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Adventures in Indie* Publishing

Most folks in the writing/publishing bag probably use the term "Indie publishing" to mean small, independent presses that are, for all their smallness, still publishers in the traditional sense: they accept submissions, chose what works they will put out into the world, and then produce and promote them for the author, either in print or electronic form or both.

But I am seeing the phrase thrown around a lot now to signify those who are really self-publishers, authors who do all the work themselves, or at least arrange for and pay for it to be done: writing, formatting, distributing, and marketing.

I chose the self-publishing route for my old novel, Dis/inhibition, mostly because it is over-written and the amount of work it would take to cut it down to a size acceptable for traditional publishers would be counter-productive at this point. I have been working on the novel for 15-20 years now. It has evolved and changed as I have; it has been workshopped, writing-coached, grammar-and-punctuation picked, beta-read, updated for the 21st century, and fact-checked over and over. It is not a perfect piece, but it is a good piece, and needs to see the light of day so I can move on to my current writing projects. That is long overdue.

But ironically, if I had attempted to self-publish it even five years ago, it would have been a whole different experience. Self-publishing isn't what it used to be. In the age of the eBook, with a little smarts and perseverance, you can get a book out there to a lot of readers and by-pass traditional publishing outlets all together without ending up a "lifetime 15-units sold" dilettante.

I am going to blurble on to anyone who wishes to read about the journey I have been on to get this book out the door, but not all in one entry like I planned 'cause as it turns out, it's kind of involved. And it's not even nearly done yet. I had planned to pimp my book in my journal once it was "out there", never counting on all the various stages and steps of "out there" there are. Dis/inhibition is still half "out there."

The Kindle version is available, and has been since the first of the month, because their Direct Publishing service means I did not have to rely on a Print On Demand service to distribute it, like I do the version for the Nook and iTunes. The iTunes version is also out there as of this week. Apple is quicker than Barnes and Noble at adding new releases. I also have an "ePub" eBook format version live on Lulu.com (my POD service) and Smashwords.com--although the book sample on Smashwords is giving me format grief at the moment.

Incidentally, you will see a print version of the book at Lulu, and you can buy it if you want, but I have not approved it for distribution beyond Lulu at the moment, due to printing issues with the cover.

More on that to come. I am going to write separately about the four stages of grief: writing, formatting, distributing, and marketing a self-published book in later entries.

* Self-published authors can also self-coin terms to their advantage. There's a whole community of self-published authors out there now who swap tips and pimps and build websites for the same and call themselves "Indies." Who needs the big Publishing Houses, or even the itty bitty ones (online or off) anymore? Not these guys, that's for sure.

As for my next book, I am going to make every attempt to find an agent and a publisher.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
Exciting! I have bought and look forward to reading--but the link above just comes back to this LJ. Can you include a link to the Kindle site?
Jun. 26th, 2012 10:24 pm (UTC)
Which link does?

I clicked on the kindle link and it took me here:

Jun. 26th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
The Kindle link does work! I didn't see it was there. The one that linked back to the post was the first time you mentioned the title.

Still excited! Can't wait to read.
Jun. 26th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
It linked back to the post because the post is in that tag group. Should show all entries in that tag group...
Jun. 26th, 2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
Yay Masq! Congrats on having your book out in the world!
Jun. 26th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)

Half out.... print version headaches coming soon!
Jun. 27th, 2012 01:49 am (UTC)
So I should wait for the print version? Which is the version I'd prefer. Do let us know when that is a go!!

So exciting, and congratulations again!!
Jun. 27th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
You can get the print version now at Lulu. I'm just not 100% happy with the current colors the covers are printing in. The interior looks great.
Jun. 27th, 2012 02:43 am (UTC)
Ok, great! Looking forward to it!
Jun. 27th, 2012 04:19 am (UTC)
good luck with it
Jun. 27th, 2012 04:28 am (UTC)
Jun. 27th, 2012 06:05 am (UTC)
i'm so eager to read the journey as i'm also looking to publish my work and the idea of finding agents and publishers is daunting! even more so the idea that i'll never be completely happy with the final product.

congrats to you though! i'm gonna get my paws on the kindle version asap!!!
Jun. 27th, 2012 02:05 pm (UTC)

Which Amazon store do you shop at? Curious, since I'm not aware of any Amazon stores that sell in South African currencies.
Jun. 27th, 2012 02:17 pm (UTC)
haha! we have 11 official languages, but just one currency (South African Rand - ZAR)

I'd buy through the US store. the exchange is about ZAR7,5:USD1 and then if it was a hard copy, there's quite a large delivery fee.
Jun. 27th, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
I'm really surprised there's not an Australian store.
Jun. 27th, 2012 02:38 pm (UTC)
yeah, us southern hemisphere lot are ignored in general. they probably think we can't read, what with us hunting for our supper and fighting tribal wars etc.
Jun. 27th, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
I would think Amazon's greed would trump its prejudices.....
Jun. 27th, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
you'd think that, but international copyright and distribution laws are such a grey zone that the effort to set up shop often isn't worth the legal wrangling. which is sad as Africa is a booming economy.
Jun. 27th, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
All that copyright and distribution stuff needs to be rethought in the internet age. The idea, for example, that one country has to wait six months to a year to get a television program, film, or book produced in another country is silly and aggravating, especially when there's an instant international community discussing the new item, whatever it is. Expecting people to wait while their friends enjoy and then move on from something reflects an outdated model of art and commerce.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )