MAINSTREAM OR INDIE – which way would you go?

posted in: Writing | 1

First let me apologise for the title because it assumes that when it comes to publishing, there is a choice to be had – which there is, but maybe not the obvious one.

A true choice would exist for a writer who has the option of a mainstream publishing contract, but who is also debating the possibility of going independent.

Another choice, the one that applies to me, is whether to continue hammering at mainstream publishers’ doors, or to go it alone.

The thing is, I don’t just get bounced back when I submit to publishers and agents. I get comments like ‘oooh, a genuine near miss for me,’ and on one occasion when I submitted to a national agent/tv competition, ‘come back to us when you’ve finished your redraft’. This means it’s all too tempting to just keep on trying and time goes by…and goes by, and goes by.

Tick tock, tick tock

With this in mind, I attended Cultivator Cornwall’s event Stepping into Self-Publishing, run by Ellie Stevenson. Sadly, I had to miss part of the afternoon as it began to snow and, well, I’d had a bad experience in the snow last year so I wasn’t about to take any risks. Nevertheless, there was a great deal of good material and I shall be blogging about this as I slowly start to make sense of my notes.

Until then, I have registered my interest in the Alliance of Independent Authors’ online conference and downloaded their resources pdf. I shall probably stump up the pennies and join them formally in due course but for now, I need to sort a new website specifically for published works.

I currently have two candidates for Indie publication:

THE ARROGANCE OF WOMEN – a book I feel was somewhat ahead of its time when it was published by Random House (mothers, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be, are they?!)

LOOKING FOR JONAH – family is love, not blood. A tale of a vanishing child, of love, rivalry and folk-rock

Arrogance was published some years ago, well before the age-of-Kindle (dark ages, I know) and social media. Eighteen months ago I commissioned a new cover for a digital edition of the novel but, for personal reasons, that project stalled.

Jonah is the novel that ‘came close’ to being a finalist in a national ‘write a best seller’ competition and is the recipient of those more recent ‘near miss’ comments.

This, then, is the plan: I shall continue to explore agents and publishers for Jonah but, to be honest, life’s too short so maybe once Arrogance is Indie published, I’ll do the same for Jonah.

Until the next blog, I leave you with some of the questions Ellie used to open her session:

  • Authors get around 30% royalties for trade published books – true or false?
  • There is a stigma attached to self-publication – true or false?

Let me know what you think – in the reply box below, or on twitter – and finally, I would love to know: would you go indie?

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