The Indie Publishing Ploy

With your manuscript complete, you’ve got to ask yourself if you want to go the path of the independent author or try for a traditional book deal?

It’s a question asked again, and again, and again until the end of time.

At least it will be for authors.

While it may seem easier to try for a traditional book deal, bear in mind that more and more authors are writing books these days. The number of publishers, however, is not increasing to meet the demand. That isn’t to say that your book isn’t worthy of a traditional book deal. Far from it, in fact.

The truth, sadly, is literary agents and acquisition editors are overwhelmed with manuscripts. For everyone “good” book published, that may mean a hundred to a thousand “decent” books ended up rejected.

To avoid the same fate for their manuscript, many authors are going for the indie author route.

Does it mean the same thing?

One could argue that an indie author is just another name for a self-published author. There’s a vital distinction between an indie author and a self-published:

Self-published authors have done everything themselves.

Indie authors have amassed the right connections to get their manuscript turned into a quality book. They work directly with the interior layout artist, the cover artist, the editors, the indexers, the wholesalers, the distributors, and more. These authors control the entire publishing process instead of giving that control to a big-name publisher or a self-publishing service.

With the right help, the indie author does not have to wait for a literary agent to approve their submission or wait on a big-name publisher to decide when their book will get published. They get more creative control of their book, the publishing process, and the marketing plan.

The trade-off, however, is it’s you that’s doing all the work.

The Indie Ploy

If that sounds daunting, then take a deep breath.

In situations like this, it’s natural to panic. You may feel the need to rush out and find out all there is about publishing. That way you’re at least educated. You may also feel the need to go with a self-publishing service that’s “cost-effective” for the sake of saving money or ensuring higher royalties.

Your fears are legitimate but don’t act on them right away.

Don’t publish your book based on an Indy Ploy…that is to say, don’t make it up as you go.

If you haven’t done so yet, watch the Indiana Jones films as they are rife with Indy Ploys. Hence the name. That’s because Indiana Jones, nicknamed “Indy,” inevitably gets himself into a tight situation and comes up with something to do on the fly. The movies are full of explosions, gunfights, and car crashes because Indy is constantly making it up as he goes.

No explosions needed

Your book publishing journey need not be so dramatic.

It’s better to have a plan before you start the publishing journey, not an indie ploy.

Of course, there’s also the argument that “no plan survives contact with the enemy.” There is truth to that.

There is also the truth that a team of professionals collaborating can handle the inevitable surprises during the publishing process. With a quality cover artist, you’re free to decide which cover speaks best to you without having to learn the programs and applications necessary to create a quality book cover. With a professional editor, you’ll save yourself the headache of learning the Chicago Manual of Style. And so on and so on.

With a team of professionals around you, even if the plan doesn’t work, adapting to change will be much easier. Those professionals share the burden of change and adapting.

Forget trying to come up with a knee-jerk plan.

Take a few moments and speak with 1106 Design. We offer editorial assistance, we’re connected to a network of professionals and can help you find the rest of your team.

When that happens, your Indy Ploy turns into an Indie Plan.

You may like these

Author Story: Mark Graban

Author Story: Mark Graban

The Mistakes that Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation is one of several books authored by Mark Graban, who found inspiration in the idea of helping others learn from their mistakes and in the stories and insights shared by guests on his podcast...

read more
The Value of Full-Service Project Management Teams

The Value of Full-Service Project Management Teams

The term “self-publishing” is often associated with the vision of an author struggling to do everything—from editing to marketing—on their own. It’s true that self-publishers wear many hats, but that doesn’t mean they’re doomed to do everything without help. If you’re...

read more
What Is the Best Bookbinding Option?

What Is the Best Bookbinding Option?

We recently discussed how print books are still a viable option for authors and how it’s important to offer as many versions of your book as possible. If you decide that producing a print book is right for you, you’ll be faced with many bookbinding options. How your...

Are Print Books Becoming Obsolete?

Are Print Books Becoming Obsolete?

It may seem that print books will be pushed out of the running as the world becomes increasingly tech-driven. We disagree. You may have heard that print sales declined in 2023, but it was only by about 2.6% (take a look at the stats on Publishers Weekly). There will...

Should You Publish Multiple Formats of Your Book?

Should You Publish Multiple Formats of Your Book?

So many authors ask us about the value of publishing in multiple formats vs. just one or two. Often the debate is between eBooks and print books in general, as more and more people think print books are going by the wayside. Some people are so bent on the print vs....