Purity of Vision and Going Indie

Posted: August 7, 2015 in books, e-books, Independent Publishing, traditional publishing
Tags: , , ,

In the beginning there was a dream, shared by budding writers everywhere, of being discovered by a traditional publisher and getting a book published. A real book!

I forget exactly when it happened, but it was ‘about’ two years ago that I surrendered to quitting.

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Until then, I’d managed to ignore the self-publishing phenomena taking grip of the writing world. For the four or five years prior, in which I’d navigated social media, I had skipped the articles on promotion because I had no intention of going the Indie route. I wanted a big fat gatekeeper, smoking a cigar, to slap me on the back, cross my palm with money, and welcome me into the rarefied realms of the chosen.

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Someone else could do the work of printing and marketing, I was the writer.

But after thirty years, I finally gave in. I realised that if a story of mine was going to see the light of day, I’d have to publish it myself.

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Everyone says going Indie is the smart route because while you do all the work, all the money is also yours, as well as the rights, and the possibilities. This advice is coming from people I admire in the business like Bob Mayer and Jane Friedman and Kristen Lamb.

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Even so, I hadn’t truly seen the positive side of having the whole project on my shoulders. I took it on, yes, but it felt like a weight. A problem needing to be solved.

I also was sad. Instead of being clapped on the back, I’d been given more jobs, and was looking at the prospect of only ever seeing my work in digital form.

Aren’t books going the same way as cash? Into the ether. We’re soon to be a cashless, and a bookless society.  

As I got to the point with this debut where I sent the manuscript out to beta readers for checking, I regarded the road ahead, of marketing myself, with trepidation.

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I had accrued enough understanding of the subject to write an article about it called, ‘The Melee of Marketing for the Modern Writer’ included in the IWSG book, Guide to Publishing and Beyond. I knew enough to be jaded. I asked myself, ‘Does any of this stuff work?’

A couple of months ago, at Ma’s service, I gave a speech in which I thanked her for support through the early years of my career.

I told the congregation the story of how I had worked on this book, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta’, the last decade, and that bereavement had provoked me to recall the manuscript from the beta readers. I had sent it to a professional editor the day before the funeral. I had accelerated efforts towards getting it published.

Outside the church, I was surprised when I was approached by various members of my father’s community, who asked when my book was coming out as they would like to buy a copy. I realised that there are a lot of folks who would like to read a book, including myself, in solid form.

It doesn’t matter if the material is aimed at the young reader. I recall a quote, Kate de Goldi, shared with us, that children’s books are for everyone: “There is no such thing as a children’s book. There are simply books of many kinds and some of them children read.” ~ PL Travers

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I thought, why not ‘put my money where my mouth is’, as my father would say, and invest in my own intellectual property?

I asked myself, wouldn’t it be nice to offer good folks like my dad’s community and family & friends the chance to buy this book as a paperback, as well as in digital form? Wouldn’t it be fun to celebrate the moment, and have a book launch and a party? 

I decided to organize a small print run of 150 copies. 

This week, I had a meeting with Steve, a local printer, (Book Print) to talk about it. We discussed format and design and laying this novel out to my specifications. I can’t even tell you! It was ‘pinch-me’ material.

In essence, I had given myself permission to have fun and make the most of this moment.

I had decided to make part of the original dream come true. No trad. publisher, but at least a book in hand.

That’s the thing about wearing all the hats; you get to make every teeny-weeny decision from cover, to blurb, to content, and the big decisions too.

Now that I’ve stopped being a big baby about it, I truly see the value of going Indie. This is why the movers and shakers in this business extol the virtues. 

It’s about something much deeper than money.

It’s about creative control. Purity of vision.

I can tell you it feels good. Empowering. Rewarding. Amazing.

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It’s also exhausting.

My mind is running at light speed. I wake up during the night with ideas.

No one’s denying it’s hard yakka and the options in the line of promotion are seemingly endless. But it’s worth it, and never fear, intrepid fellow Indies, I’m making a plan-of-action. When it’s complete, I’ll include it in another blog post. 

Someone said once, that there is more voltage in ideas than electricity. A pure vision is a powerful thing. This is the liberating satisfaction of taking your genesis project from seed to plant to harvest.

The fruit is truly your contribution to the world.

“Intellectual Property has real value. Your ideas are the most important thing, you have to take ownership of it.” ~ Martin Baynton

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More to come…

Yvette K. Carol

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 “Write as if no one will read it.” ~ Unknown. “And then publish it as if everyone will.” ~ Yvette Carol

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Comments
  1. Catherine Johnson says:

    Amen sister!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yvette, please consider being a Guest Author on my blog to promote Indie Authors – see my submission guidelines at:
    http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/contact-me/
    Chris 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    I think Yvette hits the nail on the head regards going INDIE 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. davidprosser says:

    Your journey is like so many others Yvette, I’m glad you decided to go Indie rather than deprive others of your words. The only thing I wonder is, after your print run have you placed the book with createspace or Lulu so that others can order a paper copy too outside your Dad’s community?
    xxx Huge Hugs and wishes for success xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, David. At this stage I’m thinking of publishing with createspace, yes 🙂
      Thank you for those kind wishes!!

      Like

      • dianawilder says:

        Oh, well done! And it’s such a wonderful feeling to realize that (1) you certainly can have ‘hard copies’ of your books available and (2) the books, rights, options, all belong to you. When will the digital copies be available? And I second Createspace, as David did.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. yvettecarol says:

    Thanks, Diana! Yes, I am really feeling positive about this move.
    The tentative launch date is mid-September. 🙂 Am working so hard right now!

    Like

  6. Helen Jones says:

    This is very true – one of the great things about independent publishing is that you can oversee your vision from beginning to publication, presenting it exactly how you want it to be. I worked with a professional editor and agreed with about 99% of what she said – however, had I chosen to disregard most of her points, that would have been fine too, as the control lies with me. Marketing yourself is hard work, but it is increasingly required by the big publishers as well – a friend of a friend was published through Penguin but still has to run her own blog and tote her own books to publishing events – there is no easy ride. I’m not going to stop submitting to agents, but at the same time I’m incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to publish my work through Amazon and Createspace – and btw, sales of paperbacks copies are more than double my Kindle sales, which I found very interesting – it seems as you say that people still want to hold a real book in their hand – I know I do. And I would recommend Createspace – it costs nothing to set up and the quality of the finished product is excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Wow, that’s really interesting, Helen, that someone published through Penguin still had to do so much of the marketing. It just shows how much tighter the margins are these days.
      Yes, I’ve heard good things about Createspace. I like hearing these recommendations. Thanks, Helen. I am so happy to hear your paperback sales outdo your Kindle sales.
      I really like to think of readers buying POD paperbacks of my book, wherever they are in the world. Isn’t that amazing? It’s a great time to be going Indie!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. More power to you, Yvette! I am still stuck at that “I also was sad. Instead of being clapped on the back, I’d been given more jobs, and was looking at the prospect of only ever seeing my work in digital form.” stage, but I may be following your path soon. I’m a big chicken, but I think your journey has proven that it is empowering to take the matter into your own hands and have control of your own (and your book’s) destiny. Isn’t that what we have our MCs do? Why don’t we do it ourselves, too, right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Colline says:

    I applaud your bravery and wish you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a very inspiring post. I think we’ve all been there. We’ve all dreamed about the big time agent, the multi book contract, the movie deal. When I finished the first draft of my first book, I saw self publishing as a last resort. Now, it’s my first choice! I love self-publishing. It’s very empowering. It’s also very nerve wracking. There’s so much to do, but such a sense of accomplishment. Congratulations on publishing your book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Yes, exactly. That’s the way I saw it too, Tricia, ‘last resort’, only if completely desperate! It’s reassuring to hear at this point, that after doing so, it’s now your first choice. Because I’m definitely nervous.

      ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta’ is not published yet. Matter of fact, I start work today on the proof-reader’s edits! There’s some midnight oil to burn, that’s for sure. We’re hoping to launch mid-Sept. Whoopee!

      Like

  10. Lovely post. There is certainly something wonderful about bringing a book into being and owning its life from beginning to end. After trad publishing a few, I switched and won’t go back. I love the control over my book’s destiny 🙂 Every choice is an act of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Gosh, what a beautiful way of putting it. Can I quote you on that? Thank you for commenting. It’s perfect to hear from someone in your shoes, who made it past the gatekeepers and then opted to come back out through the gates of their own accord and so knows both sides! You would never go back? Wow, that’s really saying something.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sure, quote me! Ha ha. I wasn’t published by one of the big 5, but by a small press. I learned a ton about the business and my writing improved as a result of the editing process. But I had no control over timing, still had to do most of the promotion, and there was no flexibility in pricing. The ability to play with pricing is important. My sales are much better now that I have access to new promotional and advertising avenues. That’s the “short story.” Ah…the joys of publishing! Great luck to you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. yvettecarol says:

    Thank you, D. Wallace Peach, you’ve made my, “Great Quotes” file! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ahtdoucette says:

    Congrats on making the leap! Love that quote too.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jane says:

    Go you, Yvette! This is your year!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Nick Wilford says:

    Best of luck! It’s definitely worthwhile knowing you did everything yourself. Enjoy holding that book in your hands, it’s quite a feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Do you know, I’ve been thinking about that moment – holding my first book. Life is such a blur of things to be done, I just hope I let myself slow down and really stop a while over that one. It’s so easy to rush and miss everything. Thanks, Nick. 🙂

      Like

  15. This is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      ’tis! And…exhausting. Holy smokes, I’m running around like a headless chicken right now. How about you? Are you finding this going Indie business to be an adrenalin ride too? Whew, Girl. Haven’t stopped even for a moment since this post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • emaginette says:

        I’ve just done my second run through. Next is the line editor. I’ve been warned to make the work as clean as possible.

        Fingers crossed 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        I have a good friend who is doing the very last edit now. I’ll be putting those into the manuscript soon, and then, that’s it. She’s off to be formatted!!! I can’t believe I am nearing the end of the yellow brick road. 🙂 How about you? Does it seem a bit unreal?

        Liked by 1 person

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