Writing my Annie Tillery Mystery series is a second career for me. My first career was teaching the sciences. I was lucky enough to teach forensic science which had afforded many possibilities for writing “case studies” for my students. I turned the case studies into mystery stories.
What to do about publishing? A message from my mentor when I wrote the first two books was that they were good. You can sell them, but it will be years before you’ll get a bite from an agent or publisher. Not very encouraging.
Well that put the books in the attic for years. Then, a friend of mine self-published. My ears perked up. I was very interested, and when she explained the process, I realized the industry had moved beyond “vanity press”.
I researched and found a publisher who I felt made me make changes to the books that would enable them to meet industry standards. Within a year I had a published book, with another on the way. What would happen with these books was entirely up to me, and I have never regretted it. Indy publishing companies offer options for designing the books interior, choosing a book cover, and what format(s) your book will be available to readers.
The Indy publishers put you on all the important catalogs. Just reading the various services provided was an education about publishing. When you enter the wonderful world of marketing, you have complete control of what happens. This is a lot of learning and a lot of work, but the resources provided in the Indy publishing world enable you to take the reins and learn about using social media, websites, and all the marketing options that are open to you.
Indy publishing has changed the face of publishing. It’s opened the industry to the rich resources of books that would not have ever been. This makes for greater competition, and the Internet, especially social media, is an incredibly rich, if not confusing, bazaar of all kinds of literature.
When going Indy, it is important to read the services, and your obligations and entanglements carefully. Be a smart shopper. I recommend joining the Independent Book Publishers Association. You will find everything you need to know there. They also provide webinars, a fine and informative magazine, and many contests and ways to get interviews, and market your books.
For me, Indy publishing has given me the reward of three published books of which I am very proud, their content and appearance entirely under my control. The marketing has been an education in so many ways enabling me to share what I’ve learned with other potential Indy authors, an added bonus to a teacher. Indy publishing has given me the gift of a published series and all the rewards that go with it, free of the whims and vagaries of the world of agents and traditional publishers. It’s been a lot of work, but I am my own agent.