If you’re an author and reading this, chances are you are an independent. That’s not to say that authors who are published through a major imprint don’t use the Internet, but rather the majority of writers out there are going about their craft solo.
It’s still the classic dream for people like us: To be so in demand that a major publisher swoops in with large contracts and dreams of super-stardom. Sure, we all know that being an author is about the craft, but I would be lying if I said there wasn’t at least a small part of me that dreams of being successful (critically or otherwise). It’s human nature and don’t be embarrassed if you do too.
Though there’s so many ways to get your words out there if you’re unattached to a major publisher. You can sell eBooks via a myriad of Etailers. I’ve seen some authors pass out copies of their book on street corners as well as some selling directly from their website. Let’s be honest, when you write you are creating a product (that ironically contains art) and its success comes down to how it’s marketed to the masses. As someone who is unsigned, you have more control over that part of the writing process. The flip side is that you’re on your own. It takes money to do almost anything that involves getting your work out there and that’s a step a lot of first and second time authors forget (myself included). Maybe we all took to the “Field Of Dreams” mentality that if we wrote a story, then people will come from miles around to check it out.
When I wrote my first book, I knew I wasn’t going to be an instant celebrity. Especially since I released “By The Ounce” through a vanity press, I thought they would at least do the heavy lifting in attracting new eyes to my books. Sigh, I was so innocent back then. Now this is not to say that authors who have their stuff released by a big literary house is on easy street. Sure they may get that shelf space at the large chain bookstore, but even then authors are responsible for a lot of a book’s good press. The only difference here is morale: It all seems “easier” when you have at least a semblance of a literary team working with you to make your next release a success.
Then again, there’s a feeling of “Me Vs. The World” that some indie authors REALLY get behind.
Ultimately the decision on whether to stay indie comes down to the author. Only after weighing the pros and cons against the author’s personality and business drive will he or she decide which path is best for them.