The Joys of Being an Indie Author
What is meant by the popular term, indie author? The term refers to an author who publishes independently rather than going with a traditional publishing house. An indie author is someone who self-publishes or publishes with the aid of an independent publishing company. IngramSpark and CreateSpace are two of several such companies.
I went with CreateSpace based on the success of two of my trusted author friends who had pleasant publishing experiences with them. I, too, enjoyed working with CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon. Once my manuscript had undergone numerous revisions and edits by a professional editor, I felt it was ready to publish. I submitted it without having to be accepted by an agent or a publisher. CreateSpace offers several options to fit the publishing needs of different authors. You can either set up the pages, including margins, page numbers, headings, etc. yourself, or use CreateSpace publishing services at an additional cost to help you create a professional look and layout. The site does offer templates for those with the patience and skill to do it themselves. .I chose to have them format the book interior design and connect me with Amazon.com and Print on Demand. They also formatted my book for Kindle. Once I made the decision to pay them a nominal fee for formatting, they provided me with a team and a phone number to use whenever I need assistance. Everyone on my team is extremely courteous, professional, and helpful.
Because my book was based on specific artwork by Angelo Divino, he worked with Laura Moyer at The Book Cover Machine and me to create an awesome cover. CreateSpace would have worked with me on a cover, but I chose to go with my own design. Opting for a professionally designed cover is highly recommended in order to create the best possible first impression of your book. Many people are attracted to the cover of my book, Theep and Thorpe: Adventures in Space, due to the colorful and unusual images of the space beings, Theep and Thorpe.
I was able to choose my own prices and in about six weeks, my book was available for purchase online. A few weeks later, the Kindle version was ready and is now sold alongside the paperback version on Amazon.com. The percentage for royalties is also higher than it would be with a traditional publisher. If I had chosen to seek a traditional publisher or agent, it might have taken months or years before my book was available to the public.
Nowadays, whether you are an independently published author or not, you are required to have an author platform and followers who might buy your book. While writing my book, I became active on social media via Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Author Central on CreateSpace, and numerous online groups for writers. I even started my own Facebook group called Writers. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/528070550569025/) These groups provide links to author blogs and informative articles about writing, publishing, and marketing.
I am also a member of author organizations such as Publishers and Writers of San Diego and Orange County, Southern California Writers Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). The first two are local groups that provide monthly meetings with speakers of excellent quality for the latest tips on being a successful author, indie or traditional. At one of these meetings, I met a rep from IBPA and decided to join in order to have my book presented to 5,000 school libraries. This was done on September 29, and I am awaiting the results to see which school libraries are interested in placing my book.
Indie Author Day
Speaking of libraries, I received a pleasant surprise when I learned about Indie Author Day, held on October 8 of this year. Libraries nationwide hosted unique events featuring indie writing and publishing. I applied and was accepted to participate locally at the Anaheim Central Public Library in Orange County, California. Twenty-five authors were invited to participate in a book fair to sell and sign their books. To be eligible, authors were required to live in Orange County with titles that were self or small press published within the past five years (2011-2016). We donated one copy of each book to be promoted at the Indie Author Day Fair and added to the library’s collection. What a thrill to have Theep and Thorpe: Adventures in Space available for check-out at a local library! In addition, it is on display with twenty-four other local indie authors.
At this event, I was given a packet of goodies, which included information about Self-e.com with an opportunity to pursue placing my e-book in public libraries in my state of residence. I am in process of submitting to them. More about this to be revealed as it happen. Meanwhile, I look for more opportunities to offer my book to young readers and adults who are young at heart. As the exciting adventures of an indie author continue, I will keep you posted.