It wasn’t that long ago when attending writer’s conferences and other networking events that if anyone said they were self-published they were treated with at least an air of disdain. For those of you who’ve been around the writing/publishing business for awhile you know what I’m talking about.
But now it is more acceptable to claim the title of Self-Published Author, or the more popular and endearing term “Indie” for independently published. In fact there is a new monthly column in PW Select that tracks an author’s adventures in self-publishing. Paige Crutcher is the indie author who is sharing her experience. Here’s the link:
Of course, many of the same rules apply regardless of your publishing path in that the quality of the writing is important, the cover of the book, and more. Many of the tasks that the staffs of traditional publishing houses usually see to are now in the hands of those indies, or the people they hire to do the work.
Not surprisingly, many small businesses have sprung up to take care of those tasks such as editing, book cover design, promotion and more. Some authors prefer to do all these tasks themselves, especially when they first start out as an indie and mostly due to a lack of money to spend on these tasks, which in some cases can cost hundreds of dollars or more.
Social media tools have been critical to the success of many indies or self-published authors, but again, maintaining a social media presence takes time and in some cases money.
Back to the column. I was struck by several details in Paige Crutcher’s column on March 24, 2014 and one in particular stood out. She states that the purpose of writing for her has always been to have a career and I think this is an important distinction that renders some authors more successful than others. In my experience, once you’ve decided to have a career at writing, or whatever else tickles your fancy, you are more invested in making that happen and you do the things necessary to improve and grow in your career.
This commitment and, yes, passion comes through in one’s writing and we can all tell the difference in the voice of the writer as she grows in her career. More importantly, readers can tell the difference.
So, it will be interesting to follow Paige Crutcher’s journey as an indie and see how familiar her experiences are to the rest of us. At least we’ll have a place to go to connect so we don’t feel alone in our own journey. Kind of like therapy for writers.