Why I Love Being an Indie Author…

I can’t quite believe it’s October already but, although sad to see the Summer go, I must say I’m starting to love Autumn the older I get.   I think it’s the colours and sunshine, it’s so pretty.   I find writing in Autumn and Winter easier too as there are less distractions, such as sitting in the sunny garden with loved ones, BBQs,  holidays… Actually, most things distract me easily from writing and I have so many mega deadlines to meet.  Hence the lack of blog posts these last few weeks.  Or months.  Oh, it is actually months… sorry!

Today I was greeted by a lovely email from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing which made me really think about how lucky I am to be a self-published author.  (Wow, it still sounds strange saying I’m an ‘author’… but I guess I really am now, with two books published.)  During the month of October Amazon is celebrating self-published writing and are inviting their authors to share why we love being indie authors.

Well, for me it’s so many reasons.  So, let me start from the beginning…

 Being an Indie Author…

…has allowed me to actually be published.   I never imagined I would ever have a book published.  I started writing officially through a Script Writing class in Milton Keynes, run by the lovely creative Sally Luff (she’s gone on to great things, now running the Carabosse Theatre company – check them out as they’ve a great run of ‘Real Ale and Drama Shots’ at the end of month featuring new writing).  The Script Writing class gave me a chance to write for an audience, where someone other than me would ‘hear’ my words from my head, and it taught me about structure and planning.  It also introduced me to some brilliant fellow writers, actors and creatives.  I had a couple of pieces performed at Milton Keynes Theatre and so I decided to write a story that I’d had in my head for many years.

Image of book cover Friendship Love and Apple Tea
Friendship, Love and Apple Tea

At no point did I even consider sending the book to an agent or publisher – I always wanted to self publish.  This was for two reasons:  I’ve been self-employed for a long time and love working for myself, and I think this influenced my decision in terms of my writing career –  I wanted to keep some form of control over my writing process, ideas and style.  And, it would allow me to do my own marketing, which I really enjoy.  But, if I’m totally honest, the main reason was confidence (or lack of).  I didn’t think any agent or publisher would be interested in my story, and I didn’t think my writing skills were worthy of a publishing deal.  I’ve still a long way to go in terms of confidence –  I’m mortified when a mistake is pointed out, as I feel I’ve let my readers down and yes, there were lots of mistakes in my first book, ‘Friendship, Love and Apple Tea’.  I’ve a lot of work to do still in terms of editing.

BBB_main_image
Bringing Billie Back

The second edit was better, and it taught me a lot, particularly in terms of the writing process for my second book.  ‘Bringing Billie Back’, was better edited and written – however, my first book still sells five times more copies and has a much bigger following.  I’ve realised that my readers have forgiven me for errors in exchange for the story and style, and for that I am very, very grateful to them.   They really are superb and have given me so much confidence.

Being an Indie Author…

…allows me to write at home, on holiday, in hotels, in coffee shops… anywhere I wish.  Sometimes my ‘office’ is my official study, others it is the hut in the garden or my lap on a packed train and, if I’m really lucky, it’s by a pool on my holibobs.

Being an Indie Author…

IMG_3158…has given me the opportunity to work alongside my husband as he has been my biggest and most supportive Ambassador.  He’s promoted me, shared my books, accompanied me to events, produced flyers and posters… he’s been amazing.  And so has my daughter and the rest of my family and many friends.  Without them, it would have been a lonely and less fun journey.

Being an Indie Author…

image of Wendy

…has meant that  I work with my best friend Wendy as she designed the book covers for me.  She’s a fabulous artist and I couldn’t have imagined working with anyone else.

So, this is why I’m an Indie Author, and very proud of it.

Check out the Kindle page which celebrates the work of Indie Authors.  What I love is that self-publishing is now taken much more seriously than it was years ago.  There is less snobbery for sure, and it’s been great to see how many major, successful films have been adapted from self-published books – e.g. ‘The Martian‘ by Andy Weir, ‘Still Alice‘ by Lisa Genova and, of course, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘ by E.L James.

And, if you feel you have a book in you, I encourage you to have a go – it’s fun, rewarding, motivating, challenging, relaxing and stressful (all at the same time!).  Amazon Kindle Direct will help you along the way, as well as Createspace (for producing paperbacks), and Audiobook Creation Exchange/ACX (for audio).

Now, I’m off to write as I need to get a book launched at the start of December and am running a little behind… well, a lot behind.  But, it’s on its way, honest.

Penny

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