Yesterday, was the third annual “Indie Author Day.” This is a day for libraries, stores, and literary organizations around the world to welcome and honor local independent authors and writers for their contributions to the writing world. Many places hosted a day of education, networking, writing, panel discussions, mingling and book signings.
If you aren’t sure what an “indie author” is, it’s an author who does not publish their books through a traditional publisher. The indie author is truly independent and has creative control of their work from concept to completion and beyond.
Some might think the indie author is just that because they cannot find a real publisher. While that may be true for some indie authors, it isn’t always the case. I know many indie authors who have had one or more books published by traditional publishers, but opted to self-publish some of their other works.
For most of us, being an indie author is about having creative control over the finished product, our books. I was offered a contract for my first book, “The Button Box.” As I read through the contract, I realized that I would be handing over my words and would have no say whatsoever about the illustrator or how the illustrations would look, the cover, the size of book, or even the way it would be edited. On occasion, I’ve wondered how my books might have turned out if I had sold my stories to a publishing company.
I did talk with the publisher and ask if there was any way I could be a part of the decision making for the look of the book. When they said that wouldn’t be possible, I turned down the contract and never looked back. I established my own company, Walk Down The Lane Publishing, and never even considered submitting my second and third books to publishers.
There are definitely times when I would love to have some help marketing my books. But my understanding is that even when one works with a traditional publisher, a certain amount of the marketing responsibility still falls upon the shoulders of the author.
Indie authors also pay for their own book publishing. I have several author friends who have had to take out big loans to fund their books, and many indie authors also work a day job just to pay the bills.
Most indie authors self-publish because they have a passion for writing and they want to share their books with the world. They write for the pure love of words, writing and stories. As the holiday shopping season begins, I hope you will consider the wonderful books by your local indie authors as gifts this year.