Skip the Slush Pile: The Case for Indie Publishing

“Let me confess that as little as a year ago, I never would have considered going the indie route for publishing my fiction. Instructional or inspirational nonfiction, sure. But novels? Those were the treasures that were meant to be saved for ‘real’ publishing. I thought self-publishing my novels would doom me to anonymity forever, that I’d never experience the rush of joy that came with walking into a bookstore and seeing my book on the shelf.

Now, let me also confess that I was wrong.

Indie publishing is becoming a norm for all kinds of writers and a lucrative and fulfilling one at that. I’ve heard enough success stories from other authors to know that with the right amount of work, self-publishing can pay off much more than letting someone else publish your book so it can sit on the shelves for a few months. I admire those authors who are consistently writing, promoting, writing, marketing, and writing some more. They are doing their work and building authentic fan bases, and they’re learning along the way.

Here are some reasons to skip the slush pile and self-publish instead:

  • Creative control. When you independently publish, you have control over your cover design, your marketing strategy, your pricing strategy, and your distribution. You don’t have to relinquish control to a publishing company that always has its best interests at heart, but not necessarily yours.
  • Timing. When you write a book and sell it to a publisher, it could be years before you finally see it on the shelf. And even when it is, there’s no guarantee you’ll get paid beyond your advance. As an indie author, your book can be for sale tomorrow, and you can start marketing it to your readers yesterday.
  • Relationships. As an indie author, you’re most likely blogging regularly and building your email list organically. If you like the idea of connecting with your readers, you’ll have a much easier time doing that because you’ll be right there with them, announcing every release, every promo, and every freebie. Not that this is impossible with traditional publishing, but when you’re responsible for your own promotions, you learn how to reach people more effectively.
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