US author Edie Claire joins us to today to share her highly successful transition from trade-published author to authorpreneur, highlight the distinguishing features of her indie status, including:
- increased confidence in her own ability
- using travel to stimulate the creative flow
- benefiting from flexible working hours
What’s your proudest achievement to date as an indie author?
Beginning in 1999, I had seven books traditionally published with two major New York publishers, and they sold… okay.
But when I took on their rebranding and marketing and published them myself, they not only made more money for me, they even made the USA Today list multiple times. And I’d never even come close to hitting a list before!
That experience gave me a huge boost in believing that contrary to what I’d been told, my books did resonate with readers, and I did have good marketing instincts.
Back in the day, we told each other, “don’t look to editors and agents for validation of your writing – look to readers.” In today’s even more difficult publishing climate, the equivalent would be “don’t look for validation of your writing in sales figures.”
Readers are still the only people whose opinion matters; the challenge now is helping them find your books in the first place.
What’s the single best decision you ever made?
Getting the rights reverted to my traditionally-published books before the e-book boom hit and all the houses began clamping down.
I didn’t even have a plan for what to do with those rights when I requested them… I just wanted them because they were mine, darnit!
What’s been your biggest surprise as an indie author?
That I could ever make a living from writing!
It seemed too good to be true. (And really, it was. Authors can still do well, but the heady joys of 2013 will never come again. <sigh>)
What’s your greatest challenge — and how do you deal with it?
That’s easy. I have chronic migraine now, and I struggle daily with how to deal with it. Each day’s agenda is determined by whatever my beleaguered brain can best manage at that time, and I’ve had to greatly lower my expectations for myself and my productivity.
But since I will always have stories in my head that I’m dying to tell, I intend to keep on writing, no matter how fast or slow my progress!
How do you get/stay in a creative mood?
The best thing for me is travel. Beautiful places, interesting people, fresh ideas. If I can’t travel somewhere interesting, I’ll look at pictures and read about it.
Learning about new places and their history always helps spark creative ideas in my mind.
What’s your favourite thing about being an author/publisher?
Flexible work hours and an office right next to my own kitchen!
What are your top tips for other ALLis?
Don’t imitate. Never try to write just like anybody else or have covers just like anybody else or capture the exact same audience as someone else – no matter how well it works for them.
Find what makes you unique and own it.
What’s next for you?
Probably another migraine. But as soon as my head clears up, it’ll be back to my characters and their stories, because being an independent author is truly the best job in the world.#Indieauthors - gain inspiration from how novelist Edie Claire's career got a boost when she got her rights back and decided to #selfpublish Click To Tweet