Dec 5, 2012

Insecure about Indie Publishing?

Insecure Writer's Support Group is hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. It's a great idea, once a month we post about things that make writers insecure and offer advice and tips for overcoming those issues. 

Here's my insecurity. Sometimes I still feel awkward saying I'm an indie author. Not online, because here, we rock! But around the book shop circles and when I'm in writing workshops. At one seminar a speaker said don't bother self-publishing or no one will ever hear of your book. When you chat to people at workshops they almost always ask who you got to publish your book. There also seems to be an attitude that you only produce your own work if you can't land a publisher.

I didn't go lightly into indie publishing, I registered my business (Hot Doggy Digital Press), got my ABN and an EIN to avoid any tax problems (you need an EIN to get paid from Amazon if you're a non-US author here's a site with all the instructions). I put a lot of effort into my cover, studying popular releases, then I hired a professional to help pull it all together (Book Cover Cafe helped me produce the book). Read DIY Book Covers for some hints and tips. I accepted a lot of feedback on my story and worked on it until it felt right.

I'm fighting these feelings of insecurity. I'm proud of my debut novel, My Zombie Dog, and I'll be proud of the next few I publish too. One thing I've learned is readers don't care about the publisher, mostly it's just other writers who care.

There are steps I'm taking to lift the stigma of indie or self-published books. Let's face it, the standard needs to be lifted before the public's expectations will be lifted. I need to improve. I've made mistakes, but I'll be darned if I repeat those mistakes.

When I first uploaded my book to Kindle I was in too much of a hurry. The work had many errors. Lot of tense errors, typos. Took another three goes and a professional editor (again, Book Cover Cafe) to get it into the shape it's in now. 
I aim to be a darn good indie published author. 2013 will see me spending a lot more time reading and promoting other indie published writers as well. 

To start, here are some new releases from awesome blogger authors. I'll post some reviews soon, for now, just click on the cover to visit the Amazon site:
Fun kids book for Christmas

Amazing fantasy novel

Anthology of stories by awesome writers including Lynda Young


  1. I know what you mean. Attitudes are slowly changing, but there are still people who think being self-published is a bad thing. In the end, readers don't care. They just want a good book.

    Make Believe is an awesome anthology! And Dreamlander looks really good. Love the cover! The kids book looks so cute. :)

  2. I just read an article about the shift in publishing and how self-publishing is exploding and continues to grow - and with positive results and a bright future.
    Don't let anyone make you feel second rate for your decision to go indie.

  3. Yep, I totally get this. It's sooo hard to stand tall with the 'traditionally' published authors, but seriously, Charmaine, you have every reson to stand tall. Your work is awesome and I loved your story. More please!!!

    And thank you so much for mentioning Make Believe. Many hugs.

  4. Yeah self publishing is surely going to keep growing and growing, so no need to be insecure about that.

  5. Thanks for visiting. I'm now following you. I just self-published my first book. While I didn't consider traditional publication, I worried about being snobbed by other writers/authors. But as Dr. Seuss (I think) said, "Those who care don't matter, and those who matter don't care."


  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. This is telling it like it is, Charmaine. You omitted the fact that you were accepted by a traditional publisher but chose to go the self pub route, and good on you. As long as self pub authors avail themselves of a good copy editor and a good structural editor and a good cover guru, there's nothing to hang your head over. I think there's still a lot of promotion needing to be done by the author if you go the trad publishing route too.

    (((clink))) Here's to indie publishers - self pub and small press!

    I, too, aim to review a lot of indies as soon as I find a slot on my blog!


  8. And thanks for making our writer's group break up such fun. x

  9. You have every right to stand proud. Your book looks great! But I totally understand your thoughts. I think many writers do. The industry is changing, but it will take a while for prejudices to disappear.

  10. Funny, I hang out some places that the self publishing crowd tells others 'why bother giving a big cut to publishers and agents?'

    It totally depends what people have been exposed to. But I think it can be a great decision and I hope you do really well with it.

  11. Great tips on indie publishing. If I take that route, I'll be back checking out these links. My biggest concern is promotion, or the lack of desire for stores to carry my book.

    As I said in an earlier post, I think your cover is FANTASTIC! I had no idea you were indie published. See? Professional results can be obtained!

    Wonderful post!!

  12. High fives on going indie! It's a huge wave that just keeps growing and you are going to be on top. I hate the snobbery that comes with the industry sometimes. Ah well, that being said we also have one of the warmest, most helpful communities going.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Thanks for the awesome support. That's why I love this industry :)

    I should probably add the disclaimer that the implied stigma may be my perspective of people's attitudes and may not actually reflect reality--much like most of my insights on life. :)

  15. Saying hello from IWSG... Congratulations on having your book published! The introduction of The Zombie Dog made me think of Pet Sematary but your cover makes the zombie dog look sooo cute.

    Thanks for the tips you offered on self-publishing. This post is a good resource for those interested in doing that.

  16. Some of the comments I get from my local writing friends are... interesting, to be kind.

    I chose indie because indie suits my independent nature best. Attitudes are slowly changing, but I don't let it bother me anymore.

    This is my road, i love it, and I'm proud to be out there.

  17. I have read many self-published books that were a far step above many traditional. You are published - that is something to be proud of.

  18. Well done with Indie Publishing. And you turned down a traditional publisher to go indie? Go you! That surely must have taken guts.

    But yes, to improve the reputation of Indie authors, writers need good editors.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  19. Yeah, I can relate to the awkwardness. I self-pubbed one book as an experiment, and I KNOW I'm more insecure about it than if I (ever) get a traditionally published book printed. Sounds like you really did your research, which is way cool. I still ADORE your zombie dog cover, oh wow. He is SO creepily cute, and the colors really work. :)

  20. Good for you for getting out there and taking the plunge! That takes courage. :)

  21. You put a lot of hard work into your debut and it shows. Indie publishing has changed a lot. I've been reading some great indie books these past few years.