What I hate about being an indie author.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Don't get me wrong. I love being an indie author (most days). No one cares as much about my work as me, and I get to make sure everything is top notch. And honestly, I'm good at what I do, from writing books to cover design.

But that doesn't mean I love everything. So here's a list of five things I hate about being an indie author (not in order).

1. I hate being a business woman. I love writing stories and designing covers. I hate doing taxes, cataloging inventory, tracking expenses, upkeeping my novels, and answering emails. The list goes on and on. I'm a small business owner, and I have all the work that comes with it.

2. I dislike marketing. Though I'd say I have it pretty streamlined, it's still a lot of time and money. Time I'd rather spend on writing new stories. Money I'd rather spend on a fun vacation.

3. I hate feeling like a second-class citizen in the publishing world. I get it, there are no gatekeepers to indie publishing. And much of it isn't very good. But I am good. Many of us are. I get tired of being told I can't teach the craft of writing at a writer's conference, that I need to stick with stuff specific to indies. Or that I can't be on the blog hop with the "traditionally" published authors because there were too many complaints (not by participants, but by the traditionally published authors themselves ((But don't worry. We'll give you indies your own "special" team)). Or being told that the difference between indie publishing and traditional publishing is quality.

4. I hate NEVER being done. I have a huge to do list, and I usually only skim the top. I'm always behind, always feeling like I'm drowning in an attempt to keep up.

5. I hate never knowing what my paycheck will be. This has a huge upside, as there is no ceiling for me. But there's no bottom either. When Amazon introduced Kindle Unlimited, my paycheck dropped by half. Which sucked, cause for a while there, I was making a lot of money.

I still wouldn't change anything. I like being in charge. I love being able to put the best covers on my books and hire amazing content and copy editors, instead of being stuck with whatever the publisher thinks my book deserves. I love that I can make a living at this. That I can create my own schedule.

*technically, I'm a hybrid author, as my first book was traditionally published. But I consider myself an indie author.

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3 comments:

  1. Writer's conferences, etc really ought to at least have a benchmark for bestselling indie authors such as yourself. Once you've sold a certain number of books, it's a pretty safe bet that you know your stuff.

  1. Most sites that have to judge indie authors do it by number of ratings and stars on Amazon. But again, that takes effort.

  1. LC Piper said...:

    Hi Amber. I love these business posts. I feel that you have the best indie author work ethic. Your covers are amazing and knowing that you manage everything from art direction to cover design and more proves it.
    If your considering post ideas, then I would love a detail break out post on a few things that you've mentioned here.
    Cover design: How do you find/choose you artists? How do you find international accepted standard commission rates and negotiate prices? - I know you hire amazing artists from abroad.
    Editing: How vital is a professional line edit and content edits? I've priced these out for a monster manuscript of mine and I'd hit over three grand just for these two at market rates. Add in cover, taxes and other pub costs and I'd have to sell a lot of books to break even. Can a shoestring indie author survive with a lot of self edit drafts or is that a huge mistake? If it depends how does one tell?
    Business owner: what things does an indie author need to manage other than creating amazing stories and publishing them? What resources can we reference? Tips to optimize our time/money in threes extra tasks.
    Smart selling: with all the changes and author unfriendly selling practices of Amazon is it really worth it to publish there? Other good options available or methods to protect the indie authors sale income at the big necessary evil, Amazon?
    Thanks
    Luke

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