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#SPFBO and Why I Chose to Self-Publish


In May, I stumbled across a competition for indie authors hosted by grimdark fantasy guru, Mark Lawerence. The Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog Off has 300 authors competing for the coveted bragging rights of being the #spfbo champion. Ten bloggers judge the book entries, narrowing it down to the top ten, and then finally the ONE!

On a whim, I decided to enter The Snow White Files. As an indie author, any exposure is good, and I planned on making new connections with the other entrants. To that effect, my Author Interviews will feature other #spfbo participants. You will also be getting an extra helping of Author Interviews over the next few months because there are so many amazing authors participating. Be on the look out for at least two Author Interviews a month from #spfbo authors.

I believe that self-publishing and indie authors have a great deal to offer. There are many overlooked and hidden gems in the self-publishing world. And while there is a somewhat valid argument that self-publishing doesn’t have any ‘gatekeepers,’ and there is a mile high pile of first draft quality self-published books in the market, most of the indie authors I know and work with make every effort to produce professional quality work that is on par with traditionally published works.

There are many reasons for self-publishing. There are as many reasons to self-publish as there are authors and books. I’m grateful to Mark Lawrence for hosting the Self-Publishing Blog Off because it showcases some amazing gems in the self-publishing world.

Here’s a few of the reasons I chose to self-publish:

1. Control

I want full creative control of the content of my work. I don’t want a publisher telling me that I need to shoe horn elements in because their sole goal is to make money. I want to produce a good story. One that makes sense and is believable. I want a story that the reader will invest themselves into the lives of my characters. As an indie author, I have complete control and if I want to take a project down a more artistic path, I can. Yes, I want to make money and sell book. But, that’s not my only goal.

2. Niche writing

I tend to write stories that are cross-genre mash-ups. Meaning for a traditional publisher, they are hard to market. It’s difficult to find an agent or publisher interested in buying that story. As an indie author, I’m not limited to one or two genres. Yes, it’s harder to find a home for those books, but they’re a lot of fun to write. I have the option as an indie author to put out books that don’t fit the traditional genres. If they only sell to a small select market, that’s fine. Don’t get me wrong. I want to sell books. But, since one of my books is a mix of fairy tale and hard boiled detective fiction, traditional publishers are likely going to have a hard time selling it. I’m okay with that. I still have the option of getting the work out to readers by choosing the self-publishing route.

3. Schedule

I can work on my own schedule. It might take me two months to write the first draft of a book, or in the case of the upcoming A Sea Like Glass, it can take several years. I want to get the story right. That’s my goal. Tell the story the best way possible. It might take me a bit to figure out the right angle to tell the story from, and because I don’t have an agent or a publisher demanding the words, I can take as long as I need to get the story out and get it right. This is important.

An open schedule allows me to work with my trusted writing groups to work out plot holes and character arcs. It gives me freedom to pursue one story over another when I encounter problems that might take time to work out.

4. Timing

This relates to schedule to some extent. It can take years of querying to find an agent and sell your manuscript to a publisher. In that time, the market for your genre may have disappeared. As an indie author, I can release a book when it’s ready. I don’t have to wait. If the market is saturated with a certain type of story, I can hold onto a manuscript and release it when I see that the flood has subsided. I also have control over the specific release date. Some months are better for releasing a new novel than others. So I can time my releases to hit the best window of opportunity. It all boils down to control.

The best part of being an indie author is meeting and getting to know other indie authors. We’re a diverse bunch with loads of reasons for choosing the self-publishing route. I’m excited to introduce you to some of the other amazing authors involved with #spfbo.

For more information about #spfbo visit Mark Lawrence’s blog:

Happy Writing!

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