Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Newbie Needs to Know - Is Indie Publishing Reaching Critical Mass?

When indie publishing was so new many years ago and Amazon Digital Services was in its infancy with Kindle Direct Publishing, seeing the results of self-published authors like Hugh Howey was very inspirational to the new kid on the block.

New trails were being blazed back then and so many want-to-be authors were more than willing to take the plunge to put themselves out there for their prospective readers.

Now, years later, the self-publishing market seems to be a bit top-heavy.

Many indie books out there boast that they are a "best seller" or a "#1 blockbuster".  The reviews for those same books are all over the charts, from "it was a horrible read" to "it was a spectacular novel".  To me, as a newly published author, it appears that there has been a turning of tides as of late.

The indie authors that started way back when are now at the top of their game.  Many of them are proud (rightfully so) to have reached such heights and to have achieved this level of success with a great book, hard work, a little luck and many hours of marketing.

Many new indie authors jump to the conclusion that self-publishing is virtually free, but that is very misleading. It’s still hard to get anything for nothing, although many of us will keep trying. No matter how good the book is, it still needs to be distributed and marketed to the correct demographic - usually through a combination of social and paid channels.

The main problem and the "elephant in the room" is that we’re not all suited to become successful indie authors. Very few of us can produce a book that many people want to read. While some may have the talent and resources to produce and distribute really great books, many of the indie books never see the light of day. 

As with any trend, people jump on the bandwagon with high expectations based on the hype and the past performance of the latest successful indie author. Thank you, Hugh Howey!

For the newbie indie author, there’s a period of initial excitement and euphoria. Then, six months or a year later, when the indie author does not see the great results that they had hoped for they get frustrated and quit.  There has been more than one instance where yours truly was about to give up on being a writer.

This is not to say that indie authors should give up if they are not successful in the short term. But, it does point out that past performance of similar books or authors does not guarantee the same results for everyone.

Like with anything else in life, self-publishing has risks and monetary implications if you choose to pursue the dream of becoming a published indie author.

As for me, I just like to write and will continue to do so ... Critical Mass or not.

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Popping over from Indies Unlimited.