5 Reasons I Went Indie Rather Than Trade (Traditional) Publishing

In honour of 4th of July, I thought I would talk about why I became an independent author and I’m running giveaways here and here.

“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.

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7 responses to “5 Reasons I Went Indie Rather Than Trade (Traditional) Publishing

  1. Traditional publishing is not a guarantee of success. You’re doing what you’re passionate about. As you pointed out, you can pursue the traditional route later if that’s what you want to do or you find selfpublishing is not your cup of tea. The bottom line is, we have more options now as authors. Best wishes for much success!

  2. Having a publisher doesn’t always assure supremacy. There are bad publishers and good publishers. Whether you self pub or find a publisher, you have to protect your story. Trust me, I know for what I speak. I’m just proud of you for following your heart. I can’t wait to read this novel! 🙂

  3. That was an insightful and sincere blog posting, Bisi! Frankly, I share your sentiments regarding both traditional publishing and the art of writing. As an author who already makes a viable living via an existing full-time career in higher education, I write for the sheer enjoyment and passion of writing, not because I need to pay the bills. Though I may seriously consider a high-value traditional publishing agreement if it were ever offered to me, I’m quite happy to plug along as an indie author, offering my creations to anyone’s who’s interested in purchasing and reading them. Besides, on the occasion that my indie-published work(s) might catch the public eye on a large scale, I’m more than happy to accept the entire sales income versus receiving only 15 to 20% of eBook proceeds and 8% of paperback proceeds.

    Keep writing, and have a safe and happy Fourth!

    Kind Regards,
    Jaz Primo
    http://jazprimo.com

    • Thanks for your comment Jaz. It is wonderful that we have so many option now.And yes, there is nothing like being free to write what you love because you love it.

  4. Those are 5 strong and cogent reason. But for me, the main reason why I went indie was the time factor. I have a book series I really want to put out there sometime before the impending zombie apocalypse. 😀

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