside of that.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Not Lu on May 13, 2018, 06:56:53 PM
I think there's good and bad to both routes, but if you're willing to run a business then indie is the way to go. The reason is that there are so many resources for authors today that it's as easy to work with contractors to get the work done as it is to work with a publisher. The other huge benefit is that the author is in charge. The author gets to make the final decisions, not the publisher.

The way the publishing world is structured today, whoever pays the upfront costs gets the majority of the long term profit.

Going with a traditional publisher might get you a 3k advance plus the cost of editing, covers, and initial advertising, but you'll only make 15% of the profit after your advance is covered (if it ever gets covered).

An indie author has to put up about 3k upfront for editing, cover, etc., but only if they pay for services rather than use beta readers as editors and trade for copy and proof editing. The only big expenses are a professional cover and advertising/promotion. However, the indie author keeps 70% of the revenue so he can afford to advertise. It's easy to make advertising profitable with two or three books in a series (Facebook, Amazon ads, etc.).

Advertising also gives an unknown author the visibility that is crucial to being successful. There are a lot of readers out there who are browsing Amazon and buying books from people they don't know so AMS ads are a good way to get your book in front of them.

TLDR: If you're willing to run a business and have the money to buy a cover and advertise, indie is the way to go.



Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Skip on May 13, 2018, 08:03:20 PM
I think there's more to self-publishing than just running a business. It's possible to publish and just see what happens. Likely, very little will, but a person can build a mailing list and have a modest number of fans, generate enough money just to cover production costs, maybe even cover the cost of attending a convention or two, all without having to go full-on business. It's also possible to publish and do nothing whatsoever, being content to have one's story be more than a manuscript in a drawer.

Traditional publishing doesn't really offer the range of options. Yes, there's the old vanity press racket, which keeps trying to revive itself in various garbs. Maybe one could call being content being a mid-lister as analogous to the cost recovery model in indie, but they're more like quantum jumps than a continuum.

Another benefit of being self-published is I get to call myself Indy. :)
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Not Lu on May 13, 2018, 08:26:46 PM
I think there's more to self-publishing than just running a business. It's possible to publish and just see what happens. Likely, very little will, but a person can build a mailing list and have a modest number of fans, generate enough money just to cover production costs, maybe even cover the cost of attending a convention or two, all without having to go full-on business. It's also possible to publish and do nothing whatsoever, being content to have one's story be more than a manuscript in a drawer.

Traditional publishing doesn't really offer the range of options. Yes, there's the old vanity press racket, which keeps trying to revive itself in various garbs. Maybe one could call being content being a mid-lister as analogous to the cost recovery model in indie, but they're more like quantum jumps than a continuum.

Another benefit of being self-published is I get to call myself Indy. :)

I totally agree. Everyone has their own reasons for self publishing. Many of them have nothing to do with making a lot of money. I know an author that couldn't care less about the money. All he cares about are the reviews.  :o
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: tebakutis on May 13, 2018, 11:49:30 PM
I'm clearly biased towards going with the trade/traditional publishers, but that's for a number of very good reasons:

Everything Cameron just said. I've been at this indie publishing thing for almost 6 years now (I've now done four books indie) and I can say his points about the advantages of traditional press are entirely accurate. I know a number of fellow authors who have gone traditional, and the baseline you start with in traditional press is just so much higher than indie. There's nothing *wrong* with indie, but turning down traditional press in favor of indie (when you're starting out) is simply not what I'd recommend.

I feel like my latest book is the best book I've written yet. Advance readers, reviewers, and even the editors and agents who rejected it all seemed to agree. Yet despite the positive press, it's hardly sold anything, and that's because no one has heard of it. There's just SO MANY indie books (and authors) out there that's it's extremely difficult to stand out from the pack. Every so often an indie author blows up, but the conditions are random (kind of like landing an agent, honestly) and this is like 1% of the total indie author group. As authors, we tend to have a rather overly optimistic perspective on how much we'll sell.

Traditional press gets you, as Cameron said, a built-in audience, and from talking to agents, editors, and fellow (traditional press) authors at conventions, I've pretty much consistently learned that even a poorly selling traditional press book still sells more copies than even well known indie books. I like to think of book publishing through the metaphor of a mountain - every author wants to get to the top of the mountain (where people like King, Scalzi, et all hang out) and most never make it. However, indie authors start at the very bottom of the mountain, and they have to claw and climb the entire way up. Traditional press authors still have to climb that mountain (and also might not make it to the top) but they start at a base camp a good way's up the slope.

Finally, the fact that indie publishing is available means striking out in traditional press (not earning out, essentially, and not getting another book deal) *still* leaves you the option to go indie after traditional, and authors who have gone traditional first usually obtain at least a small audience and some cred. By going traditional press you have made contacts and likely acquired an audience (and a starting point) far beyond that of the average indie author. Again, having done four books on my own (and seen the expected lack of sales/exposure, despite advertising and connections) there's always the chance something I do indie will take off ... but I'm not holding my breath.

Landing a book in traditional press, taking advantage of the signal booster/accelerator that results, and then either succeeding (if it goes well) or going back to indie (with some new momentum) are both far superior to going indie out of the gate (IMO). I'd never recommend going indie FIRST. Once your debut book has struck out everywhere, if you've got great feedback, absolutely go indie - but why turn down the chance to go traditional (and take advantage of all the things Cameron has pointed out) without even trying?
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: cupiscent on May 13, 2018, 11:53:46 PM
Just curious, because there's an element I've heard a lot in other self-pub discussions, but not in this one: prolificness. Other times I've seen building an indie career discussed, people have talked about the need to put out books regularly and quickly - one every six months being touted as ideal, but one a year the minimum.

Aside from not really caring about the money (I'd like to make some; it's not why I write) and not wanting to run a business, that's the thing that seems the biggest sticking point, to me. I just can't write that fast and achieve the quality I want to achieve.

Thoughts? Is this still an important factor in an indie career?
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Not Lu on May 14, 2018, 12:52:19 AM
I'm clearly biased towards going with the trade/traditional publishers, but that's for a number of very good reasons:
Every so often an indie author blows up, but the conditions are random (kind of like landing an agent, honestly) and this is like 1% of the total indie author group. As authors, we tend to have a rather overly optimistic perspective on how much we'll sell.

During the last 3 quarters of 2017 the Amazon imprints and indie authors sold more ebooks than traditional publishers did. Trade pub had more revenue because they sold at a higher price (but the author probably didn't make as much as the indie author due to indies getting a 70% cut of revenue). So, there are a lot of indie authors out there making a living and a ton of them making mid-list money.

http://authorearnings.com/report/january-2018-report-us-online-book-sales-q2-q4-2017/
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Not Lu on May 14, 2018, 01:09:41 AM
Just curious, because there's an element I've heard a lot in other self-pub discussions, but not in this one: prolificness. Other times I've seen building an indie career discussed, people have talked about the need to put out books regularly and quickly - one every six months being touted as ideal, but one a year the minimum.

Aside from not really caring about the money (I'd like to make some; it's not why I write) and not wanting to run a business, that's the thing that seems the biggest sticking point, to me. I just can't write that fast and achieve the quality I want to achieve.

Thoughts? Is this still an important factor in an indie career?

There are a couple of schools of thought in the indie community. One is as you mentioned, write as fast as you can and let Amazon boost you due to the hot new release list. The more you write the more often you get in the list and the more often your backlist gets seen (and bought). Some of these writers try to publish 6 to 12 books a year.

A way slower writers do it is to write the first three books in the series before they publish. Then they publish book 1 immediately, book 2 on a 30 day pre order, and book 3 on a 60 day pre order (some space it 14 or 21 days between each book). By doing this they get extra visibility in the Amazon store for 45 to 90 days. They also put some advertising on book one for extra visibility. By the end of the first 90 days they're profitable enough to continue advertising until their next book is out.

It is also possible to be successful only writing a book a year or two, but it takes a lot more money. These authors slowly build their audience and true fans by consistent small advertising, mailing lists, promo sites, etc. After they've written the 3rd book (say 3 or 4 years into their career) they usually have a large enough following that they can do a big ad spend and be profitable.

It really depends on your goals and what you're willing to do as a writer to decide which strategy is best. But, as everyone has mentioned above, visibility is what's important whether you're trade published or indie. As an indie, you can't expect to publish on Amazon then have the book sell itself. You have to put some ad spend behind it to reach readers.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: NedMarcus on May 14, 2018, 02:05:06 AM
Just curious, because there's an element I've heard a lot in other self-pub discussions, but not in this one: prolificness. Other times I've seen building an indie career discussed, people have talked about the need to put out books regularly and quickly - one every six months being touted as ideal, but one a year the minimum.

...I just can't write that fast and achieve the quality I want to achieve.

Some do, some don't. Not Lu gives a longer version. Personally, I can't write so fast, but I don't write the same sort of stories that the truly high-speed writers do. Often their stories are formulaic—not saying they're necessarily bad, but they clearly follow a formula. See this article where a writer talks about writing 12 books in 6 months. She explains how she does it, but for me, this just wouldn't work.

https://insights.bookbub.com/write-12-books-6-months-grow-sales-populate-backlist/ (https://insights.bookbub.com/write-12-books-6-months-grow-sales-populate-backlist/)
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Skip on May 14, 2018, 03:44:08 AM
I do not dispute (it would be folly to dispute) the higher starting point for traditional publishing. My problem lies not with the starting point but with the extraordinary amount of time it takes to get to that point in the first place. I said it before but it bears repeating: it's not at all unusual to shop your book for *years* before you get an agent. That's not a publisher, mind you, that's just an agent. That doesn't get you in the ballpark, that just gets you to the town where the ballpark is located.

Especially in our field, it used to be quite different. There were a number of fantasy magazines, even more SF mags, where the aspiring writer could break in. He could shop his first novel by pointing to the two or five short stories he'd had published. That world has very nearly vanished. Alongside that, the corporate takeover of so many publishing houses gave the boot to countless agents and editors, many of who are out freelancing now. This does not translate to more opportunities, it translates to more people knocking on the same doors.

If you succeed, a whole new set of issues open up, but yes it does mean that you are relieved have having to find editors and artists (a tedious, time-consuming, and chancy project itself). It emphatically does not mean you are relieved of marketing time.

I would never say don't bother trying. Keep trying. Try everything. Try anything. All I'm saying is that I'm sixty-six years old, I have a good dozen novels in me (or is that a dozen good novels?), and I do not have time to spend sending out query letters (a whole topic in itself), then waiting months for replies only to repeat the process again and again. Not when I can just click Publish.

No path is an easy one. Not for any artist in any business. The more one hopes to live off the income from art, the more difficult, even treacherous, the path becomes. Sometimes I pine for the days of having an aristocratic patron.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Ryan Mueller on May 21, 2018, 05:04:26 AM
I'm going with indie at this point. I like the control I have over my writing career. The marketing and promotion is a steep learning curve, but I do enjoy taking on new challenges.

One of the big things for me is that I feel most trade publishing schedules are too slow. A lot of times, you're limited to one book per year. I have so many books I want to write that one book a year simply wouldn't do it.

If I do get a trade deal at some point, I'd want to have the option to remain a hybrid so that I can publish other series on my own.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Toby Frost on July 17, 2018, 09:41:15 AM
I think this is a really interesting thread. Up till now, I've been trad published, but I've come to a natural break in things and I'm considering self-publishing a trilogy of older work, newly edited and, where necessary, re-written. I think the books are exciting, and that the genre has become more suited to them as time's moved on, thanks to the rise of grimdark.

However, publicity is daunting stuff. It's interesting how very different skills are required of an author: the introspective, almost scholarly ability to write a book, and then the very outgoing personality needed to sell it. I think this is going to be a strange experience and the learning curve will be steep, but hopefully the outcome will be good.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Skip on July 17, 2018, 03:52:00 PM
Toby, do you have a specific goal for your indie project? Is it number of sales? A certain amount of money? Newsletter subscribers?
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Not Lu on July 17, 2018, 04:54:06 PM
I think this is a really interesting thread. Up till now, I've been trad published, but I've come to a natural break in things and I'm considering self-publishing a trilogy of older work, newly edited and, where necessary, re-written. I think the books are exciting, and that the genre has become more suited to them as time's moved on, thanks to the rise of grimdark.

However, publicity is daunting stuff. It's interesting how very different skills are required of an author: the introspective, almost scholarly ability to write a book, and then the very outgoing personality needed to sell it. I think this is going to be a strange experience and the learning curve will be steep, but hopefully the outcome will be good.

Today's book marketing has evolved past the need to be outgoing or even meet people. You can do it from the comfort of your living room with promotion sites (Bookbub), Amazon advertising, Facebook advertising, etc. That's one of the big differences between an indie author and traditionally published. Indies go direct to the customer with a pitch to buy the book. Publishers focus on distributors and PR to make the pitch to readers. So, being an indie you shouldn't focus on "publicity". Instead, build advertising campaigns that appeal to the readers of your genre.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Skip on July 17, 2018, 10:29:36 PM
You can try to do traditional marketing, of course, but as Not Lu indicated, that's not the only path.

I look at it through a different lens. I'm here in Fantasy Faction. I frequent two other forums and three FB groups. I have a website where I post lots of stuff about Altearth that doesn't make it into my books. I have a (small) subscriber list.

That's my community. I very much enjoy visiting and participating. They sing the song of my people. I do tell folks when I've finished a new book; in fact, in a couple of places I even talk about how things are going with the current book. Other authors do the same. We're just talking about what we've done, what we're doing, what we're planning to do.

Now, I make almost no money at this, so the above is not the route to $uccess, but I left that illusion a long time ago. I'd like to make enough money to cover my costs, but even if I don't, this is a pretty cheap hobby. Costs less than a boat, and I'll leave behind something more than an oil slick.

Your ambition may vary. I offer this as a path, one of many.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: NedMarcus on July 18, 2018, 12:39:38 AM
...this is a pretty cheap hobby. Costs less than a boat, and I'll leave behind something more than an oil slick.
:D The oil slick comment made me laugh. I often tell people the same. I've met people who spend much more than me (even after I've paid for an editor) on paragliding, sailing, or expensive cars.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Toby Frost on July 24, 2018, 12:31:20 PM
Today's book marketing has evolved past the need to be outgoing or even meet people. You can do it from the comfort of your living room with promotion sites (Bookbub), Amazon advertising, Facebook advertising, etc. That's one of the big differences between an indie author and traditionally published. Indies go direct to the customer with a pitch to buy the book. Publishers focus on distributors and PR to make the pitch to readers. So, being an indie you shouldn't focus on "publicity". Instead, build advertising campaigns that appeal to the readers of your genre.

Thanks, that's an interesting point. I suppose it's the idea of getting out there (virtually or not) and doing it myself. But then I've done conventions and events, so I don't suppose it will be very different, just more frequent and perhaps less intense.

Toby, do you have a specific goal for your indie project? Is it number of sales? A certain amount of money? Newsletter subscribers?

Another good question! I've not thought about this terribly hard. Ideally, I would like to make some sort of profit - not that I expect vast sums by any means, but I think they're good books and I would be disappointed if they pretty much sank without trace. And of course I'll inevitably end up putting money into the project (again, not huge sums) and it would be disappointing to end up with a loss. I suppose at the moment I am thinking about it in that financial sense, but I really don't know what to expect, and I am trying to be pretty realistic about it all.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: Magnus Hedén on July 24, 2018, 01:06:48 PM
I think my dream is to start by building enough of a following on Patreon to be able to do the writing I want, then eventually start poking traditional publishers when I already have an established fanbase. This is all far in the future; first of all, I need to step up my productivity several notches.

But I'm already laying the groundwork for spreading the word, albeit slowly. I tried quick and dirty and that just wasn't me at all. Now I'm picking up supporters pretty much one at the time. I love it because I have a personal relationship with them.  :D
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: BradCarsten on August 16, 2018, 02:34:34 AM
I have no interest in Trad publishing. That may change in the future- who knows, but for now, I want to have full control of the entire process and retain all my rights.
I was looking at the latest authors Earnings report, and according to them, 75% of Fantasy sales on Amazon are Ebooks. Of that about 40% are indie, so there definitely is a market out there, and with KDP select, it's easy for people to try new authors without having to shell out anything.
It may take longer to build up a following, but that's all part of the fun.
Title: Re: Are you a Trad or Indie?
Post by: NedMarcus on August 18, 2018, 02:02:02 PM
Although I still feel very independent, I would, perhaps, consider an Amazon imprint. Not for the series I'm writing now, but perhaps for a future series. I feel they could do more to promote a book than traditional publishers—although in some ways the Amazon imprints are traditional.