We’re Self-Published and Proud
Let’s shout our love of self-publishing loud and proud. We asked three indie authors to share why they love being self-published—here’s what they said.
I don’t remember the first time I first heard the term “self-publishing” or “indie author,” but I probably thought it was a dumb idea. My, how things have changed since then. What I once thought was just for rejects became something I embraced full-heartedly. When that transition really occurred, I'm not entirely sure, but somewhere along the line, I fell in love with indie publishing.
The ability to create when I want, to experiment with my stories, and to set the limits are all things I love. I know that some people think a big publisher, or even a little publisher, is the way to go with marketing, but that never was an issue for me.
Self-publishing is a true experimentation of art. There is no big publisher to tell me to stick to the latest trends; I get to follow my story the way it needs to be followed. I think there is something truly magical in knowing that I did all of that. The story, the design of the book, the cover, all of it.
I’m proud to be an indie author because it’s so much more than just writing a book. It’s something that can be all encompassing on so many levels. It takes things that I love—design, marketing, publishing, and writing, and merges them all together. And when they all fall together, they make a beautiful thing.
Lana C. Marilyn
Lana C. Marilyn is a queer black female writer from Brooklyn, NY in her early twenties and has just self-published her first book, Wet Sand in An Hourglass: a self portrait in words, a collection of assorted memoirs and poetry that examine girlhood, femininity and sexuality.
I love being a self-published author because it's simply more personal. The book I published was a work of creative nonfiction: a small collection of memoirs and poetry centered around my own lived experiences. I come from a DIY background, and being able to have final say on the layout, the release date, the cover art and detailing was important to me. It made what was already a labor of vulnerability even more candid. Updates on the process on my personal blog were fun to share with my readers, and the same can be said for my Facebook friends. I appreciate that writing a book was a journey for me at every point as well as a greatly fulfilling learning opportunity.
I don't believe that self publishing should be terribly daunting. It's surprised me, since making my book announcement, how many people have relayed to me an impression that what I've undertaken is a very difficult endeavor. The writing itself, which is the core, is no different from a traditional writer's approach. The book didn't write itself overnight; I kept at it on and off for three years. But when the writing was done, and the revision was done, getting the story out there became a matter of taking the time to assess my options and learn what would work for me, because I felt that making my story accessible to other young women was important. Self-publishing, despite the 'self' in the name, can (and often is) a group effort as you find beta readers, cover designers, and as you consult with others for feedback along the way.
Abhishek Hemrajani’s debut novel, Black, White and the Grays in Between, is an emotional saga of hope, betrayed dreams, and the endless shades of gray. Set across three generations and three cities—Houston, Hyderabad, and the Bombay of the ‘70s—it is a story about love that is often selfless and self-doubting, and the unexpected virtue of listening to your heart.
Whether you are celebrated chef at a Michelin Star restaurant or a self-taught cook at a mom and pop diner or a gourmand who spends the weekend in a tiny home kitchen, the love and joy that makes you create that perfectly crafted meal is all the same. In many ways, writing is similar. You write because your words need expression; you write because your words need a voice. The quality of your work is an outcome of your diligence and a function of your desire for perfection.
Your publishing choice is not a forcing function that determines the quality of your written work or its success. A traditional publisher makes life easier—you spend more time writing and less time playing the multiple roles a self-published author plays. However, self-publishing makes you really (really) appreciate the effort that goes into publishing a book. You learn to become less callous about your sentence composition. You learn to read your own work critically. You develop the ability to pitch your story and believe in its significance. You develop the ability to translate the dream that tickles your imagination into a beautiful cover.
The hours (and hours) that you spend in perfecting your work leave you exhausted and, at times, overwhelmed. But the realization that you did it all yourself gives you the greatest feeling of accomplishment. In many ways, this has been the hardest decision I have had to take. Even harder than choosing the life that I gave my characters. This has also been the most humbling and enriching experience of my life.
I willingly chose to turn down publishers that I knew would not understand or represent my vision to the fidelity that my dreams demanded. I readily chose to retain full control of my intellectual property. The quality of my work is mine; the outcome of my efforts is mine. The joy of my dreams is mine; the feast of its success will be mine. I made the choice and I’d make it again.
Why do you love being self-published? Tweet us your answers.