During today’s session of The Writer Workshop an attendee working on her second book asked about traditional publishing. She’d been offered a contract from a publisher and wondered what it meant to be an “indie” publisher. Well, isn’t that a ball of worms. There doesn’t seem to be a standard definition of what it means to be an indie publisher. In fact, anyone with an Amazon KDP account can publish and claim indie status.
I’m not judgmental about indie publishers and self publishers. I have always believed that each project has a perfect publishing outlet. I’ve been traditionally published, I’ve self published, and indie published, and been on the team of a small press that published others. I’ve also been part of a writer’s group that utilized independent judges to jury select pieces to be included in a series of self-published anthologies. The list of options goes on and on. Of course, none of this answers the question of what makes someone an indie publisher.
Instead, I asked this author what experience she wanted to have. And, with a bit of probing, she finally replied that she wanted a traditional experience. And, I replied, then you need an agent.
This whole writing/publishing journey is just that, a journey. It’s a long slow play. It’s about building a body of work and a career. And, it’s about having the experiences you want to have. I like this publishing industry with all the twists and turns and possibilities. I like to know how things work and so I continue to shove my hands into the dirt. I continue to learn all I can. And, I continue to help guide others on their journey.
What’s best for you? Where should you attempt to publish your book, your novel? It’s up to you. My biggest advice is don’t rush just for the sake of getting something out there. Write a great book and take the time necessary to have the publishing experience you truly want to have.