Indie or Not Indie? That Is the Question—Kurt Chambers

This is the hottest discussion in the publishing industrytoday, that there is no doubt. Should I, or shouldn’t I? There are many, manyarguments for and against independent publishing. Is it a good thing, or is itan act of defeat? Today, my mission isn’t about discussing the pros & conson the subject, because at the end of the day, it’s a personal decision forevery author, and for some people it’s the ideal solution, and for others it isnot. What I want to talk about today is the reasons why I decided to go downthis route with my first novel, Truth Teller.
I’m not even sure if this is going to make any sense toanyone else but me, but I will try my best to explain my train of thoughts. Ispent many years writing a middle grade fantasy series, three books in totaland a fourth book in the pipeline. This series is my baby. I went down thetraditional route of trying to find an agent or publisher only to discoverafter many years and a lot of heartache that my novels just didn’t suit themarket. This was thrown in my face time and time again, market, market, MARKET!I started to really hate that word. Not to be put off, I continued to takeadvice onboard and wrote a whole new novel, Unknown Reality, that I consideredmarket friendly.
Now, this left me with a dilemma. I had a choice to make;what do I do with my baby? I love this series. I had put my heart and soul intothis story, literally. It meant more to me than any other book I had written,or would write in the future. It was my first novel, my acorn, and it hadbloomed into a beautiful tree. Everyone that read it also loved it. I had neverhad a single bad review. The choice I had was to shelve it and wait until Ibecame a successful author before I stood any chance of introducing it to theworld. That was a choice I really struggled with. It was good enough for themarket, it had gone through the whole process a published book goes through, butthe people controlling that market simple wouldn’t take the risk to give it achance.
I had tried plan A and Plan B and got nowhere, and I wasdesperately looking for a plan C. I was browsing the internet looking foranswers, randomly surfing and waiting for that spark of inspiration. I stumbledupon this article that explained in great detail how and why it is almostimpossible to break into the children’s book market. This wasn’t what I wantedto hear. This wasn’t the kind of inspiration I was looking for. My hopes for aplan C were fading fast. I continued looking, reading articles with a heavyheart. Then I found this article that explained the changing roles of agentsthroughout the years. I never realised that in years gone by, an agent wouldhave never considered telling and author how they should practice the art ofwriting, where these days it is common practice. That was my greatest fear. Ididn’t want an editor to destroy my novel by telling me how it should bewritten. Not this novel, it meant too much to me. I wouldn’t have a problemdoing it to any other novel I wrote as I wasn’t so attached to them.
Then, like a lightbulb switching on in my head, plan Cfinally began to emerge. I didn’t want to shelve my wonderful novel, I wantedthe world to read it! I didn’t want an editor or agent to destroy what I had createdjust so that I could become a published author. I wasn’t worried about beingthe next J.K Rowling, I just wanted to share my story and give children achance to read it for themselves. After all, that’s who I wrote it for, not theadults who were judging it to see how much profit it would make. Maybe I shouldconsider publishing this myself?
While these thoughts were running through my head, an advertcame on the telly. It was an advert I had seen many times before in the run upto Christmas. Amazon Kindle. These things are selling like hot cakes this year.It’s the start of a new revolution, the next big thing. How many thousands ofthese things were going to be sold this year? This band-wagon was comingscreaming towards me and I just wanted to jump on and cling to it witheverything I had. Okay, that might sound a little over dramatic, but that’s theway it felt. The answer seemed so clear to me now. I grabbed this opportunity withboth hands and I will hold on until I have no breath left in me.
My time is now!

10 Responses

  1. Anastasia V. Pergakis Says:

    Horray Kurt! I'm so so happy for you! Self publishing can be hard as there is so much to do yourself, but I surely don't regret for a second. AND – you have lots of people to help you, you are not alone! I can't wait to see TT up on Amazon! It is going to be the best day ever! (After my own release date of course LOL)

  2. Emailman Says:

    hahaha!!! Awwww, mate! Thank you so much! I am totally and utterly blown away by how everyone have come together to help me. Especially YOU! It's the most humbling experience of my life, seriously!

  3. tfwalsh Says:

    Congrats on making the call…. I know it will do well… plus you've got us to back you up:)

  4. Emailman Says:

    Thank you, Tania :) That means a lot to me. It don't matter if I'm not the next J.K Rowling, so long as my books are being read by who I wrote them for, I'm happy :)

  5. Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina Says:

    Wow, those two articles gave me a lot to thinkg about. Thanks for the info. And good luck with your book.

  6. Emailman Says:

    Thank you, Elizabeth :) I'm so looking forward to this!

  7. Heidi L. Murphy Says:

    I'm considering it too! I've already gone the self-publishing route (someone told me it would be easier to get published if I had one published already) but they didn't mention that it actually had to do WELL first. I didn't buy the glitzy marketing plan because it cost about as much as my car did. So now I'm nickel and dime-ing it to death. I'm going to put this thing on Kindle so I can sell something. And then I'm going to put MY BABY, a 4 book Sci Fi series on Kindle too. Then maybe we'll see if Heidi can write…;o)

  8. Emailman Says:

    Welcome to my humble blog, Heidi :) I love seeing new faces here.

    I wish you all the luck in the world with your book release. I'm sure if you're imaginative enough you will get your book known to the world :) I haven't got a glitzy marketing plan either. Hopefully our books will speak for themselves.

  9. cleemckenzie Says:

    Hi and thanks for the follow on Twitter. At the moment it's not letting me follow ANYONE, but when it comes to its senses I'll join you there.

    This post came at the perfect time for me. While I've published two young adult novels, I haven't had luck placing my MG and decided last month to go the eBook route you've taken. I'm looking for any help in that department as I'm a total newbie, so I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

    In the meantime, here's wishing you a great 2012 and see you around the blogosphere.

  10. Emailman Says:

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Lee :) I'm glad this post helped in some way. I have to confess I'm a total newbie also lol but maybe we can exchange tips and help each other.

    That's interesting that you already have two YA novels published, but are struggling with MG. I guess it just goes to show how hard it is breaking into the children's book market.

    I saw your TV interview on your blog. How awesome :)

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