The career path of an indie author is still a rather new one. It is a role that only became truly viable to the masses after the advent of eBooks. And since it is still a fledgling career, there are a lot of myths and rumours that surround the title of indie author. Today we take a look at five of those myths and debunk them.
Myth One: Being an indie author is easy
I know a lot of people who want to become indie authors start down their path thinking that they know everything there is to know, and that path will be more like a stroll in the park. I know that’s how I felt when I started. But the truth is the exact opposite.
It ultimately boils down to the fact that being an indie author is not just about writing. Correction: being a successful indie author is not just about writing. If you want to make an income from your writing, you must wear many different hats and educate yourself on the roles that come with those hats. Do some research, figure out which of the many facets of indie authorship you are skilled at. Outsource or develop the rest.
Myth Two: You will start seeing success early
Being an indie author means that you are a creator. And for a creator to be successful, they must have fans. Unfortunately, that means you must build a base of fans and that takes time. You are starting out as an unknown; you are someone who has dreams and maybe some experience, but likely no fans to truly speak of.
Add on the fact that writing a book is a very time-consuming process itself. It could take months, even years, for you to properly finish your first book, and that is just the beginning. There are some out there who can write an entire book in two or three weeks, and others are even faster than that. But bear in mind that you will likely be pursuing indie authorship as a side hustle to start, and that means writing before and after work. There are only so many hours in a day.
Myth Three: You can do it all yourself
Indie authors are not like traditional authors. You do not get advances, you do not have contracts, and you do not have a publishing house to do many parts of the job for you. Despite this, a lot of indie authors believe that they can do everything themselves, and that is simply not the case.
That means that you will be relying on a lot of other people. You will need to hire an editor to edit your book. You will need beta readers or a critique partner to polish it. You will need a cover artist to make a great cover image. You will need your network to help spread the word about your book. You might think you can do it on your own. If you want to be successful, you must realize that you cannot.
Myth Four: Your book is perfect
Somewhere in the back of your mind, you might already know this. But for new authors who have already written some or all of their novel before deciding to be an indie author, you will be completely enamoured with your work. And rightfully so! You have done an amazing thing and you should be proud.
Now get ready to be crushed. Based on the feedback that you will get from your beta readers, your critique partner, and your editor, you will be facing some sort of rewrite. It will seem daunting at first (and will continue to for a while, depending on the breadth of it), but always remember that you are making your work better.
Myth Five: Indie authors are inferior to traditional authors
There is still a stigma attached to the title of indie author. A lot of people believe that being an indie author is the easy way out. When they look at self-published authors, they see writers who did not have the tenacity, the prestige, or the skills to be accepted by a publishing house.
They are wrong. Indie authorship is not an alternative to traditional publishing. It is its own area of writing, one that forces you to draw on totally different talents than what writing has been in the past. Indie authors are members of the creative community, an ecosystem that does not include querying dozens of publishers and agents, hoping that you did not mess up the second sentence of your query letter. Some of the best books I’ve read have been from indie authors! So do not believe for a second that being an indie author makes you a second class writer.
There are a lot of myths that surround indie authors. Some of them are held by the authors themselves, some of them by those who are just looking on the field. But remember that myths are usually just that: untruths.
Do you agree with all of the myths? Do you have any to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.