Joan De La Haye writes horror and some very twisted thrillers. She invariably wakes up in the middle of the night, because she’s figured out yet another freaky way to mess with her already screwed up characters.Joan is interested in some seriously weird stuff. That’s probably also one of the reasons she writes horror. Joan is deep, dark and seriously twisted and so is her writing. In this blog post, part of her fortnight tour, she talks about the pros and cons of being independent…
There’s so much debate in the publishing industry about being indie or traditionally published. About which is the better path. To be honest I don’t think either is better than the other. I think it all depends on what the individual writer is looking for, who they are, and what their definition of success is.
For me, success is about being independent.
My decision to go indie was also about control. What can I say? I’m an unapologetic control freak. I really don’t like the idea of someone else making decisions about my books and my career. It’s my life and my livelihood, not theirs.
I like being independent and being able to change with the times and the industry. Technology is always changing and publishers tend to be slower in keeping up and adapting to the ever changing landscape. And let’s face it the only certainty, in any aspect of life, is change. Being indie gives me the fluidity in my decision making process to keep up with those changes.
I also like the fact that I have creative control of my books, not just in the writing, but in the cover design as well. I enjoy being able to go on Canva and Gimp and fiddling around with images and text and coming up with a finished cover design that is what I wanted and not someone else’s interpretation of what they think I want or what the publisher wants. I also finally get to put my art diploma to good use.
Yes, there are some rather terrible covers out there that have been designed by indie authors who should probably have hired a designer, but couldn’t afford one. But indie authors aren’t the only ones with bad covers. I’ve seen some pretty tragic art on books published by the so-called Big 5. Indie authors can learn from their mistakes and change their covers a lot faster than a big publisher can.
Another thing about being indie is I’m always learning new skills and adapting those skills.
As an indie author I wear many hats. I’m not just a writer. I’m my own publisher, publicist, and cover designer. There’s no way I’m going to get bored.
The only thing I’m not is my own editor. That’s the one skill I do outsource. It’s the one thing an author, no matter what path they’re on, can’t do without.
Being indie is not for everyone. But if you’re like me, impatient, a control freak, fiercely independent, enjoy your freedom, and want to be a writer as well as an entrepreneur then it might just be what you’re looking for.
But if you’re patient, need the stamp of approval that comes with being traditionally published, and only want to be a writer and not have to worry about anything else then it probably isn’t for you. Just keep in mind that no matter who publishes your book you’re still going to have to do your own marketing.