Is Indie Publishing Right for You?

I’ve always known that I want to be a full time author at some point, but not yet. But that’s one of the wonderful things about indie publishing, I can set my own timeline. This is just one of the reasons I love indie publishing, but I understand that it’s not for everyone. Today, I want to break down five questions you should be asking yourself to answer the main question: “Is indie publishing right for you?”

Is Indie Publishing Right for You?

1. Why am I thinking about indie publishing?

One thing I hear from people constantly is “if I can’t find an agent, I can always self-publish.”

No, no, no. Please, don’t have this mentality. It’s a disservice to everyone, especially indie authors. Indie authors, we’re a proud bunch. Many now purposely choose to go straight to indie publishing (myself included), and it can devalue everything about indie publishing if it’s the backup plan for when you think you’ve failed.

Indie publishing should be a choice you pick from the get-go. Or maybe not the get go, but it should be a process that you want to embrace full-heartedly. Not as the second choice.

2. Think about the costs

The two biggest costs up front with indie publishing are always going to be editing and your cover.

Let me put it this way: you need an editor. You need and editor, end of story.

More likely than not, you’ll also need a cover designer. I personally design my own covers, but that’s because I’ve been working with photoshop for years. I also made social media graphics for politicians at my previous job, so if it works for them, it’ll work for me. Unless you know photoshop and know how to understand photo licensing language, just hire someone who will know. If you can’t afford a custom one, you can usually get a premade cover for under $100.

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3. What genre do you write?

If your answer is romance or mystery, you’re probably better off than if you write sci-fi. Let’s put it this way, romance readers read a lot, So if you write romance and can produce stories relatively quickly, you’re in the best scenario for indie publishing. The world of indie authors moves fast (like some of the biggest indie authors publish almost every month).

If your genre requires a lot of pre-prep (like world building), indie publishing may not be the best thing for you.

4. Be Realistic

The truth about being an indie author? It’s not glamorous, at least when you’re starting out. Most indie authors work full time jobs in addition to writing books. It can take years before you make a full time living, and you need to realize that this is a passion you follow for a long time, not a get rich quick scheme. If that’s what you’re hoping for, this isn’t for you.

5. are you a do-it-all?

Being an indie author means you do it all. Between promoting your book, setting up your own social media channels, building your own website, you are a one man show, unless you can afford to hire a virtual assistant to do a lot of the grunt work for you. The truth is, being an indie author requires a little micromanagement skills in order to make sure everything runs smoothly.

If there is any question to ask yourself more than any, it’s this one. If you don’t understand marketing, don’t feel comfortable with it, or anything besides writing, indie publishing is not for you.

Being an indie author isn’t just about being a writer, it’s about being an entrepreneur as well.

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