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8 Reasons to be an Indie Author

Girl and Dog

  1. You have control over your own cover designs.

 I remember going to a writing conference where the author said she cried when she saw  the cover designed by her publishers. She’d written (I believe) a historical romance, but the cover looked like it was for an action movie.

It took me awhile to get covers that I love. But now that I have them, I’m beyond proud. And as an indie author, I didn’t have to settle on what someone else wanted for my book.

  1. You get to create your own timeline to finish your work.

I once heard a very popular writer speak. It was surprising when someone asked her about how she was able to write so many books. She said she was given deadlines by her publishers, and whether or not her books were always well-written, they had to be turned in by a certain date.

I’ve had periods of time when I could write a lot, and other times when I had no time to write. And when I’m not yet making a living wage off my writing alone (like most authors), it’s nice not to have to follow someone else’s timeline. It is also really nice to not have to publish subpar work, just for the sake of meeting a deadline.

  1. You can monitor your sales on a daily basis.

I check my author KDP sale’s page at least a couple times a day. It is beyond thrilling to see, right away, what is selling and how much is selling. When The Sea Goddess first came out, it wasn’t uncommon to see ten downloads in a day. Now, most days, I see an average of two sales. Then, almost randomly, I’ll suddenly see a huge spike in sales. Realm of Goddesses is purchased less often, but it costs more. To Kill a Wizard sees the least sales (at $2.99), but because it is on KDP Select, I see profits from pages read. That is so cool! When a person picks up my book and reads the entirety of it in three days, I feel awesome! And as an indie author, I can see exactly how many pages my readers read each day.

  1. You can write according to whatever inspires you that day.

Everything I’ve published is in the young adult fantasy genre, but I’m currently writing in a number of genres. I’m almost finished a new adult short story for an upcoming anthology. I’m working on an adult fantasy romance. I finished an anti-utopian new adult short story. And recently, I wrote up an idea for a sci-fi romance. As an indie author, I’m able to write whatever I want.

  1. You have the ability to work with other authors on different projects.

I work with several different authors, who write in different genres. Our first anthology will be coming out soon, but I predict there will be many more anthologies in the future.

  1. You can choose the different platforms to make your work available on.

I’ve used Smashwords, which makes my work accessible on: Apple iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, B&N, Aldiko, and others, as well as (of course), Amazon.

  1. You are able to price your work the way you want.

Making my first short story free has led to a number of sales on my other two works.   I’m sure a lot of traditionally published authors wish they could do the same.

  1. In other words, you have almost complete control over your work.

From covers, to hiring your own editor, to following your own timeline, indie writing offers you the control to complete your work just the way you want. So that project you’ve spent weeks, months, or years writing, can be handled just the way you wish.

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Creating a Newsletter Using Mail Chimp

Quite awhile ago, I signed up for Mail Chimp. It’s a great website that many authors use to send out their newsletters. I’ve recently started playing with it and wanted to share my experience.

  1. I reached out on a couple social media sites and had 21 people agree to join my mailing list (many of whom are friends and family).
  2. I imputed their contact information into the “lists” section on Mail Chimp.
  3. In the “template” section, I started creating a newsletter (more on that in a minute).
  4. When I was satisfied with it, I created a “campaign” but only sent it to close family and friends for their feedback.
  5. The feedback was great, but I have one more problem. I want to include a “freebie” on the newsletter, for all my readers who join. Using a website called InstaFreebie, I created a link for my readers, but the formatting was a mess (it requires a different format than Kindle and Smashwords). So, rather than spending a few hours reformatting my story, I’m looking for a better option. (I’ll let you all know when I find one and share with you how I did it.)

Now, as far as creating my newsletter, I wanted to structure it consistent with my “brand.” Here is a preview of it (in Mail Chimp):

Mail Chimp Preview

It’s very simple, but there was one idea that guided me as I created it:

  • My newsletter is for my readers, not for me. Therefore, I want to show them I value their time by making it a quick read and sharing information that I think they would want. Hopefully, I was successful in my goal.

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