Over the last several years, I’ve had the privilege of talking to a lot of indie authors in various forums. It seems that we all share a common set of problems and traits when it comes to writing. Any serious indie author will tell you it’s not an easy undertaking to write a novel or multiple novels. Not only can the task be physically and mentally exhausting, it can also be emotionally exhausting. I liken being an indie author to being a prisoner in solitary confinement. There’s a sense of being alone, being stranded, with no one to turn to and no one who can sympathize with you—unless you have a strong network of fellow writers who have been successful as indie authors.
Many of the indie authors with whom I’ve spoken or corresponded are frustrated. The writing isn’t going well, and the book sales aren’t going well either. They’re not in the place they want to be with their writing endeavors. They can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong. They feel like they’re spinning their wheels. This is from seasoned indie authors and new indie authors alike—those who have published many books and those who are setting out to write their first novel. I, in fact, have been there myself and still go there from time to time. But still, many of us go on torturing ourselves and stay the course until our work is done and we move onto the next book. Some call us gluttons for punishment and others see us as artists dedicated to our work.
I believe that indie authors serve a vital purpose in the literary world. There are many diamonds in the rough in the world of indie authors. Just because a major publishing house publishes a book doesn’t mean that the author is good or that the book is good. I’ve read many best sellers from major publishers that lacked substance but yet they were incredibly well-marketed so that the everyday reader believed it was a good book. But that’s not to say that all indie books are marketable or better than average; in fact, many represent a hobby or personal endeavor as opposed to a serious commitment to the art. My focus is and always has been on the realm of serious indie authors—those who have committed themselves to the art of writing and those who will continue to write whether success finds them or not. The serious indie authors, like indie filmmakers, bridge the gap between that which is marketable on a mass scale and which is often average and the realm of artistry where you might just find a diamond in the rough which for whatever reason has been overlooked by mainstream publishing houses.
To those serious indie authors who share the same emotional, mental, and physical struggles that I often endure in pursuit of writing a novel that is entertaining for readers, I offer a few tips that I have compiled based on my personal experiences and those of other indie authors. I hope my insights are helpful to indie authors who may be struggling with their writing endeavors and give those thinking about writing a book some issues to consider before they undertake a writing project. Together we can make the world of indie writing better for all those who are dedicated to or are dedicating themselves to the art. Keep writing!