It’s easy being an independent author.
You get to write what you want to write. The subject matter is up to you. You don’t have a big bad corporation leaning over your shoulder, shaking its head saying, “No, no, no. That won’t do. You need to have more werewolves. Vampires are so 2014. This won’t sell.”
Who cares? It’s your book.
Pfft! Who cares…?
If you want to kill off your main character, go right ahead! If you’re stuck for a plot point, deus ex machina is a viable option. Who cares? It’s your book.
Pricing and distribution is fine, too. With facilities like Smashwords and Lulu, you can push out your book at pretty much any price that suits you to pretty much any distributor. Do you care? After all, it’s your book.
There are no deadlines except for those you impose upon yourself and, hey, if you’re out by a week or a year, who really cares? It’s your book.
Tell you what, it’s easy being an independent author.
No, really, who cares?
Who cares? Who cares? The audience cares. They care a lot.
If you are writing the book for yourself, then go right ahead and do whatever. Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation and spelling. Ignore typos and editing. Ignore those tics, those cliches, those repetitions. Chuck everything into one great big sodding sentence, no breaks, and be done with it.
Writing for others means obeying conventions, like grammar and spelling, and it means putting a lot effort into editing, refining, sweeping, checking, double-checking, proofing, making sure the damn thing is what it’s supposed to be.
Sure, it’s your book, but it’s written for someone else and, when they’ve bought it and read it, it’s their book, too. That’s why they care.
Deadlines become real: If you say you’re going to have a book out by December 2016, then that’s what the audience expects. Sure, the audience can’t sue you or fire you if you don’t deliver, but they can get miffed if you keep pushing the date of release back.
Being an Indie means many things, but one of the main things is that the thick layer of abstraction between you and the audience is not there. It means you have to be the big, bad corporation. You have to be the one whipping yourself to get things done. You have to exercise self-discipline, take any issues on the chin, handle complaints and emails.
All marketing falls on your shoulders. You don’t get to have the big, bad corp telling you what’s currently trending, nor do you have banner ads, and YouTube videos, or sponsorship, or endorsements, or reviews, or Oprah.
All you have is you. And even if everyone else in the world doesn’t care, you should care.
Geez, it’s hard being an independent author.