Kristie Cook is a lifelong writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at www.KristieCook.com.
Kristie has been so kind as to stop by and have a little chat about the challenges of indie publishing with us. So, without further delay, here's Kristie...
The Challenges of Indie Publishing
I love being an indie author. Although I do have a publishing team who we can go to for input, the ultimate decisions are up to my business partner and me. We own the publishing company. We have the control. We decide on release dates, covers, pricing, audiobook studios and narrators, conferences…everything.
Of course, there are challenges to indie publishing, just as there are for every other road to publication. None provide smooth sailing to NYT Bestseller status and millions in the bank. In fact, each path has its standouts who are the exceptions, not the rule. Truth is the average author, regardless of publisher, sells fewer than 20,000 books. For indies, it’s fewer than 1,000. I’ve sold over 115,000 to date, with all kinds of challenges and speed bumps in the road.
I think the biggest challenge for indie publishing, though, is its biggest advantage – the control factor. Yes, you get to decide the cover you like best, but does that mean it’s the best cover to maximize sales? You get to decide the date of your next release, but do you know if that’s the best time of year or month or season to release a book?
I was able to revise my first two books and re-release them, something a traditional publisher would have never done. Was it the best decision? Did we handle the process the best way? I think it was a good decision, but I don’t know if it could have been executed better. I don’t know if changing the price of one book or another is best or not, or if a title that I think suits the book best is the one that will grab readers’ attention. I don’t know a lot.
When you’re indie, even with a small team such as mine, the decisions are all on you. You have to be adventurous with a desire to learn. You have to be willing to test new ideas. Sometimes these ideas fail. Sometimes you learn later that the idea was good but not the execution. And sometimes you win – once in a while, you win BIG. And what worked extremely well for another indie author can cause you to fall flat on your face and vice versa. And when you do fall flat (and you will at some point or another), you can’t push the blame onto someone else. It’s all you, babe. And that makes this path challenging.
I want to say you have to be fearless to be indie, but that’s not exactly true. I harbor a nugget of fear in the pit of my stomach all the time. A little fear is good because it gives you a gut feeling when faced with these decisions. But at some point, you have to swallow that fear down, make a choice and go forward. Learn from the results, whether they’re good or bad, and celebrate the wins just as much as you mourn the losses.
Having control over everything in the publishing process brings on some of the most difficult decisions you’ll have to make in your career. But these challenges allow you to grow, to improve, to progress. You gain new skills and experiences and a tremendous sense of accomplishment that makes everything worth it in the end.
**********Thanks so much for sharing Kristie! I am so happy that you decided to publish the Soul Savers series! I absolutely love Alexis and Tristan and the whole gang!
Book 4 in the Soul Savers series is POWER, and it is why we are here today! Want to know more about POWER? Here's the summary:
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As the Amadis prepare for war, Alexis returns to Florida with orders to relax, regenerate and replenish her depleted power. But her task list quickly grows—establish a new safe house, learn the art of conversion, find her AWOL protector, help a desperate fan, and protect her son. Oh, and figure out what’s going on with her husband, whose peculiar behavior just might get them killed.
But most important of all, her primary mission: recover her stolen pendant.
The stone in the pendant not only promises hope for the Amadis future, but its unknown qualities make it a possible weapon in the wrong hands. With guidance and power from an improbable source and an unlikely ally by her side, Alexis sets out to retrieve the stone before the enemy discovers its potential for mass destruction. But when she finds herself in the Daemoni’s lair fighting for her life, all hope seems lost. Will she discover the true power she holds in time? And is it enough to save herself, her family and the Amadis?
Power, the next installment of the Soul Savers Series, takes you on a hot and edgy ride with twists and turns you’ll never see coming, leaving you breathless and once again begging for more.
Want to know more about Kristie and the Soul Savers series? Check out the following links:
Kristie Cook’s Website: http://www.kristiecook.com/
Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/KristieCook
And you want to read POWER? Of course you do! You buy it here:
Amazon ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Power-Soul-Savers-ebook/dp/B009173E0G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346557689&sr=8-1&keywords=power+by+kristie+cook
Barnes & Noble ebook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/power-kristie-cook/1112622076
Want a Soul Savers book of your own? Well, you can enter to win one! One winner will win there choice of any (1) Soul Savers e-book. Just leave a meaningful comment below and include your email address. Contest open until 11:59 EST Septemeber 28th.Winner will be selected by Random.org. *** This giveaway has ended. The winner is HEATHER!