Apparently UK indie author week kicks off today and so while I’ve never heard about it before I thought I’d throw some of my limited weight behind it. Why? Because being an independent anything is hard work.
Being any type of author is incredibly hard work. People think you sit in your dressing gown all day drinking coffee, occasionally going into your garden to smell the roses, and words spill out of you onto the keyboard as easily as reciting your own phone number.
Let me tell you know, it’s my writing life has been NOTHING like that. Writing anything from a blog post to a full length fiction is not easy. Even if you have vague ideas for content, stories, or characters, it takes blood, sweat and tears to get it into any form of shape.
I always wanted to write a novel. I began my first novel, Relative Strangers: A Modern Vampire Story in 2012. I finally finished it in 2013, self publishing a draft which was great in substance but poorly executed. Fiction editors can run into thousands of pounds. As a hobby writer, that just wasn’t practical. After all, it was only a bit of fun. I pulled into and republished after copy editing it another few times with keen eyed friends. Then I wrote another book. I hired an editor for this one. I loved the sequel, Death in the Family. It was a little easier to write as I loved the characters and knew them inside out by then. It didn’t happen overnight though. It took 2014 to get them both tidied up and out again. Then I started the third one… I could go on but you get the picture.
Every day I slogged over my writing, whether it was an hour of editing at lunchtime, or evenings drafting new content. I published them myself and spent a huge amount of time on promoting them and building a community. I found a wonderful online community of independent authors and self published entrepreneurs. It was invigorating but every spare moment was eaten up with marketing and promotion.
In 2015, a few days before my son was born I was picked up by a small US publisher. “I’ve made it!” A few weeks before my third novel was to be published, they closed. I had to renegotiate all my rights to artwork, editorial input.. the works. I republished all three novels again. I did all this with a new born son. At least I was on maternity leave and had the security of a job to go back to.
None of this is unusual for an independent author. It’s a slog. In many respects, writing a novel is the easy part!
So what can you do to support an indie author?
Buy their books
Don’t baulk at paying a couple of quid for a book. That is going towards someone’s mortgage.
Share their social media posts
Retweet them or share a post on Facebook. It might only take one more sale to hit a payout requirement on their publishing platform. If you like the look of their book, give their post a like!
Leave a review
Next to buying or downloading their book, leaving a review is the most supportive thing you can do. Pop back to Amazon or iBooks and rate the book. You only need to leave a few lines, although something longer is always welcome.
Tell a friend
Tell them about an indie author you enjoyed reading, or buy a book as a gift.
The first book in my Brit based vampire series in available to download for free. Click on the image to grab your free copy now.