Indie? You’re joking! How could you!
I was thinking today (I do that sometimes) what would have happened if I had never ever taken up the offer of publication in 2008, when YWO.com set up their print publishing scheme for new writers.
1. I’d never have met so many wonderful people all across the globe.
2. I’d never have become e-literate.
3. I’d never have had my own website.
4. Or my own booktrailer.
5. Or a blog that I love writing.
6. I’d never have had ideas for new books because the impetus wouldn’t have been as strong.
7. I’d never have been encouraged and motivated to write more.
What would have happened is that I would still be trying to submit to an industry that is growing smaller and less interesting whilst all around me a new machine would be picking up speed and disappearing into the distance leaving me choking in the dust of its success. I’d have received confidence knocks: like the Australian agent who was impressed with my initial POD success and who then rudely bollocked me for daring to think outside the square, for going down the independent road. In short she attacked me and ridiculed me, saying in the same breath that maybe we could re-write the books and she might be able to sell me on.
Goodness, I thought. Would I want to tie myself to such a termagant? And for what? To pay her 15% of whatever I earned after the publishers had taken their cut?
No. Absolutely not.
I went my own way.
Firstly in print but then earlier this year, down the e-road. And what an amazing race that has been!
I started with a modest one or two sales in a week, mostly friends and contacts who had e-readers. Then I moved to the Three a Week club, thinking how wonderful it must be to be like those on the Kindleboards Forum who belonged to the One a Day club. Then slowly things began to escalate. Not mindblowingly, but enough to make me believe I might just have found a small niche in a very big field. That I may actually have found readers who liked what I wrote.
My figures this week have been amazing! Not by Amanda Hocking’s or Mark William’s and Saffi Desforges’s standards. But I have surpassed my own expectations. Which as I approach launch day for A Thousand Glass Flowers is reassuring.
What do I gain by belonging to the e-club?
Happiness mostly. Maybe self-belief. Joy at being able to tell someone a story that takes them out of their existence.
But the thought that 70% of my hard-earned money is coming to me (35% for the old titles) has its own measure of warmth as well. And in case you are wondering just how much I am making, let me say that once I could only by loo paper with what I earned. Now I can buy tissues as well!
NB: all illustrations used by me from children’s books here on this post and in past posts come from a most delicious site on Facebook called Fairy Tales… hours of delightful pics from the world’s greatest illustrators.