5 things I hate about being an indie author

Writers block

Image by nate at https://www.flickr.com/photos/okaycity/ licensed under creative commons.

 

Think indie publishing is all flowers and glitter? Think again. Here are the top 5 things I hate about indie publishing*:

*warning: there may be satire ahead

1 Up to the minute stats

They say ignorance is bliss, and in this case ‘they’ are right. How am I meant to be able to concentrate when the lure of the KDP stats screen is there to feed the procrastination monster. How I yearn for being in the dark about my sales, not knowing how my book’s performing until I receive my monthly / quarterly / annual statement. How much easier it would be to sit down and work on my manuscript without the stats screen singing my name, beckoning me to take just one look to see if anyone has bought in the last hour.

2 I’m forced to write exactly what I want

Part of the fun of being a writer is trying to guess exactly what trends commissioning agents are looking for from their submissions. It’s become a lot easier recently with these agents taking to social media and letting people know the type of books that turn them on, but as many authors know, by the time you’ve written one of those books, the trends have changed. What a great game this is! Being an indie author robs me of that fun. I can choose to write whatever I want, publish whatever I want and then let the paying customer choose if they want to buy it or not. Where’s the fun in that?

3 It’s too easy to update my book

The hardest part of writing is letting go, right? But when you work with a publisher you have a cut off point. Once a book is published, the text is set in stone. Not so with indie publishing. If I want, I can change anything I want post publication. I can change my cover, my blurb, I could even replace the whole text with a completely different version if I want to. And get it sent through to the reader’s kindles automatically. It’s too tempting. How am I ever going to start a new book when I can work on my old book forever?

4 Losing the anticipation of publication day

Another great thing with being traditionally published is that feeling of anticipation while you wait for your book’s scheduled slot to arrive. Anticipation is a very undervalued emotion. At it’s best, it’s nearly as good as the actual moment you’re anticipating. I’m sure the submissive in my readership would agree with me. But being an indie published author robs me of that moment. Where’s the fun of waiting for something when you’re the one doing the withholding? You can push that publish button whenever you like, and in your heart of hearts you know that sending yourself an email explaining that due to scheduling issues your book won’t be out for another six months is just fantasy.

5 I can’t blame anyone else

The book was marketed wrong, not marketed at all. The book was targeted at the wrong audience. The cover didn’t sell the book. They just care about . They made me change my story. The great thing about working with a traditional publisher is that when things go wrong, there is always someone else you can blame. But if my books aren’t selling well, I can’t blame anybody else because I made all the decisions. How nice it would be to have somebody I could pass on all responsibility to (or if it’s an editor, to whom I could pass all responsibility), but I can’t. I wrote the book, I made all the decisions and the buck stops with me. It’s not fair!

 

Joking aside, there are negatives to being an indie author but these aren’t them. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and nodded in agreement at any of these, then maybe indie publishing isn’t for you. Hopefully, however, they gave you a bit of a giggle.

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