Why Choose to Indie Publish?

I’ve been publishing independently (Indie) since 1981. Before that I kept trying to go the traditional route. I got a lot of rejection letters, probably enough to paper a room. In 1981, I decided to publish a recipe book of family dessert recipes. That is when I decided to just publish it!

Not long after that, I met a woman who asked me to collaborate on a book of stories. We wrote quite a few. She illustrated them. Then, we published them by photocopying and spiral binding. She also did most of the marketing and selling, because the books were geared toward a very small niche market for which she knew well and with whom she went to conferences.

Publishing options have certainly changed since then! But this blog is not about the mechanics of publishing. This is about why you would want to choose Indie (Independent) Publishing.

The key to choosing indie publishing over traditional publishing is in understanding how the traditional publishers work. Traditional publishers take on all the costs of editing, formatting, book design, and publishing. As a result, they are the ones investing in your creative endeavors. However, when it comes to one of the most important parts of getting your book sold – marketing – they don’t support that. You can almost count on zero dollars for marketing, which if you don’t market your book, you won’t sell it!

Here are some other truths. It costs traditional publishers a lot of money to employ copyeditors and content/development editors. Even if they use freelancers, there is a hefty cost. The traditional publishers have a lot of overhead to maintain. They are also in contract with union printers, which means that their printing costs are some of the highest. Don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of everyone making a living wage. But the bottom line is that traditional publisher’s costs are steep and they also keep most of the money from the sales of your book.

Here are my reasons for choosing indie publishing, especially in today’s technological world. On createspace.com, a 52-page color book would be $7.49 for your cost. You can set the price for $15 or $20, depending on your intended audience and what you assess is the best price point. You, of course, will either learn how to do everything up to the time you upload your file to the printer or you’ll have some out-of-pocket costs to hire them on your own.

Don’t panic! You are writing your book. You’ll need to make some decisions about how you want it to look, but all of these things can be done in your word processor software. Getting your manuscript edited is usually not a huge cash outlay. At the time of this writing, the average cost is $55 per hour. If you do your own first edit, you’ll probably catch a lot of typos on your own. If you are using a program like Microsoft™ Word, it usually underlines in green for sentence structure and red for spelling.

This article is too short to go through all of the processes that you need to know about writing, publishing, and marketing your book. However, I have two courses that are available. They are: 12 Easy Steps to Publishing – online; and 12 Easy Steps to Publishing – in person. The online program is learn in your own time frame, but the in person class meets once a month for 12 sessions.

Why I Write

Welcome to my Guest Blogger Joszann St. John. She is promoting her new book, Sonnets in Waking Moments...

Thank you Connie, for hosting me as part of the virtual book tour celebration for my book Sonnets in Waking Moments.

Virtual Book Tour  - Historical Fiction - Joszann St JohnToday I share my reasons for writing. I look forward to interacting with your audience and welcome their comments and/or questions.

When I was younger, I had always envisioned myself as a wife and mother. This dream had been with me for most of my childhood, and became a reality when I migrated to Canada.  My marriage was not what I thought it would be, and I became dissatisfied. I wanted something more.

An incessant voice inside of me had always urged me to write. I had written the obligatory papers at school, but I was blocked from writing more meaningful material. I think it was a combination of environment, my insecurities, and relationships.  I’m by nature, a shy individual, and my confidence was not where it needed to be. It was the breakdown of my marriage that forced me to really get to know who I was, and what I wanted from life. My divorce took some time to be finalized; it was during this intense time of deep despair that my first book Wounded Bird No More was born. I’ve said, of that time, that I was pregnant with poetry. There were days when poems would just bubble out of me, and I hastened to write them all down. Emotions and memories that had lain dormant since childhood, burst onto my consciousness, demanding to be expressed.

Prior to the release of my first title, I had begun blogging. As my writing matured, I took on more challenging projects. Blogging was a way to get my voice heard, I was growing and beginning this journey, and truly, I had no clue what I was doing. So I set about learning as much as I could.

During this time, I began developing spiritually as well. It was a time of self renewal, and awareness on many levels, but other areas of my life suffered. I encountered numerous spiritual battles, and life became a fight for survival. I began to seek God in earnest, and it is this journey, that changed my perspective about life, people and spirituality.

Many of us are wounded, but we don’t have to go through life carrying pain and open lacerations. God is able to heal our wounds. It was experiencing this miracle first hand that made me want to reach out to other women.  I write for a general audience, but I’m passionate about the experiences of women. I believe when women are able to heal spiritually we will experience more harmony in society.

Joszann signatureSome of the most damaging wounds are on the inside of our spirits, where no one can see them. We know that they are there though, and are responsible for most of our choices. Writing has given me a voice. I never knew I had one, until I started this work.

Previously, I had largely lived as society dictated, as I was supposed to. Now I’m able to create and add value to my world, which in itself is a wonder, considering the hurdles I’ve experienced.  As a woman writer, and an immigrant, my work touches on many aspects of life and living, not just in the Diaspora but also back in my native homeland. I believe we are shaped by our experiences, and the past has a large bearing on our identity.

Immigration has affected every sphere of the globe, as people seek out better living conditions in more developed countries. The immigrant writer brings a unique viewpoint to familiar issues, and events. I’ve seen many women, my family included, struggle with the realities of low self esteem, endemic poverty, and unsatisfactory intimate relationships. This is not relegated to one race of women, but occurs in every community.

A writer’s currency is working with words, and great writers are able to express themselves in ways which connect them with their readers on an emotional level. This is where change begins, and where wonderful things begin to happen.

Writers write for many reasons, I write for the women who are afraid, or maybe ashamed to share their experiences. I write for the disenfranchised, those who would like to speak, but don’t have a platform. I write for the woman who has been rejected and broken by society, as she struggles to find her way back.  I write because it’s my passion, and the medium that has kept me sane these past five years. Writing is my reason for living, and I write because I have found, according to Edward Bulwer –Lytton that the, “pen is mightier than the sword.”

This article is presented as part of a virtual book tour celebrating my book Sonnets in Waking Moments. Enjoy the celebration by following me on the tour to fifteen (15) blogs in honour of Sonnets. Access the virtual book tour schedule and a link to the book on Amazon, below. Thank you and enjoy!

Joszann signatureJoszann St. John writes across many genres and has published multiple titles. Her newest novel, Sonnets in Waking Moments is a women’s fiction story about life during The Great Depression.

Visit her blog and check out the full schedule for the virtual book tour celebrating this historical fiction love story. Follow the heroine Anna Agnelli, an Italian immigrant to Canada during the 1900’s and her daughter Viola. Other major characters include Ralph, Frank, Jimmy, Louise and Mark Ackerly.

A new and unique voice, Joszann is dedicated to inspiring and empowering others through her extensive body of work. She credits faith as the major influence in overcoming some of her previous challenges. She is the mother of two beautiful children whom she considers wonderful motivators in her life.