Today, I have the honor of sharing a post from R. M. Archer. You may have seen her posts on her blog or on Kingdom Pen (which have been so helpful and have taught me so much). She is sharing about why she chose indie publishing. (And keep watch on her blog later today as I share about why I chose traditional publishing!) This post really clarified indie publishing for me, and I hope it does the same for you!
Thanks for having me, Rachel!
Today I’m super excited to talk about some of the reasons I chose indie publishing—and why I plan to continue indie publishing for the foreseeable future.
Really, creative freedom is the underpinning for most of my points. I love being able to have the final say over everything from what I write about to who I write it for, to what it looks like when all is said and done, to who I work with. Maybe that just means I have too strong a need to be in control, lol. But I love being involved in the whole process and getting to execute the stories I’ve been given in exactly the way I want.
Indie publishing is also more flexible when it comes to writing across genres. If I really wanted to, I could write high fantasy, dystopian sci-fi, contemporary short stories, and gothic horror all under the same name; no looking for different publishers or flipping my whole brand on its head.
Writing for a Specific Audience
Indie publishing allows me to write for a specific audience, whether or not that audience is the majority that traditional publishers are writing to. I’m not tied to the current popular trends (which is good, because I can’t write fast enough to keep up anyway, lol). On occasion, there’s a happy accident and I end up publishing something in a year it’s really popular (Asian-inspired fantasy is really popular this year, and the book I’m releasing this summer happens to fall under that umbrella also), but I don’t have to plan to write something according to the current trends.
This allows me to cater to more niche (small and specific) audiences: fans of slow-paced fantasy, Christian YA readers, sci-fi readers who prefer high-tech Earth to space, etc. As an indie author, I’m able to write for these readers even in seasons when traditional publishers are writing for someone else.
A Flexible Schedule
I’m a pretty slow writer. Some of my first drafts go quickly, but I take a long time to edit and produce finished books. I’m pretty sure I’d bomb if I needed to have a book ready on an externally-imposed deadline. While other authors are able to crank out 1-8 books per year (kudos to them!) I’m lucky if I can hit that one-per-year “minimum.” Which is why I appreciate being able to work at my own pace as an indie author.
Indie publishing allows me to take what time I need on a book—whether that means finishing two short story collections in a year or spending two years on one novel. I can work as quickly or as slowly as I need for a project, and I can be as consistent or as varied as I need with my release schedule.
A Custom Team
As an indie author, I’m responsible for all the “hats”: writing, editing, formatting, marketing, etc. But I can pass out those hats as I see fit (aside from writing, obviously). If I love the writing and editing processes, I can handle those myself and then hire someone else to do the formatting that makes me want to yank my hair out. I can do all of my own marketing, or I can hire a virtual assistant to help streamline the process.
And what I love most is not that I can get someone to do the things I don’t have the time/energy/interest for, but that I can hire anyone. I get to choose my own team and work with other creators that I know, trust, and want to support. My favorite part of releasing my current book has been getting to work with so many awesome creatives that I’ve known for ages but not had the opportunity to work with before!
I love the indie author community. Not only do I get to hang out with them as fellow authors, but indie authors have amazing opportunities to support each other! Some of those creatives I’ve worked with? Fellow indie authors.
Because indie authors don’t have as much reach with their books off the bat as traditional publishing houses can offer, it makes the need to support each other and share each other’s books even greater. Collaborations, book promotions, resource-sharing, etc. abound in the indie author community, and I love getting to be a part of it.
In putting forth these positives, I don’t intend to deny that indie publishing has its own challenges, nor do I intend to suggest that traditional publishing lacks all of these elements! These are just a few reasons I’ve chosen indie publishing, and why I love it. If you’re trying to decide which publishing path is best for you, I hope this helps!
See? Didn't she explain that so well? Check out the second half of the swap here: https://rmarcher.com/
*I am so very excited to bring to you all today a guest post by fellow blogger Allison Grace! Once you've finished this incredible post about The Horse and His Boy, go check out her blog and sign up for her newsletter while you're there! I've been signed up for a while and have very much enjoyed her insight (and Oliver's adventures, too). Watch her blog tomorrow . . . a post of mine might show up (secret: It might have to do with The Magician's Nephew). https://allisongracewrites.com/articles/guest-post-from-rachel-leitch-how-digory-kirke-reminded-me-to-hope/ So without further ado, An Illustration of God's Sovereignty by Allison Grace!*
There’s a scene in Chapter Eleven of C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy that nearly makes me cry.
I’m usually not one to cry during books and movies. So it has to be something really special. And this scene is.
If you want to avoid spoilers, I suggest you go read the book before continuing. ;)
“I do not call you unfortunate,” said the Large Voice.
“Don’t you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?” said Shasta.
“There was only one lion,” said the Voice.
“What on earth do you mean? I’ve just told you there were at least two the first night, and--”
“There was only one: but he was swift of foot.”
“How do you know?”
“I was the lion.” And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
While The Horse and His Boy certainly is not as allegorical as Lewis’ other books (most notably The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) we as Christians can clearly see an illustration of God’s sovereignty.
If you are familiar with the story, you can see that Aslan (the “Large Voice”) is behind every important part of the story. He has guided Shasta’s story from the very beginning.
The same is true when you look at our world.
If you think about the nation of Israel for a minute and you go all the way back to Abraham, you can see God’s hand.
And that’s just the beginning!
Throughout the history of Israel, God has always preserved His people.
Sometimes there is not a clear “lion” in the story, such as in the book of Esther. But He is always working.
Now, it’s easy to think that God’s sovereignty and providence only extends to the big things or to the “important” people. But like an author controls all the elements in her writing, God has a hand in all the details of our lives. Nothing happens without a reason.
Did you see what Aslan said in the quote? “I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead.”
This isn’t a major plot point. This is nothing more than Aslan demonstrating his care for Shasta.
Sometimes, when God works in our lives, it’s obvious and huge. And other times, it’s in tiny ways.
But like Paul says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
All things. Not just the big events of life--graduation, marriage, and eventually death--but all parts of our lives--our relationships, the school we attend, and where we work.
I’m sure when Aslan told Shasta that he was behind-the-scenes in every situation, Shasta probably wondered why. He might have been asking, “But why did I ever have to be kidnapped as a baby anyway? Why did I have to go on this long journey? Couldn’t you have done it another way?”
Let me tell you this: God doesn’t owe us any explanation for what He does. In fact, He doesn’t owe us anything.
Maybe someday we will be able to look back on our lives and see how God was working. Or we may never be able to fully trace the thread of providence through our lives.
But rest assured, God is working in every story and every situation.
“...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
Allison Grace used to hate writing.
Now she can’t imagine a world without telling stories.
She has written several short stories and completed a novel. Her favorite themes to write about (fiction and nonfiction) are identity, faith, and redemption. She also has a whole stash of unfinished fan fiction no one is allowed to read.
Besides writing, Allison loves to crochet stuffed animals and dolls to give to charities. She is a shameless Star Wars and Marvel nerd and can carry on an entire conversation solely in movie quotes.
She blogs at allisongracewrites.com.
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!