Monday, November 10, 2014

The joys of being an indy author, Part Next.



When you’re an independent eBook author, it is very true that you own all of your success. You did it, likely you did it with very little help. You also own all of your failures. Because you did those by yourself as well, and hopefully learned and moved on to become better.

But what they don’t tell you about, and you start to realize after you do more and more of it, is that it’s a lot of work. And no, I’m not talking about the writing either. You have to get covers, and while at first you might make your own, because of costs, unless you’re really talented, eventually you have to find someone else, tell them what you want to see, look at the work they produce, and perhaps ask for changes to be made.

Then there is editing. Other people (who you also pay) will help you with this, but you can never be one hundred percent sure about all of their edits, because grammar rules in English are not hard and fast. There are multiple rules, and many subjective things in it. I have seen people point to things that they claimed were bad grammar, but the fact was that they didn’t know grammar as well as they thought they did. (And some of those people can be the loudest critics).

Reviews, both good and bad, those can throw you for a loop. Especially as some of the bad ones can sometimes be so strange, you wonder if they even read the book that you wrote. While the good ones can just go to your head, which is never good.

Advertising! Ah yes, advertising, where you spend money in the hopes that you will target the right audience, but have no idea most of the time if your ad worked at all. And there are a lot of ways to advertise. And a lot of places. And guess who makes your ads? Does the art work? Finds the places to advertise? Does the leg work? Why you of course....

Price! Ah yes, what price? Let’s not forget that! Always a fun exercise to take part in.

Want to put your book in print? More work! Reformat everything, make a new cover, make a back cover! Write a blurb for the outside back cover! Worry about bleeds, fonts, embedded fonts, page counts, margins, page titles, over runs, graphics, proofs, sample print runs, price yet again! Oh yes price is more of a pain now!

Audio books are also an interesting experiment. So many things to decide on, and the websites are not always the most helpful in steering you through the maze of production, springing things on you with no warning that suddenly halt the process for a few days while you deal with an unexpected requirement that you weren’t warned about.

I have been lucky in that I found a good cover artist who does very good work. The same appears to be true of my voice actor / narrator, I got lucky and got a good one. But that ‘luck’ took work, lots of work, and lots of agonizing, researching, questioning, and polling. And it cost money. I think I’ve spent at least ten percent of the money I’ve made on all of the above things.

And this doesn’t even go into managing the accounts on the various booksellers and websites. Writing book blurbs. Managing my own website. A blog. A facebook account. Twitter!!!!! Sometimes I can work all day on being an author, and never ever get a single word written.

Yes, there is a lot of work involved in being a self published indy author. Even more so if you start becoming a successful one. And a lot of that work isn’t spent on writing.

And dammit! I want to be writing more!!!!