Why Being an Independent Author is the Best Option for Me
By Eddie Caine
When writing a book, one is often filled with the worry of having to shop their manuscript in hopes of landing a lucrative publishing contract. Well, I can tell you with today’s technology and resources I personally feel shopping for a publisher is a waste of time, money and can cause a of lot heartache because of rejection, which can lead to depression and a sense of being a failure.
I’m not here to bash Traditional Publishing because it does have its merits, especially if you sign with one of the major publishing houses. To be honest, I haven’t been published traditionally, nor have I sought out or had the urge to sign with a traditional Publisher but I was offered a couple of contracts before and it simply was not worth my while, nor was it conducive to my plans and long-term goals as an Author and entrepreneur.
I’m here to tell offer my insights regarding self publishing and being an Independent Author. Here are the highlights:
- You have complete and total control over your book and brand
As a creative person and Author, I have a certain vision for my story, and no one wants their vision to be altered or compromised. When signing with a Traditional Publisher, you are giving up your rights to have a say in your content, book cover design, and branding.
If you do not come to agreement with the Publisher’s terms, your book may not get published! For me, that is a big “No.”
I don’t want my story altered after investing time and energy into completing my vision. Therefore, I rather retain total control over my IP (Intellectual Property). The best part is you own the rights to everything and you can sell your work anywhere, to any niche market, without restriction, permission or experiencing rejection from a traditional publisher.
- You can make more money more quickly
As an Independent Author, you can dictate the amount of money you receive and the frequency of royalties coming to you! Traditional Publishing contracts dictate the terms of royalty amount and disbursement frequency. Most Publishers issue royalty checks TWICE a year! Who has time or money to wait twice a year to get paid off their work, especially knowing the Publisher received monies as-long-as NINE months prior! Depending on the distribution platform(s) you use, as an Independent Author, you can receive royalties in as little as the next day, or in the case of Amazon™, up to 60 days after the end of that month’s sales which is a BIG plus!
- You create your own support team
As an Independent Author, having complete and total control over your IP gives you the power of building your own creative team from Editing, and Book Cover Design to Marketing.
Being the head honcho, you can hand pick people or professional who want to help you execute your vision. Who wants to work with people they don’t know or are incapable of understanding your goals? When signed to a Traditional Publisher, you have no say so or input in who becomes involved with your book.
- No deadlines and less stress
Deadlines can be great when planning out things but as that deadline nears, stress ensues. This is especially true when signing with a traditional publisher. Personally, I don’t like the word “deadline” (maybe because the word dead is in it). I prefer the term “time frame,” because it’s more relaxing to the mind. Here is an example: “The deadline for my manuscript is June,” vs. “The time frame for my book to be finished is the end of Spring or beginning of the Summer.”
With a time frame, the mind experiences less stress and angst while still giving you wiggle room to finish a project.
- You don’t have to wait years to be published
Believe it or not, a significant percentage of Authors whom sign with traditional publishing houses never see their book in print. This is through no fault of theirs. Oftentimes Authors who are published traditionally must wait up to 2 years to see their work in print form. Who wants to wait TWO years to release their book? As an Independent Author, you can release two books a month if you choose to, though I highly recommend against it.
Of course these are reasons that fit my personality and independent spirit. Many writers will read this post and be terrified of the responsibility and effort that go along with the freedom and control of independent authorship; but, hey, those are the trade-offs!
Let me know what aspects of being an Independent Author most appeal to you or what aspects most frighten you.
Eddie Caine has authored two books, ghost written a short novel, designed a writing course for inspiring authors and has mentored numerous entrepreneurs in designing their business while improving the quality of their lives. Caine is an accomplished spoken word artist, motivational speaker and actor with numerous credits and appearances to his name. He is currently working on an urban thriller trilogy titled “Residual Effects.”