I’m super excited and proud to welcome Author Jennifer Foxcroft here at Creatyvebooks. If you’ve been following me you know that I wanted to do a segment called ADVICE FROM AN INDIE AUTHOR for a while now. So I contacted a few indie/hybrid authors to see if they would be interested to participate and I’m glad to say that I have some amazing authors lined up for these post.
As the title mentions ADVICE FROM AN INDIE AUTHOR is just that–advice. I know there might be some followers that are in the process of writing the next big book or just like writing in general but might need some advice on the writing process or just interested in what a successful Indie author might have to say. As I mentioned before today’s author is the lovely and talented Jennifer Foxcroft. Author of Sanguine Mountain. A great and fantastic book that is a must read.
So without further ado…..
What are the Pro and Cons of being an Indie Author?
Being an indie author definitely comes with ups and downs, but so do most things in life that are worth doing. Since I’ve only ever been an indie, it’s a little hard for me to compare life as an author signed with a major publishing house. I have a couple of friends who have publishing deals, and I spoke with them before I made the decision to self-publish.
Freedom! I have freedom and control over 100% of my work, and for me, that’s priceless. It’s the number one reason to be an indie. I get to decide every aspect of my novel from start to finish. Having total creative control is really important. Years ago, I went to a signing of a very popular young adult author, and a fan asked who the strange man on the cover of her third book was. The whole auditorium murmured their agreement at the question. I love the series and also had no clue who the mystery person represented. The author just laughed and said we should ask her publishing company because she had no idea who he was supposed to be either! I can’t imagine my book being published with some random dude on the cover that isn’t actually part of the story. To me, that’s a complete and utter nightmare, and she isn’t the only author I have heard about with a cover they don’t think matches their story because their publisher decided it did.
Prior to self-publishing, I spent roughly ten months researching whether or not to try for a publishing deal. I read blogs and websites about the pros and cons of both sides of the industry. I researched rights and royalties until I was cross-eyed. Author JA Konrath has a fantastic blog that shares the facts of his experience, including listing book sales and royalty payments he’s received over the years. He’s written over twenty-four novels and has been both published and self-published. His advice along with talking to my author mates was what helped me decide to self-publish, and that brings me to my first con.
A major con of being an indie is the assumption that because your book is self-published it must be a reject. Fact: Sanguine Mountain has never been rejected by any publisher or literary agent. After I wrote, edited, polished, dissected, re-edited, and re-polished Sanguine Mountain, I decided to self-publish. I never sent out any query letters for the manuscript because I believed in the story and characters enough to launch it into the world myself. The main reason is because I wanted total creative control. I also didn’t want to wait two to five years to finally see my book in print, which is how long it can take to get signed and published as a newbie. I was impatient to start my writing career today, and there are dozens of new companies online that have made it so easy to self-publish.
I have five author mates that had published before me, so I sat down with them to find out about their journey. Here are the facts …
Author 1: Tried for a publishing deal. Successful. Is now a published author. However, her first book is still not available on iTunes because her publisher didn’t upload it there, and she can’t do anything about that.
Author 2: Tried for a publishing deal. Successful. Published one series with her publisher and has self-published her second series. Hybrid author.
Author 3: Tried for a publishing deal. Successful. Rejected the deal because she didn’t like the terms of the contract. Decided to self-publish.
Author 4: Decided to self-publish from the start.
Author 5: Decided to self-publish from the start.
Me: Decided to self-publish from the start.
In conclusion, out of six authors (including myself) one is published and five made the decision to become independent. All the books these indie authors have self-published—and that’s over twenty-five books—have never been rejected by a publisher. Next time you pick up an indie book, please don’t assume it’s a reject because it’s probably not.
What I really love about being an indie is that I have access to similar resources published authors have. If I want an editor, I search online for freelance editors. If I want a graphic artist, then I hire one whose designs are similar to what I have in mind. If I want a line editor, again there are dozens of line editors looking for work and advertising their services in writing magazines. The only difference is that I get to select who is a good fit for my novel. As a published author, you are given editors etc. by your publisher regardless of whether they suit your writing style or genre. The same goes for marketing. If I want to take out a half page advertisement in a magazine to promote my book, I contact that magazine and buy the advertising space. At the end of the day, whether you are published or self-published you pay for all these services. Why not have a say in who you work with?
The biggest area where published authors have the advantage over indie authors is bookshelf space in major retailers. It’s very difficult—but not impossible—for indies to get shelf space in chain bookstores. Do I wish that Sanguine Mountain was sitting on the shelf in my local B&N? Absolutely, yes, but that wasn’t enough to sign away my rights to the characters that I have lovingly created and absolutely adore.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in Australia, I was fortunate enough to live only an hour away from some of the best beaches in the world. As a result, I love the ocean and feel alive when I’m close to it. There is no better place to think than sitting on a balcony staring at its bewitching blue depths. In my twenties, I got the chance to live overseas. Getting to experience life in other parts of the world is an extraordinary gift.
I have a degree in Economics—*whispers*which I never used—and after working for a few years moved to Japan to teach English. Japan was responsible for reigniting my Snoopy obsession. In 2013, my husband and I moved to American, and what an adventure that has been. We are determined to see as many places as possible since one of my goals is to visit all fifty states.
For many years, I dreamed of writing a book but I always dismissed the idea as a fantasy rather than something that could become a reality. I spent my days working in jobs I wasn’t very passionate about in order to pay the bills. Over the years, many characters popped up inside my head to tell me their story. Last year, with the help of my husband, I decided to share one of them and finally wrote my first book for publication.
If you have ever dreamed of becoming an author, then I have this to say to you. Do it! And, do it now! Don’t wait until tomorrow. Writing is my happy place, and now that book one is completed I can’t believe it took me so long to sit down and start this incredible journey. Pick up that pen, open that word doc, and write. I want to hear what the people inside your head have to say too.
When I’m not travelling or reading a book, I can usually be found at the movies. And love discussing movie adaptations of my favorite books.
Social Media Links:
Goodreads: Jennifer Foxcroft