In our last post, After The Ending: The Story Behind Book One, we talked about how The Ending world came to be, what book one looked like in the beginning stages, and how much it has changed since. But there's another side to being an author that some of you may not think much about--the publishing part of being an indie author. We're going to share that piece with you today.
Things are always changing in the indie pub world, so why did we want to go this route when we were so green? Why would we want to spend so much time on formatting and design and marketing when we initially knew so little about the process?
In part two of The Story Behind the Book, LF sheds light on why we wanted to put in all the work and publish independently vs. traditionally.
The Story Behind the Book
Getting Published by Lindsey Fairleigh
First off, I want to say that we published independently, meaning an outside party didn’t coordinate the actual publication process for After The Ending. We had our sticky little fingers in everything from the writing (one would hope) to the creation of the cover and the formatting of manuscripts. Unsurprisingly, the question many people ask us is, “Don’t you want a 'real' publisher?” We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve thought about it...a lot. We sat down one afternoon shortly after the first draft was completed and spent hours drafting a query letter to send to traditional publishers, and we later spent more hours revising said letter. But, we never sent it. As we wrote and worked with editors and created covers, we talked about sending it...and talked about it... and talked about it, but there was a point where the book was so close to being publishable that we thought, why not try doing it alone? We loved the book, loved the characters and how they handled everything that we threw at them, and simply loved the world we’d created together. It seemed a bit of a shame to hand our literary baby over to someone else’s care.
I’m not going to go into the tedious details of publishing independently--and believe me, there are many details and most are tedious--but I have to say that a few services like Createspace, Kindle Direct Publishing, and Lightning Source are amazing for the new-to-publishing indie authors like us. Of course, there are countless, tireless blogger-authors who devote hours every day to helping their fellow authors achieve their publishing dreams--people like Joanna Penn, J.A. Konrath, and the trio of fellas behind the Self Publishing Podcast--without whom we’d probably still be bumbling along through the brambles of the publishing world.
It’s definitely been a lot scarier than I’d imagine the traditional publishing route to be, but also a lot faster. It’s also been a lot of work, far beyond the writing of the manuscript...which was a lot of work in and of itself. But in the end, it was worth it.
With blood, sweat, tears, and tired fingers and eyes, we managed to navigate the choppy publishing waters independently, and we’ve never experienced anything more rewarding. I’m putting words in LP’s mouth, but I spend enough time with her to be certain she’d agree. After The Ending was the first book either of us published, and thinking about readers’ responses sometimes brings me to tears...happy tears. As we've gone on to publish more books in this way, we've been able to smooth out some of the bumps in the road, we have no problems staying on the independent route.