Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Guest Post: Indie or Independent Publishing House by Devri Walls

For a different perspective on the Indie Writer Series - I have Devri Walls with me today to share her experience: 

Hi everyone!! Miss Jaclyn wanted some information. If it’s information she wants, information she shall get!

First up on the docket: What is an indie author? An indie—or independent author—is someone who decides to self-publish their books. With Wings of Arian I used Stonehouse Ink basically as a consulting firm. In other words, I got advice, used their contacts, but paid my own way and made my own choices. Essentially, I was an Indie.

After books one and two were out the stress was really getting to me. The main issue for me was using my own money to put these books out, because if you do it right it is not cheap! I felt like I was taking money away from my kids and I don’t deal well with that. I kinda sorta turned into a nut-job. (My husband would probably vote to delete the “kinda, sorta.” But who asked him anyway?) So, this year, I have signed the series over to Stonehouse Ink as a regular published author.

What does that mean? It means, they will pay the bills, facilitate, run promos and so on and I get to do what I do best—write. Which, by the way, I do much better when I am not a nut-job. It was a hard choice at first because anytime you bring another person into the equation you pay for it! On that note, Stonehouse has an extremely fair royalty split, which is more than I can say for the big boys! You know the group, Random House, Penguin and the like. Not that the big house’s don’t offer advantages, but after doing some research, I just don’t think it’s for me.

Despite the difficultness of the choice, it was undeniably the right one. My stress level has dropped by about 300 percent (give or take a few points) and I am enjoying writing again, instead of bawling to my husband every other week.

Now the question remains, what does that make me? I am a published author through an Independent Publishing House. (Confused yet, I am.) Which people still like to call… Indies. Bahahahaha!

Stonehouse is an Independent Publishing House. Meaning, they are not attached to any of the Big Six. Now, Indie Houses vary immensely! Some are very reputable, Stonehouse being one of those. Others are more like facilitators; you pay them to help you along your way. And others, well… do your research, because others will rip you off six ways to Sunday. (Hmmm, I don’t think that’s a legitimate saying, but I am rolling with it. Just nod and smile people, nod and smile.) Please, before you agree to any contracts, read them thoroughly. Check with others in the industry to make sure they are standard. This is your work, your life! Don’t throw it away in your excitement to get that first book out there. This work is forever, and will earn you commission for as long as it exists. For some of you that may mean a couple of bucks, but it could mean thousands of dollars. I’ll say it one more time; do your homework!

Another big difference between Indie houses is their experience and areas of expertise. Aaron Patterson, the owner of Stonehouse Ink, happens to be an innovative thinker and a cover genius. If you look through their authors, and the covers used, they are all amazing. And let’s be real here guys. Covers are super important. It makes little difference how awesome the work inside the cover is if no one buys the book because the packaging is either lame, downright laughable, or inappropriate for your genre. My covers are not cheap, not at all. But Claudia with Phatpuppy Art does a phenomenal job and I can tie her work directly back to my sales! Don’t skimp! Not on the cover, not on work, and not on the edits. If you are going to go Indie, do it right!

There is so much information on this world of publishing we could turn it into a book. As a matter of fact, I am sure there are at least a couple hundred of those on Amazon right now. I tried to address Jaclyn’s specific questions today, but what do you guys want to know? Leave a comment and I will see what I can do to answer it for you.

About Devri Walls:

Devri Walls lives in Kuna, ID with her husband, two kids and one very bouncy lab. After suffering from an abundance of creativity with not enough places to put it, she turned to writing. Which in the end, turned out to be exactly where she should have been putting it all along.


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  1. Great post. I hope there will be more. I love the idea of sharing the many tasks involved in being an indie author. Do you miss anything from the days of having all the control?

  2. That's exactly why I would rather now self-publish. the stress and time would take away from the writing. Great guest post.

  3. Robyn, No- actually, I don't miss being in control. It added such a level of stress to my life I couldn't focus on much else.( and I looooove to be in control) The fact is, no matter how much it looks like you are in control, there is very little you are actually in control of. You can promote all you like but unless people start talking about your book, and telling their friends, no one is going to buy it anyway. So, loosing that facade of control was totally worth it to me.

  4. Sorry, Robyn, I replied to your question up above instead of here. Oops!

  5. Publishing is changing so much it is hard to keep up with, you are right, books have been written

  6. It really changes about every other week! What worked once, doesn't work anymore. Ugh- it is a headache. My characters are so much less annoying to work with. Lol!

  7. There does seem to be a lot of surrender in this business. Good point.

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