First off let me say I love being an Indie Author! It is the sixth best decision I've made in my life. There are a lot of ups and downs and I expect there will continue to be, but in this moment I love it. Here's why:
1. I control when my books are published.
This is a huge one. I wrote seriously for eight years, sent out letters to editors and agents (yes letters. Like with an envelope and stamp. I also sent out e-queries as it was that wonderful point in history where everyone started to switch over to the Internet.) and kept hoping that one day all the hard work I was putting into my books would be worth it. I would sit down in my chair surrounded by all my ideas and wonder if they would ever be seen by an audience. I expected it would happen one day, yet the dream was feeling more distant.
But, by being independent I get to look at a story I've loved and know it will get out there. There is no one I have to convince at a board meeting. There's no getting stuck in some catalog spot that will take two years to arrive. There is no waiting and hoping for that life changing message to sweep me away into happily ever after. Nope. I get to do that myself. Leading to....
2. I am independent.
Which means I do everything myself. I am my own boss. I either have to learn how or I do without. The downside is that I'm a good ten steps behind even a small publisher. I make mistakes and I don't always know how to get out of them. I was the one to set up all my accounts and the one to post everything on them. I have to learn every aspect of the publishing process and marketing a book. But the benefit to all this is that I am learning how everything works and the more I learn the easier things become. I don't have to wait on anyone but myself for things to get done because I'm doing it on my own.
3. I get to write what I love.
This one is a bit tricky. You'd think it would be easy, but it's not always so. In some respects I'd always imagined my writing career to be controlled by some editor at a medium sized publisher. I would get an e-mail stating that they wanted to do another book in my current series and I'd nod my head and panic a bit because I didn't have ideas, but then I'd call my wonderful publisher and they would give me ideas which I would then sit down and write. Once every two years I'd pitch to them my newest idea and they'd tell me if it was good or not. It would be wonderful because I wouldn't have to make any big decisions, although it would also be depressing if I couldn't work on the great new idea I had. But that was the life and I was resigned to it.
However, now I only write what I really want to work on and it won't matter if this story is going to be a NY Times best seller or at least the top 1,000. I won't penalize myself if my last book doesn't do as well although I may have to get a bike. I get to write whatever idea has my imagination buzzing. This works great when there's only one idea, but I've got dozens and I'm not sure how I will pick because they are all so wonderful to me. Have I mentioned that I don't like making decisions?
So what are your thoughts? What reasons do you like self-publishing?