As a result of recent lockdown measures around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many started writing their first novel in 2020 and 2021 — or got around to tackling the one they began or planned years ago. Most writers are probably hoping to traditionally publish their debut, but many are looking to self-publish without even giving querying a go. I’ve been self-publishing since 2012, and have published five complete series, so I wouldn’t discourage anyone from becoming an indie author.
But I would say that it has to be the right fit for you. It’s not easy, especially if you want to do it well, and comes with many challenges. And also many rewards.
It’s an unfortunate misconception that writers that self-publish only do so because they got rejected by traditional publishing, or that they don’t think their writing is good enough for that industry. My friends and family hold that attitude and I suppose that makes me even more passionate about self-publishing and a lot more determined to succeed?
The truth is, self-publishing is often a good option for a lot of authors, due to various reasons. In the past decade, it was the best route for me.
For me, these are the two main benefits of being an indie author and why I like self-publishing my fiction:
Freedom & Control
You have the freedom to write what you want and what you believe in. And write it your way. You can write to market if you want to or write the types of books that you want to read. You can do both — write to supply the market demand in one genre and in another genre, you can write what you want to read because it seems as though no one’s written those stories yet. You can choose how you want to structure your book and don’t have to answer or explain yourself to anyone else if it’s a little unorthodox.
And if it doesn’t go well, you’re not left with the bitterness and resentment that you might feel towards agents, editors, or publishers if you followed their advice when you’d actually wanted to do something else entirely.
You make your own choices and your own mistakes, and hopefully learn from them.