Write the Story You Want as an Indie Author

One of the better things about being an indie writer is the ability to write the story you want to write, instead of the story a publishing company has decided will sell more books.

There’s freedom in creating your own work without being told to tone down your lead female character, or change the perspective to a man’s, because reading what women think doesn’t sell. There’s freedom in writing a societal critique without being told to make it more palatable to the people you are criticizing in it. There’s more truth and emotion in one’s words, when you don’t have to take a hammer to the plot so it will be more acceptable to a greater number of people.

I was a librarian for several years. One of the genres that took off during that time was vampires, with the Twilight series, Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse, and the like. Publishing companies saw the success of these books, especially among teens, and began to publish more and more stories in that vein. It was almost as if that was ALL they were willing to publish. Yes, these books sold, but a lot of the later titles were sad knock-offs of the genre-changing ones, with the same story, the same types of characters, the same outcomes, regurgitated over and over again.

Older librarians believed that the success of vampires would dwindle within a few years, and another angsty genre would burst forth and renew the stale. It never happened while I worked in libraries. Publishing companies did not want to take chances on books they were uncertain would sell, to the point it seemed agents refused to push anything not related to vamps in some way. Fantasy was (and still is) my life, but I began to find it less fulfilling because the high magic stories I loved were fewer and far between. And, truthfully, I’m not a fan of romances, whether they take place in a fantasy setting or not.

I’m also not that fond of the gritty urban fantasies, where the fantastic is background noise–though I was told I needed to start writing in that way to get published. I realized that, if I wished to write what I loved, the established publishing industry was not the route I needed to take.

True, it’s a lot of work being an indie author, with the advertising, marketing, social media posting, on top of the actual writing and illustrating…but I get to decide for myself how to manage all of them. It’s worth it, to see my vision out there and being read, rather than the focus-group oriented slog of a story that is tailor-made to appeal to everyone, and thus riveting to no one.

Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: The Wellspring Dragons Book 2 are available on Kindle and in epub format. Check out The Wellspring Dragons site and the book trailer. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and if you like what you see, buy me a Ko-fi!

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