Going Indie

by Ashlynmathews on March 27, 2013

Disclaimer:  My personal choice to self-publish isn’t a middle finger to traditional publishing. Rather, being an Indie author fits my life of living with four boys, one husband, a Golden Retriever, and one Beta fish. The control and pace of self-publishing also tames my tug-of-war personality. One side of my brain enjoys the analytical and critical thinking aspect of my day job and the constant and familiar routine of my eighteen year marriage and busy family.

However, the creative part of my brain needs an outlet. I’m not a sit in front of the television kind of gal. Before I was a writer, I was a reader, usually a book a day. Stay stagnant too long and I get bored. Would you believe I used to be an Emergency Room RN? Yes, I loved the adrenaline rush, but once the kids came along my priorities shifted.

When I started my writing journey in Winter 2010, my intention wasn’t to become a published author. I wrote because a story came to me and my heart wanted to tell it. Yes, Shadow Watcher was inspired by the Disney movie, Tangled. But I realized there’s more to my interest in writing than a movie.

I was dissatisfied with the books I was reading. The stories weren’t terrible. I was just searching  for something that resonated with me. And I couldn’t seem to find it. Yet, in my head, I’d changed those stories into what I wanted it to be for me. Maybe the heroine needed to be stronger. Or she needed to compromise more. Or there needed to be some hot, make-up sex. Something. Yet, I didn’t go in search of books according to publisher. No, I followed and read the books of a handful of my favorite authors because I LOVED THEIR STORIES and NOT THEIR PUBLISHERS.

Then during the treatment of my depression through medication and therapy, I realized a reality I couldn’t dismiss. Unless I hit it big, writing will NEVER bring in more money than my day job. But it doesn’t mean I need to be the old ALL or NOTHING kind of gal. My husband believes I can have it all, just in small portions rather than an all-consuming obsession prior to my crash and burn.

So here are my reasons why I’m self-publishing:

  1. Creative control:  I’m a very visual person. What I see in my head isn’t what a designer will envision base off of a cover questionnaire. I know my story the best. Dammit, I wrote it!
  2. Rights:  Why give someone else rights to my work? Those are my words strung together, my daydreams, my heartaches, a piece of me reflected in my characters.
  3. Many publishing houses are offering:
    1. No advances. In a normal job, people get raises.
    2. Digital publishing only but still want print rights. If I SP, I can have print books created through Createspace.
    3. Promotional assistance but authors do the majority of their own promotion. I pay for my own review tours, books for giveaways, and prizes only to fill someone else’s pocket?
    4. Payment twice a year. Some are going to quarterly royalty payments. Who lives off of twice yearly paychecks?

What a publisher does, I can do or find someone who can do it for me. Yes, the upfront cost can be high, but for the control and my sanity, I’m willing to make certain sacrifices. No my kids won’t starve. But the satisfaction of seeing a project from start to finish makes the effort worthwhile.

I’ve achieved my dream of being a published author. Now I can only hope. My hope is to have a fan base of people who will follow me and read my books faithfully because they love my stories and not my publisher. That’s all I ask. It’s not too much, is it?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Merrell March 28, 2013 at 8:54 am

Ashlyn, I completely agree with all your reasons for self-publishing. Now, just to get it all together and make a little money too. I love writing my stories, and I just hope other people will love them too. http://www.maryemerrell.com.

Mary E. Merrell

PS(I love your posts.)

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Ashlynmathews March 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

Lol, yes Mary, making money would be nice too :). Thank you for your support and keep writing.

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Maggie Jaimeson March 28, 2013 at 10:52 am

All of your reasons are the exact right reasons. In a world where publishing is in flux, and will probably continue that way for at least two to three more years, it makes sense to take control where you can. I particularly agree that having control over the frequency of releases and types of stories you want to write is important.

I do believe that big publishing will eventually figure out how to operate effectively in this new landscape. However, I also believe that they will never again have the same clout/control over authors they’ve had in the past. It is an exciting time. Congratulations for making the decision.

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Melia Alexander March 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Good for you for finding the best fit for you! I’m very proud of you, Ashlyn! *Hugs*

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