Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about Indie Publishing.
Back in 2014 when my wife and I decided to establish T&R Independent Publishing we didn’t know what to expect. What we did know was that I was bringing eleven years of writing experience and she was bringing not only business experience but an MBA to the business. And enthusiasm.
But Why Did We Choose to Become an Indie Publisher?
To be honest we were unhappy with the results of so called Self Publishing. Whatever sales were being made didn’t translate well in the form of royalties. But of greater importance was the lack of control. We’re not control freaks, but when you pour your heart and talent into a project you want to have control of how it is published and marketed. It was with that in mind that we started our new business.
Let’s take a closer look.
Why form our own publishing company?
Up to that time I had been publishing using what is commonly called self publishing companies to publish my books. But as I studied these companies I discovered:
- They control the content of the book
- They control the cover of the book
- They determine the royalties
- I still had to do most of the marketing
In other words, while we had more freedom and control than we’d have with a traditional publisher we still didn’t really have control of anything that really mattered. By going independent and truly publishing by ourselves, we would:
- Have control over the content of the book from cover to cover
- Have control over the cover of the book, including what photos we can use
- Determine the royalties (You have choices with the KDP platform)
- Still do the marketing
Now don’t get me wrong. We don’t consider ourselves masters of the publishing universe. Rather we believe that if the author is going to invest his/herself into writing a book, any book, then they deserve to benefit from it.
With traditional and self publishing companies the average author’s royalties are scaled. It varies from publisher to publisher but in general it might go like this: 8% of retail for the first 2,500; 15% for the next 5,000; 25% thereafter. Now the numbers just used may not be accurate today, but the concept is true.
But by doing my own publishing using the KDP platform I can receive 35% or 70% right from the start depending on choices we make! That is a huge difference.
What about the content?
With traditional publishers you generally have to first go through an agent who then tries to find a publisher. The agent has certain criteria which may involve you changing the content of your book. But just finding an agent can be long and frustrating. Then the agent gets to tell you whether the book is good enough for publishing based on their expertise.
Even self publishers exert control. For example, say you are writing a book and you quote from the King James Version Bible. It is possible, if you use their editing service, they will substitute a different version whether you agree or not. They may also reject passages they don’t like. In other words, just because you are pleased with your results they might not be and can act accordingly.
Another thing involved is the ability to correct. No matter how or to what extent you have had your book previewed and edited, there is always the chance of errors. Moreover the publisher may have printing errors. I ran into this with my books. I was sent a ‘Proof’ copy and given about three days to review, find errors, make corrections, and return (electronically, of course). Three days may sound like a lot when using the internet but if the publisher made errors, which in this case they did, the finding and correcting could be extensive, which it was. As a result I was only able to make a limited number of corrections and then it was published. And once published I could not make any corrections without going through the submission process again including paying money!
But by publishing the book myself I am able to take my time and do a more thorough job of previewing and editing. And, if there are still errors in the published version, I can correct the errors and republished at no cost to myself! Since the forming of T&R Independent Books we have reviewed, unpublished, and republished our books after editing.
And now with the merger of CreateSpace into KDP we have even greater simplicity. We haven’t republished anything yet since the merger, but it is my understanding that we can, if we choose, leave the existing book version published while we make corrections and then republish! That is HUGE!
What about the Cover?
In previous blogs I wrote about CreateSpace’s Cover Creator and the Photo Gallery. We have recently published books by me using KDP’s Cover Creator and Photo Gallery. I liked CreateSpace’s gallery, I like KDP’s more!
I won’t go into all the details again other than to say we can use one of their free pictures or we can upload a picture of our own. We don’t have to deal with the publisher to get permission like we did with my previous self published books with a publisher. Even though we had a certificate proving we owned the rights, they rejected the photo and the certificate. But as the publisher we not only can but did use it.
And one last thing: Writing a book can be and is stressful; so is marketing. Having greater control over the publishing removes a lot of stress; and having greater control over price and royalties is far more rewarding.
Have you considered publishing your book yourself?
More and more authors are discovering the value of a DIY (Doing It Yourself) approach commonly called Indie Publishing. Yes it requires more work on your part, but it’s worth it in many ways.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at email@example.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.