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I Have A Publisher Now But I’m Still Indie

I Have A Publisher Now But I’m Still Indie

Our book of the month for October is Finding Emma by Steena Holmes, recently picked up for an Amazon promotion that took it from earning around $5,000 a month to over $100,000. Yes, per month.  Here Steena talks about her decision to add a trade publisher to her indie author partnerships.

Until last month, the idea of signing a contract with an agent and publisher was the last thing on my mind. I love being a self-published author and was in the middle of putting together a launch for my new book to follow my recent bestseller, Finding Emma. So when I started to receive offers from publishers for that book, and when offers of representation started to fill my inbox, I was caught off guard.

Thanks to ALLi, however, I knew what my goals were as an author and I knew what questions I wanted answered by both agent and publisher before I took any steps forward. My number one question was whether they would support my self-publishing goals.

As self publishing continues to grow, this is a question more and more authors are having to ask and have answered – which is a good thing. Being an indie is no longer about choosing between being self-published or trade-published. Indie authors can embrace both.

When we embrace this – what is sometimes called hybrid – mentality, we open ourselves to reaching a wider audience than ever before. It means more readers. It means more success in following our dreams.

Could I continue to see the success I have on my own? Absolutely. There are so many successful indie authors who choose that way.

But whichever way we do it, if we want to be career authors, we need to start considering our career path as a business. That's another thing I learned from ALLi.

As indies, we already work with cover artists, editors and marketing experts and use their knowledge to help us launch our books and find new readers. So the idea of working with an agent or publisher should be no different. All are smart business decisions. Why? Because they all become partners in our journeys, and as partners, they are all invested in our career.

The way I see it, I made the best decision for me at this point in my journey. Being an author who is able to grow and adapt to the ever changing publishing world means one thing: becoming successful.

I didn’t give up anything with accepting a two-book deal with a trade publisher. I’m still able to self-publish but now my indie books will reach a wider audience. This was my main goal in accepting a traditional publishing deal – to reach more readers.

As an indie author, I can have the best of both worlds. I’m using all available means at my disposal to become even more successful than before.

I’m not the first to realize how beneficial this hybrid opportunity is — and I predict I won’t be the last either!


This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. Congrats Steena
    It’s great to see writers embracing the business opportunities, and to see businesses (publishers, agents etc) embracing the opportunities that indie publishing provides them. Most still don’t see it, because change is hard – for people and organizations – but what you’re doing is leading the way. Bravo!

  2. Thank you Alison and Mary Louisa. I’m with you on the watch and see aspect. I’m confident that the partner relationship will continue – there’s been nothing to indicate otherwise and I’m excited about what this means. And yes – things are changing and it opens a world of possibilities to authors now!

  3. Dear Steena,

    Thanks for the post, the more examples of authors moving back and forth between self-publishing and traditional publishing, the more the true nature of being an indie is being revealed.

    What is refreshing to me is not so much that an indie would embrace a hybrid career, but that some agents and publishers are willing to develop a new relationship with authors. Not 3 years ago it was unheard of for a publisher to consider publishing a book that was previously self-publsihed, and there are many in the traditional business who still see having been self-published as a reason to reject an author or a book. But this is changing, in large part because of the way authors have demonstrated that not only can they produce high quality books outside of traditional publishing, but that their marketing expertise is something the traditional publishers can benefit from.

    What we all will be watching closely as you pursue your hybrid career is if the promises to treat you as a partner as your books are published traditionally turn into reality. If so, authors like you will have truly played a role in changing the industry–for the better.

    Mary Louisa

  4. Congratulations on this step in your career as well as the remarkable leap in income. Your article, while informative and inspiring, was a refreshing change from the many confrontational ones we see about indie/self/traditional/trade publishing.

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