Sunday, 25 September 2011

Doubts over going indie? Banish them now.

If ever I have been under any doubt (and I have been - lots) about independently publishing my work, I'm not under it any more!

There are so many debates as to whether indie / self publishing your work limits your chances with the big publishing houses (or any come to that)and it is easy to get lost amongst the advice. So this isn't more advice, it's just something that came to my attention this week. I hope that by sharing it with you maybe I can reassure you that the indie route you're taking is a good one.

Every now and then I check my status and rankings on (Okay, you've got me, I do it at least once a day) and I've been pleased to see that the months of hardwork on the marketing front and the word of mouth over my Knight Trilogy series have seen me move from my starting point amongst quater of a million other e-books to being consistently in the top #3000; somedays I even hit the #1000s. Now this is really reassuring, especially when I get to look at my graph on author central.

So, I thought to myself, maybe this is actually nothing that special - maybe I am still behind a couple of thousand traditionally published authors - because of course in my mind, being traditionally published surely means that the publishing house and agents are busting a gut to market and promote your book in return for their rather fat slice of the cake.

So imagine my utter surprise when I discovered that one really awesome YA book published by Harper (Yes, the shimmering vision of publishing I so once longed for) is languishing in the #200,000 rankings. Yes, that was two HUNDRED thousands. This would mean that the e-book version of this book was selling less than one book a day! How can this be?

So I investigated further and discovered that maybe one reason was that they were selling his e-book edition for £7.49 (having slashed it from £12.49) Now I know there is a whole argument about the 0.99c pricing and the devaluation of literature blah de blah (BTW my #1 of the series is on a 0.99c!) but surely in these new interesting times of publishing you might have thought that Harper might have given the author a chance to compete amongst the indie pubbed stuff - especially as he is in effect, paying them.

So, although I perhaps once longed after being 'adopted' by a top publishing house who I thought would nurture my talent, market the hell out of my book for me and 'turn' me into a shiny, happy author, I am beginnning to think that actually the way I am doing it is the best way for me, both financially (I get to keep all 70% of my takings) and artistically.

Hopefully, next time you look at your rankings this little blogpost puts it all a little into perspcetive for you.


  1. Very true. I take a quick look once a day at all my books to make sure nothing dire has happened, and each day I have a decent ranking, I breathe a sigh of relief, and carry on, always trying to do better.

    I have a different doubt everyday, but I figure that makes me a better writer. If I was too confident I might become complacent.

    Uplifting post :)

  2. So pleased. It's easy to be dogged by self doubt on this journey. We all invest so much into what we do x

  3. Your post is inspiring. I am poised to indie pub. Just hired an amazing book cover designer and proofreader.

  4. Wishing you lots of luck. You're at the beginning of a long and exciting journey. Keep us posted about the book over at twitter :)

  5. That's great! My books are on for 99c as well because I want to be read, not make a career out of it. One of my books is up for free and it was being downloaded in the hundreds daily. Yay for indie publishing!

  6. Katie-My thriller is launching today--blog party! Stop by if you like. I am friending you over at Goodreads and buying your book. It sounds great! Catherine