They sure do... they've rocked my world!
I write under two names, romantic suspense titles under Karlene Blakemore-Mowle and rural fiction under Karly Lane. I've been fortunate to work in both Indie and traditional publishing and I have to say both have given me unique experiences.
My very first book ever published was with a small press publisher and I can recall at the time, certain people in my Romance writers group making their thoughts VERY clear that this wasn't REAL publishing. It was a cop out… I should be working hard to get noticed by REAL publishers…big publishers…and THEN I could say I was a real published author. This got me a tad defensive…why was my book any less of a real book than a traditionally big named published book? People were buying it… it was available in print... people were telling me they loved it, so why was my book considered to be less, than theirs?
I decided to ignore those negative kind of people and I went on to publish three more books with my overseas small press publisher and then low and behold one day I DID get published by a BIG NAME publisher.
However, as amazing as that was, I continued to write under my other name writing my romantic suspense, because deep down that’s what I love to write. My only problem with this was I wasn't selling books… ok, so when I say wasn't selling…I was selling but maybe only 15 ebooks per quarter. I think the most I ever made was around the $103 mark and that was for four books totaled over three months. This was the highlight of my paid American published career, usually I was making between $11 and $30 per quarter…to say it was a little Underwhelming was an UNDERstatement! Then one day ….
I discovered my phone had the ability to download apps (yes, I was dragged into the here- and-now!) I stumbled upon an Amazon app and shock! Horror! You can download books to read on your phone!!! OMG! So this was the beginning of the end for me... actually it was the beginning of something amazing…I was discovering books and authors I’d never heard of… books I couldn't buy in book shops… authors who I began chatting to on Facebook and some who have become lifelong friends…
Now, while this was all amazing and exciting for me as a reader…the me as an author was beginning to work out a few things…
Firstly, readers like me can get through a book in a day or less…my books through a publisher take around 12 MONTHS to be scheduled for release by a publisher big or small…this was rather annoying. I was waiting for months and months before my books were available to the public.
Secondly, the small press publisher had my books priced way too high. No one was buying them because they were priced upwards of $6. Now I’m a reader too... I DON’T BUY BOOKS OVER $3.99…so how can I expect other readers to pay that much for a book?
Thirdly, Books placed on special were selling!
SO after numerous emails to my small-press publisher, and being told repeatedly they were not prepared to lower the prices of the books, I gave up. I’d had enough. It was a waste of my time and effort I put into promoting my books if I could only sell a handful each quarter.
That’s when I decided to take the scary plunge and self-publish my next books by myself…what did I have to lose? I couldn't do any WORSE than I already was, right? SO I did it… I put out my first book, Operation Swift Mercy, followed by Operation Date with Destiny and soon to be released Blindsided…IT WAS THE BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE!
In less than 3 months I've sold 1311 copies of my two titles. Bit of a difference isn't it! And why? Well, mainly because of the pricing is what I can put it down to. I've always tried to promote all my books, and so I wasn't doing anything different there, but the books are now more in line with other book prices and so, are competing! It’s not rocket science! I am free to discount my books and run sale days, and this stuff sells books! It’s how you get your books noticed!
I am PROUD to be an Indie author. I’m PROUD to be an author—full stop! There is a big shift happening in publishing and Indies are leading the way into this brave new world—but it doesn't mean it’s a bad thing.
People still want books…authors still want to write...
Readers want choice and reasonably priced books— they've got it.
Authors want to sell books—they can!
Print books are still available—that won’t change.
However now maybe readers will have a say in what they want and no longer will their choices be limited to what publishers think should be out there. FREEDOM OF CHOICE, people...that’s what Indie means to me.