I’m what is known as an indie author. What’s that? An indie is an author who, for whatever reason has opted to publish independently. In my case, it’s partly because of my health. As a sufferer of ME, otherwise known as Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, I would find the search for a publisher to accept my novels way too stressful. Then, if a publisher accepted me, having to work to a deadline could affect my health adversely.
As it is, although I have to do all my own marketing, I set my own deadlines. And if I can’t make them, that’s no problem, they are moveable.
Does that mean my writing is inferior? I hope not. My books are edited to a high standard; the most recent one, Out of Time, was shortlisted for the 2016 Historical Novel Society Indie Award. I also have very good beta readers. It’s true that some indies are less exacting about their books, but you will find many of us work extremely hard to provide well-written books edited and produced to a professional level.
Some authors who were – or still are – originally traditionally published have become indies. Why? Publishers tend to want a certain type of book. If a book does not fit their criteria, however good it might be, it will be rejected. A good illustration of this is Helen Hollick, well-known for her traditionally published stories about King Arthur, King Harold and the Battle of Hastings, and Emma, wife of both Ethelraed the Unready and King Canute. Her agent wanted her to continue writing books of this type, but Helen yearned to write pirate-based adventure stories. Her agent refused to let her so they parted company and Helen decided to go indie, with great success. She now has a string of pirate novels to her name, in addition to her previous back-list of historical fiction, and she retains the respect of many traditionally published authors.
Now, I’m not claiming to write anything of her standard, but I enjoy writing what I want, in my own time. I like having the option to choose my own covers and do my own special offers. Maybe, if I was approached by a publisher, I would jump at the chance, but I won’t be going out of my way to find one.
I like to do things my way, and I love being an indie author.