“So Bisi, why did you did you go Indie (I hear you say)”
When people learn I’m writing a novel, most want to know whether I’ve found a publisher as is common with a lot of writers. My answer to this is an honest no, and most of my friends seem okay with it. Then I met Suky, a friend of a friend, who’s a fiction editor.
Suky convinced me to look for an agent and go the traditional route because no self-respecting publisher would touch me if I was self-published. And why would I self-publish? It’s not as if I’m writing a book on polygamy. She sat down and took me to school on how much better it is for me to publish through a publishing company.
So I followed her advice, and I ended up second-guessing myself and being utterly miserable with the experience even before I sent out my first query. Eventually, I stopped writing altogether and started taking guitar lessons. Then, a few months later, I remembered I never wanted to go the traditional publishing road, and that was a big part of my motivation to write seriously in the first place. I asked myself why I wanted to self-publish in the first place.
This is what my inner voice said to me:
1. The freedom
The bottom line is I get to write what I want and as much as I want. Not everyone will like it; some will hate it. Don’t get me wrong; the path of freedom isn’t easy, but at least I’ll enjoy the walk. I also write a lot, so I can get a three-book series out in a year if I want to.
2. It’s a life lesson
Maybe one day I’ll decide never to write again. At least, though, some people will read my book. Even if only three people do, that’s still three people I don’t know who have a piece of me in their heads for the rest of their lives. How awesome is that?
Life’s about learning, and in this journey I’m discovering myself. I couldn’t do that sitting at home just waiting for some publisher to pick me. That’s how I see it.
3. I can always try to get a publisher later
In the future I can still try to sell a new series to a publisher if I want to. I don’t see how the experience of going it alone is a disadvantage. I can promote my book better because I now have a major in Paranormal Romance with a minor in getting stuff sold from the University of Self-Publishing.
4. I love writing
Honestly, if I didn’t need to sleep, I would write all the time. I don’t enjoy writing queries and printing reams of paper to send to my agents all around the world. I understand that’s required on the traditional route, and I respect those who do it. Given the choice, though, I’d rather get my book written, then write another and another. The time I don’t spend writing, I’m happy getting out to the market and meeting people like you guys and girls. It’s just who I am.
5. This works for me
At the end of the day, win or lose, I’m happy I did it my way.
So, I put away my guitar and took out my laptop and wrote a 90,000-word novel. I no longer talk to Suky about my writing, but we do go out for coffee now and then.
* Disclaimer: I accept many people prefer the term self-published, so I mean no offense, but I like freelance novelist. See this giveaway for more on this subject.