Hard to believe, but it's already been a year since I took the indie plunge. Since then, I've published two books: The Boy Who Loved Fire and The Summer of Crossing Lines.
I thought it would be fun to reflect on the past year--what I've learned, what I've loved, and what I'm thankful for. Here are some thoughts as I round out year one.
- Indie publishing is fun. Yes, it's also hard. And yes, it keeps authors very busy. But it sure is fun. The creative control is intoxicating. Editing the manuscript until it's ready for readers is such a worthy challenge. And cover design? Such a thrilling, collaborative experience. Heck, I even loved formatting the manuscripts and uploading them to distributors. For me, the whole process is fun, fun, fun.
- Zero pressure (except the pressure we place on ourselves). No pressure to sell a certain number of copies before the book is yanked off the shelves. No pressure to become a media darling. Sure, I placed pressure on myself to create quality books with eye-catching covers, and I pressured myself to hit deadlines, but those were self imposed.
- I'm not a bestselling author...yet! (and that's ok). I've experienced so much joy from simply writing stories and preparing them for market. This may sound crazy, but I don't check sales numbers, rank, or lists. Maybe some day I will, but not right now. I'm just busy preparing the next book.
- Time management is a constant battle. I'm a slow writer. For me, my best work comes through time and reflection--not a meat grinder. Other indies release several books a year, but I can't focus on their timelines or I'd be tempted to release my books before they're ready. I do what I can when I can, in a way that makes me proud. You can't ask for much more than that.
- I'm grateful. For every single reader, for every single review, and for every kind word. I'm grateful for Amazon, and Apple, and every distributor who made indie publishing so darn easy. Each time someone downloads my book or orders a print copy, they're placing faith in me. I'm truly thankful for that. These books were labors of love, and it's satisfying to see them out in the world.
- The indie community rocks. I've been blown away by the amount of resources out there. Podcasts, blog posts and resources shared by Joanna Penn, Susan Kaye Quinn, Simon Whistler, and more. Everyone shares what they've learned, which helps other indies. It's awesome.
It's been a fun, exciting year. I've conquered massive fears and learned a heck of a lot. Moving forward, I will continue to write books, improve my craft, and send stories into the world. Indie life suits me!
Have you taken the indie plunge? What was 2014 like for you as a writer? Did you achieve goals? Surpass them? Re-align your priorities? Please share!