Why Do You Love Being Indie? (Indie Author Week)
I am so honored, you guys, to have such an amazing selection of indie authors on today to give you their reasons why they love being an indie author! I'm blown away by their answers (partly because they're so eloquent, mainly because they put into words what I think every indie author feels), and I hope y'all will find them inspiring as well!
Jayna Baas: I have a love-hate relationship with my work as an indie author. There are days I want to bang my head on a wall, but I love the chance to write the books I always wanted to read. I love the moments when plotlines mesh, when the perfect word slides into place, when characters come to life and write their own stories. I love the challenge of formatting and design—the sense of accomplishment when it all comes together. I love the joy and wonder I feel when readers tell me how my writing blessed them. Most of all, I love the ability to make my own choices about story and style, and the freedom to weave the truth of Christ into my stories without apology.
Kristina Hall: I love being an indie author because I have fun designing my own covers and working at my own pace (however fast or slow that might be). But one of the biggest reasons I love being an indie author is that I have the freedom to work Christian themes and morals into my books without having to worry about an editor or publishing house asking me to water them down.
Vanessa Hall: Like most new authors, I used to dream of the day I’d be published by a big company. Yet, as the years went on, I discovered being published by one of those huge companies is extremely difficult and can bring restrictions on the author. So when I learned about indie publishing, there was no turning back. I love the freedom indie publishing allows on so many fronts - deadlines are flexible, your book doesn’t have to fit in a cookie-cutter style, and most importantly, you can write whatever the Lord has laid on your heart. Though I will probably never sell as many copies or make as much money as traditionally published authors do, I love the ability to freely speak the truth of Christ through my stories.
E. C. Colton: Honestly, at times, I have a love-hate relationship with indie publishing. When deadlines loom, it’s much more difficult handling the tasks without a team of professionals behind me. There have been times when it’s been discouraging knowing that only certain indie books can get into bookstores, and it doesn’t include mine. There are limits on indie books, and there are times when I feel them all too well.
But the one thing I’ve learned to appreciate in being an indie author is the beauty of the process. When I look at my book, I don’t just see its cover and those words on the page. I see all those moments that I wanted to toss my story out the window, but my writer friends encouraged me to keep going. I see those moments when I kept on writing those words my younger self needed to hear, in hopes it would touch someone else too. I see that day I watched my book make its way into the world and take flight, my heart brimming over with barely-concealed excitement.
Someone once said that happy times come and go, but memories stay forever. And it’s true. When I look at my book, I see a box full of snapshots—memories from the process. A reminder to me that no matter how hard the process was, it’s worth it.
I believe that every book has these memories intertwined between the pages. However, I daresay indie authors feel them more strongly, because there’s a strong connection that forms when a writer has walked an indie book through the whole process and the pain that comes with it.
R. M. Archer: I chose indie publishing for the creative freedom. I have the final say over what goes into my work, what it’s titled, what the cover looks like, etc. I don’t have to follow market trends and I can set my own writing pace. (As much as I would love to, I just can’t produce a fully published book in a year, much less keep that up year after year; maybe one day, but not yet.) My process and my work is my own and I get to not only direct it myself but also invite others into it as I go! Indie publishing allows me to build up a strong community around my work and connect with other authors and readers who are equally passionate about a given book and the indie publishing process in general. Overall I just really love the indie publishing process and the opportunity and responsibility of seeing through every part of the process and having a unique connection with the people I work with and the readers I impact.
Maribeth Barber: I didn’t start out determined to become an indie author. In fact, I spent an entire year querying literary agents and sending book proposals to traditional publishing houses. But deep down, I think I’ve always craved the creative and financial freedom of indie publishing. I chalk it up to the entrepreneurial, nonconformist, independent streak my parents instilled in me from childhood. I am my own boss. I set my own schedule, write at my own pace, and market my novel as I see fit (and as my budget allows, haha). But most importantly, I write the stories that I want to read, the stories that reflect my own beliefs and convictions, the stories that make my heart soar and set my imagination ablaze. Whether it’s something the market currently clamors for is beside the point. I can follow, without an agent or publisher’s pressure or disapproval, the stories the Lord has placed upon my heart. And that, to me, is the most important thing.
Jenna Terese: I chose to be an indie author because I loved the creative freedom and the business side of this publishing path. Choosing this route is not an easy decision, and I’ve had many rough and stressful times. But seeing a manuscript I’ve worked so hard on, a business I’ve put my all into, turn into a published book that readers can actually get their hands on is such an amazing feeling. I love being able to create the stories on my heart and sharing them with the world. I love putting in the work for this business. I love to see readers be impacted by my stories. It makes all the hard times worth it.