Another Major Writer Jumps to Indie

Connie Brockway, a major romance and historical romance writer has jumped and her reasons are wonderful and spot on from both a business side and an art and artist side.

She is able to write the books she wants to write and that her readers want her to write.

Read it here:

This has been an amazing week, that’s for sure.

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19 Responses to Another Major Writer Jumps to Indie

  1. R. L. Copple says:

    The more I read on this, and why authors are turning down traditional publishing to go indie, the less I feel I want to go the traditional publishing route.

    I’ve sent a novel off to Tor. But I’m seriously thinking if they don’t take it, I’ll self-publish it. For sure, I’ll want to make sure it is clean and formatted well. I know how to do that and several have already looked over the manuscript. I don’t want self-publishing to be an excuse to not produce a good, readable, and exciting story.

    And I think aside from the business issues, for me, it is the control issues. I hear writers like her, including yourself, excited to get to write what you want, and sink or swim on that rather than the latest trends. It is apparent that editors and agents push writers to write certain types of stories, certain ways, and box the writer in, discouraging writing stories the writer’s heart is into.

    That makes me very antsy about handing over a series to a publisher. I know you say do both, but for me at least, I’m not feeling a need to lead toward the traditional route at all. Maybe if I garner some success and they come knocking on my door, I’ll consider it. But it is good to know this is and hopefully will be long into the future, a viable option and leverage with publishers.

  2. Ramon Terrell says:

    Good gosh, man. These the exciting times of publishing and being a storyteller. The more I read about Konrath and Amanda and Connie Brockway, and you, and Kris, I’m able to sleep less and less. All I can think about is creating inventory and getting my work done and out. I know this is not a gold rush and a person must take their time, but every day I have to remind myself that I’m not being “left behind”.

    Mainly, I’m just excited at the possibilities and the freedom, and the fact that, as you have said, we can just write and let our books grow.

    Truly exciting times!

  3. B.C. Young says:

    Great news! It’s so good to see these changs happening.

  4. B.C. Young says:

    Dean, I have a question that I couldn’t find the answer to on your site. I keep seeing how a writer just needs to keep putting works out there and keep writing. The the assumption is, over time, the sales start growing.
    But what about a no name author like myself. I have 5 works out there now and I’m writing more to self-publish. Don’t I need some sort of marketing to get my name known? And what about quality? I could put out a hundred books but if the quality stinks, can I really expect to see sales?
    Everywhere on your site I see no mention of these things playing a factor in gaining traction with sales. Can you maybe have a future post about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • dwsmith says:

      B.C., I might have a post about that, but honestly, it’s not an issue and part of the natural selection. Sounds harsh, I know, but here is the truth. A good storyteller (notice I did not say a clean writer or a good sentence-by-sentence writer, which beginning writers think is so important) will sell. That’s the fact. Readers will find good stories if the writer has more than just a few up, and then they will buy more and tell their friends and it slowly grows that way. Does it take time even for a good storyteller? Yes. Amanda Hocking has a funny phobia about making her books cleaner, which means she got some people, usually want-to-be writers telling her she had a few typos.

      Uhhh, she made a half million in one month. I think she’s just fine.

      So quality boils down to storytelling and a writer can’t see his or her own work, so has no way of knowing.

      So my opinion, in a short burst, is to focus every day on becoming a better storyteller, study people who sell millions of copies and try to figure out what makes their stories tick. Study cliffhangers and how to open new scenes and pacing and so much more. And keep writing and just putting it out there and don’t worry about one story or one book. They are only practice sessions and readers might find it and they might now. But they might find your next or your next as you get better.

      The assumption is that sales will start growing IF YOUR STORYTELLING KEEPS IMPROVING.

  5. joemontana says:

    You are reading my mind, Ramon as far as worrying about getting started!

    The more long time pros talk about how stifling they are finding traditional publishers, the less and less I think they might be worth it.

    Maybe what Hocking just did is the way to go in the future.

    I just can;t see myself accepting a $5000 advance on a book and waiting 18 months for it to hit bookstores. Not when I only need to sell a few copies a day to make that money in 18 months.

  6. Thanks for posting this, Dean, I just dropped by to see if you had heard and of course you had, way ahead of me. :-)

  7. John Walters says:

    Thanks for the link, Dean. Her reasons for going indie are logical and erudite. I felt a burst of the freedom that has stoked my own writing when reading the interview. She makes it sound exciting, as indeed it is.

  8. L. M. May says:

    Fascinating post to read, I think Connie Brockway has made a decision that will make things fun for her again as a writer.

    But after reading the comments, I was surprised at some of the major anxiety expressed by some about her doing electronic publishing. There was a strong feeling of fear from some that she would leave them out (i.e. those who don’t own e-readers, or don’t own Nooks or Kindles.)

    I’m beginning to think that when a traditionally published writer is going to make an announcement about going indie on some book, he or she should think about making sure the following are covered:

    1) What electronic platforms will my books be available on? (Ideally, you’ll be saying ALL–Kindle, Pubit, iBooks, Kobo, Diesel, Apple, and Sony. Thanks to Smashwords, can get get the last 4 without too much hassle).

    Taking the time to mention this can keep iPad, Kobo, and Sony owners from worrying about being left out.

    2) Will there be a print version available for order from bookstores and online? (Ideally, you want to be able to say, “Yes.” Createspace PRO and/or Lightning Source.)

    3) Will the books be available in e-format at libraries? (Again, it’d be good to look into Overdrive as a way to be able to say “Yes.”)

  9. Ramon Terrell says:

    Honestly, that’s a point I got just from reading some of my favorite authors. To date, I have yet to read a book without a single typo, or mistake of some kind. I even read a book that had a character in a scene that wasn’t supposed to be there! The author went on the website apologizing once the error was found, but honestly, I noticed it, frowned and chuckled at the oversight and went on to enjoy an extremely entertaining book.

    I think as long as the audience is entertained, they can forgive mistakes.(since we’re all human and not perfect, right?) Usually its the negative by nature people who make an exceedingly big deal out of little mistakes and typos. For me, personally, I just do my best to clean and polish it myself and with a third party, then get it out and start the next. *shrugs*

  10. Ruth Harris says:

    Dean, I started out as an editor working at Bantam, Dell and the now-defunct Lancer (not because of me!). I started out as a writer publishing paperback originals. As my skills improved, I eventually became a NYT bestseller. I am now e-pubbing my backlist and all new work will be published directly to Kindle which makes me realize I’ve now been around long enough to have experienced several publishing revolutions

    BTW, I read your post advising writers NOT to give away percentages. I couldn’t agree more–now that there don’t have to be publishers to f*ck writers, you mean writers are going to do it to themselves? After all, if the entity who wants the 15% is satisfied with 15% of the initial income, then why should they continue to make money if & as sales increase (unless that entity does something to increase sales)? If a writer DOES agree to a 15% cut, then the amount earned should be capped at whatever the initial 15% adds up to (unless the entity is contributing to the increased income). IMO a very slippery slope that threatens/promises to put writers right back into the passive position.

    • dwsmith says:

      Ruth, thanks! Yes, I think this is a very slippery slope giving away a percentage. And great to hear you are also moving to the new world. Very great to hear!

      And I also have been around long enough to experience a couple of the publishing revolutions and that’s my fear that some of us were talking about today about traditional publishing. I am still saying that writers should, where possible, do both sides, but wow does it bother me, after being through a few of these publishing shifts to send a book into traditional (legacy) publishing not having a clue if that company will still be around in two years and my book trapped in some court case. With electronic growing so fast, there are some tipping points coming and which publisher will make it is anyone’s guess. I think most will, but some won’t, and thus my fear.

      Thanks, Ruth. Very much appreciated and come by anytime. I need all the help I can get here from voices like yours with great experience.

  11. B.C. Young says:

    You’ve given me something to think about. I had the phobia you mentioned above and tried to be apologetic about my lack of writing education with my first two novelettes. Then I realized that I didn’t need to be that way. I just needed to write and keep improving. It was quite liberating when I realized this, and since it happened, I’ve found I’m writing like I never have before. It feels real good that you said the above, because it tells me I’m heading in the correct direction.

  12. Ramon Terrell says:

    The indie author doesn’t have to look far if they want to be taken care of for a price, though. When I published my first book, I paid for all the services: cover art(sucks) editing and copy editing, (good but still not typo free, no one’s perfect) downloaded marketing tips and strategies, the whole nine yards.

    Of course, take myself today and put me back then and I would have laughed. There is no way I would spend that kind of investment as I did then, but the myths were strong and rooted and I didn’t know any better. And with all that cost, it still may be better than paying an agent forever to do those jobs, expensive though they are.

    I can’t imagine as an indie starting out, why one wouldn’t just learn to do this all yourself. Converting the manuscript to the correct format takes little time at all to the point where its negligible. When I finished my second book, I converted it to a epub and side loaded it into my nook so my wife could read it. It was my first time doing it, so after downloading ADE and running it through everything, it took a bit longer. Now, it would take me no longer than a few minutes to get done. To me, it seems the artwork would take the longest time to get done.

    • dwsmith says:

      Ramon, because of changes for artists as well, artwork is very, very easy, and royalty free for the most part. You might have to pay ten or twenty bucks for a cover, but not that often. I did a bunch of covers last night, all with art on them from great artists and I paid less than $25.00 for the right to use the five different pieces of art, royalty free, on five different books.

  13. Ramon Terrell says:

    So do you buy the images and them customize them? I admit to knowing next to nothing about artwork, but I didn’t know you could do that with work already finished!

    • dwsmith says:

      Ramon, sure, if the artist allows that in the rights they grant. And on most sites they do. Just search royalty free art sites and check out the rights they are granting, the prices, and what is there. There are many, many sites for photos and art that modern artists are using now. It’s a way for them to make money, actually. They do a piece of art, keep reproduction rights, sell the original, and then put up the reproduction rights on different sites to be downloaded for a small fee and used for web sites, promotional flyers, book covers, and so much more. But make sure that if you are using the art for a book cover, that use is royalty free and that use is allowed by the artist. And if there is a person in the photo, the model release must be there as well.

      And when you do download a piece of art of a photo, print off the record of the download, what you paid for it, and put it in a file for that story.

  14. Ramon Terrell says:

    Thats interesting. I never knew existing artwork could be altered like that, adding characters, etc. So once I’ve cleared that it is royalty free and such, I could hypothetically alter the work and add in characters to make it better fit the story. I really didn’t know that! Thank you.

  15. Camille says:

    You know, I’ve been thinking about how Indie publishing will give artists and photographers another new market not only as freelancers, but in creating stock images. Of course, the revolution for them started earlier with the web. (On the other hand, they suffer even more from the ignorance of copyright law on the part of the public. An awful lot of people don’t realize that you can’t just use stuff you find on the web.)

    I’ve been thinking of putting up some of my spare silhouette and dingbat art myself. (As well as photos.) Although I might just put them up on StockXchange as a kind of “give back.”


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