This is a guest post by Laxmi Hariharan
“So are you going to self-publish?” I asked my friend Mira. She spent many years polishing her manuscript, waiting for the ever elusive email from the one who would ask her to submit the entire novel for publication.
Her reply: “I don’t know, how do you know when you should, and what happens if I do and then an agent is interested in my work?”
Her response highlighted a much debated issue which has kept many a writer—with a burning need to be read—up many nights. To go Indie or not, that is the question. My take: If Indie movies are accepted, why not Indie books?
Rob Kroese, author of the self published, bestselling, humorous, apocalyptic novel Mercury Falls and its sequel, Mercury Rises has a great analogy: he likens the league of published authors to an elite night club, with gatekeepers, who decide who gets in and who does not. It struck a chord with me.
So taking a cue from Rob, I have put together a quiz, to help you determine whether you should give Indie Publishing a go or not. Please answer “yes” or “no” to each of the following questions.
- Do you write to be read?
- Is your novel multi-genre? Traditional publishers aren’t interested in crossing those chalk lines but if your writing and you cannot be pigeon-holed you just might be an Indie Author already. My book The Destiny of Shaitan is YA epic fantasy inspired by Indian mythology, for example.
- At heart, are you an entrepreneur? Do you normally jump first and think of the consequences later?
- Are you pragmatic about failure? Able to pick yourself up and move on to the next opportunity?
- Do you like to experiment? Are you incapable of resisting a challenge?
- Do you thrive under pressure, and when the odds are stacked against you?
- Are you impatient and possibly a control freak?
- Are you a technophile? Do you secretly indulge your inner geek? On a practical level are you at least on Facebook and Twitter?
- Are you social? Love debating with twitter-friends around the world? Do you adore your virtual home and obsess over getting your gravatar just right?
- Do you have the courage of conviction, the doggedness of determination? Is the power of persistence strong within you?
If you said “yes” to at least eight of these questions, then I believe the force is strong in you. You may be among the fortunate few to take up the challenge.
But wait! Before you press that enter button and send the words skimming out over the electronic waves, you need to ask: Have you been true to your text—Really? If you are still standing upright, there is more to tell. Go back, revisit, revise, rewrite, until hand on heart, you can say you have stripped yourself bare. When you have died a few deaths getting the novel to that place where exhaustion weeps in the arms of elation, then, you know all has been said.
Now you have one last thing to do. Make sure your baby is perfect—every infinitesimal millimeter brushed to its Sunday best—once it’s out there you will be reborn, as your Author Avatar! People will actually read you. Many will love your prose. Some will hate it and tell you so. Can you deal with that too? If the answer is still yes, then what are you waiting for?
Are you one of those brave souls who has gone Indie? If so, what do you think of my criteria? Share your opinion and experiences!
About this post’s author:
I am a writer, technophile & dare I say, a futurist, with a penchant for chai and growing eye-catching flowers. Wanderlust drove me out of my home country India and I travelled across Asia, living in Singapore and Hong Kong before coming home to London. I am inspired by Indian mythology; I draw strength from the stories my grandmother narrated to me as a child. It is in acknowledging my roots that I found my voice. When not writing I love walking in the woods with my soulmate, and indulging my inner geek. My debut novel The Destiny of Shaitan is available on Amazon http://tiny.cc/szqsew