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Debunking Indie Myths with Orna Ross and Joanna Penn


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Another myth that comes up is the relationship with traditional publishing, that indies can’t get a traditional publishing deal, that indie authors hate traditional publishing in some way, and that we think it’s wrong and nobody should traditionally publish, that all the, sort of, licensing rights things, we just can’t do that.

So why is that a myth, Orna, and what are the different things that authors are doing in this space?

Orna Ross: Yeah, this is one that actually drives me crazy, because it’s obvious to everybody that indies are publishing eBooks, print-on-demand, audiobooks, and doing extremely well, because you’re seeing that in the sales on the platforms. It’s undeniable, but we’re not seeing behind-the-scenes so much, indies who are doing licensing deals, doing other kinds of deals that traditionally have only been possible for trade publishers, and a lot of people think still isn’t possible for indie authors. So, even the concept of a hybrid author, I’ve a real problem with, because I think indie author describes that perfectly. Sometimes we’ll self-publish, sometimes if somebody comes along with a nice deal, we will take that if it’s a good deal and it works for a particular book at a particular point in time. Being an independent author means doing that, it means meeting a rights buyer with your business hat on and trashing out a deal.

They’ll be working on their behalf to get the best deal possible, and you go working on your behalf to get the best deal possible, and it’s called negotiation. So, these are skills that indie authors are now gaining, and we are seeing a big difference in trends. This is something that people weren’t thinking about at all, I would say five years ago, or very little. When we wrote a guide to it, it hardly sold. It sells much more now, and members download it far more often now. So yeah, there is nothing to stop an indie author from pursuing rights deals and indeed, once you achieve a certain level of visible success, and this doesn’t happen so much for those who sell direct, but for those who very visible, particularly on Amazon, you will just get the rights buyers coming to you, wanting to talk to you.

AskALLi

 

I like this model of an independent author. "One who negotiates." 

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This is one of those mixed bag articles.  A few truths, some inaccuracies, all steering the reader to a certain narrative in order to sell them something. Considering the sponsor (Ingram Spark), I have my suspicions.

 

 

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"Another myth that comes up is the relationship with traditional publishing, that indies can’t get a traditional publishing deal, that indie authors hate traditional publishing in some way, and that we think it’s wrong and nobody should traditionally publish,.."

The very rise of the indie movement was to buck the traditional publishing model. So yes, early on it was all about hatred of traditional publishers. And traditional publishers hated the indie movement, thinking those authors foolish, and amateurish, when in reality they just hated the sales revenue that they were losing. Indie authors were having their lunch, and it reshaped the traditional publisher landscape.   

 

It wasn't until recently that "hybrid" deals started to become more popular, because some trad publishers saw the writing on the wall. Hugh Howey was one of the first major indie successes to enter into this type of publishing deal. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm just getting started and was asking around to established authors.  At first, I was leaning to go the traditional route to get published, but when one indie writer showed how well she had done, now I'm leaning on the self-publishing route.  She did caution me that it is a lot of work, but indie retains more of the control of the book's content as well as more of the sales.

 

As a new member of ChristianWriters, I'm grateful for this site where we can help each other.  Thank you, all.

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Welcome, JonathanRuth. We are happy you are here. You will find friendly people from all sides of the publishing question. 

Don't forget hybrid publishers. Be extremely wary of them, of course, but there are good combination companies that will help you do the work while allowing you the control. 

And of course, control means responsibility. It means knowing everything about every skill that goes into publishing. And you'll find this forum helpful in that regard too.

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