FAQs about My Indie Work
I’m now pretty much completely an indie author (technically I’m hybrid as long as my ex-publishers control some of my books, which they do, but for any new ones, I’m indie). While I never intended to be, I’ve realized that it allows me freedom and joy in my work, and that is a blessing I didn’t expect. I also find that it’s much more profitable for me than traditional publishing was. I’m planning to stay indie, happily, unless some weird bump in the road comes along. So here are the answers to some often-asked questions:
WHAT DOES BEING AN INDIE AUTHOR MEAN?
I do my own publishing. I hire my editor, cover artists, formatters, etc., to bring the books to you. I go through Amazon Print (as of this writing) for the print versions that are available to order online. I have control over most of the aspects of my work, unlike when I was with a traditional publisher, where I had almost no control. I have basically become a publisher for my own work, (that’s why you see the NE logo on the books now–Nightqueen Enterprises, my company).
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO INDIE?
A: There is no one right answer for this. But here are some of the biggest reasons, pared down to basics to avoid long, detailed explanations:
- I write paranormal. Most traditional publishers aren’t buying much of it, and what they are buying, they aren’t paying a lot for (with a few exceptions). I was NOT given the option of continuing Whisper Hollow, Fly By Night, or Otherworld with Berkley and I really want to finish Otherworld, as well as start new worlds—all paranormal. An author cannot “order” a publisher to pay them money and publish their work. Berkley changed its format to focus on genre and format, and I don’t fit in that category.
- I wanted the freedom to introduce my readers to worlds I’ve been dreaming of but have had no outlet for—like the Fury Unbound series and the Wild Hunt series. I want the freedom to write and publish what I want, when I want to. Indie is the only way to do this.
- I wanted lower e-book prices on my books for my readers, and higher earnings for me. This is a win-win situation.
WHY AREN’T THERE PREORDERS/WHY ARE PREORDERS FOR SO SHORT OF A TIME?
Indie works on a different business model than print. I prefer not to put out long preorders for algorithmic reasons on Amazon, which affects visibility.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT WHEN YOU RELEASE A BOOK IF IT’S NOT IN THE STORE?
First, be aware that a lot of the authors who are still in traditional publishing are NOT getting their books in stores–the stores are stocking less and less. And just like the fact that we can’t order a publisher to publish our books, we can’t order a store to carry it. That being said, the best way to stay in the loop is to sign up for my newsletter. (And read it! And since sometimes it goes into people’s spam filters, make certain you check there). And my website will always have all releases/books listed
WHY DO YOUR PAPERBACKS COST SO MUCH NOW THAT YOU’RE INDIE?
In order to even offer you print copies, I have to use what’s called POD (Print-on-Demand) technology. For me to earn a decent amount off of them, I cannot price them only pennies above cost. So this is the option–POD or e-book. My books are priced about the same as trade-paperback size, and in fact ARE now trade-paperback size. These new versions are lovely and I’ve made the font a bit bigger so they’re easier to read than my other books! You cannot buy these in stores, but you can order them online from Amazon.
ARE ALL YOUR BOOKS IN PRINT OR JUST E-FORMAT?
- New full length novels will be published in POD–print on demand. Again, you can’t find these in stores, although you can ask your library to order them. They will be available to order from Amazon.
- Re-releases of books that have will be published in e-book to start and then, in print.
- Novelettes, short stories, and novellas are e-book only format unless I gather them into an anthology.
WHY AREN’T YOUR BOOKS IN STORES NOW?
See the answers to the questions above.
WHERE CAN I ORDER PRINT COPIES OF YOUR BOOKS?
You can order them via Amazon. You will find links on each book page.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR AUDIO BOOKS?
The last three Otherworld books went to audio, even though they’re indie, and Tantor has picked up the Wild Hunt Series for audio. I will eventually put more into audio if and when I can afford to. I enable text-to-speech in all my Kindle e-books.
ARE YOU GOING TO FINISH THE FLY-BY-NIGHT AND LILY BOUND series?
The Fly by Night Series is done–I don’t plan to write any more books in it. The Lily Bound series is on indefinite hiatus. I hope to be able to return to that series in the future, but as of right now, that’s not economically feasible. I do not foresee this changing for the next few years, at best. I know this makes a lot of you sad (which is why I finished Otherworld even though common sense said “no”), but take heart–I’ve got new worlds and a LOT of new adventures planned for my readers. The FURY UNBOUND series is one, the WILD HUNT–another, and BEWITCHING BEDLAM also. And there will be more later on. And I now have the rights back to my WHISPER HOLLOW series and will be writing new books in that! So dive into my new worlds and see what’s there! (And I’m going to add here–sending me hate mail about it only gets your email deleted without answering. This is just the way it is).
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU GET A MOVIE DEAL/KEEP SERIES FROM ENDING?
I’ve had a number of readers express interest in how they can help me maybe attract a movie producer, and how they can help series keep from ending, and the like. Here’s a concise way to help your favorite authors keep in business. It’s no guarantee that a producer will notice the books, but boosting visibility is ALWAYS a good thing.
- Buy the books. Obviously, not everybody can buy every book and authors know this, but that’s why I price my indie e-books lower—so you can buy more of them. I make more per book with my indie work than I did in trad, so it’s a win-win situation. (I have to pay the bills, bluntly). So buying my indie work helps a lot. If people don’t buy the books, then they aren’t worth the time for me to write.
- Request that your library order my indie work. They can order most of the indie books in POD from Createspace. They can contact me to buy the books.
- Tell your friends about my work—word of mouth counts. Word of mouth saves authors, and spreading the news about my books helps enormously.
- Never download pirated books—besides risking your computers to malware and viruses, illegal downloading is nothing less than theft. Stealing from authors cuts into our sales. Frankly, pirating impacted my contracts with Berkley. When sales drop, contracts vanish. And when sales drop, even with indie series, it’s not economically feasible to write the work.
- Review the books on Amazon (especially), BN, and other sites. Reviews do help me get certain ads and secure deals like Bookbub (well, unless they’re trashing the books).
- Other than that, pretty much cross your fingers and hope. *grins* And yes, I’d love to see a movie/series deal. Authors don’t get much chance to work with the production companies—we have almost no pull with them—but…the truth is no matter what happens with the series, if an author gets an option, it makes it MUCH easier to sell more books and expand the series.