Why I Want To Indie Publish// A Collab With Lila Kims

by - June 06, 2018

Hey, friends! Today I have a super awesome two-part collab post with Lila Kims from The Red Hooded Writer. She's an epic writer with an insane amount of talent. Lila has been leaning more towards traditional publishing and I have decided to go through with the indie route of publishing.

We thought it would be cool if we both share why we chose the routes we've chosen to take for those of you still on the fence about what publishing type is better suited for you. Every writer is different, so everything I say in this post is going to be what works for me and other indie writers. If this doesn't work for you or you aren't sure, hop on over to Lila's post. Even if you already know which type of publishing you're aiming for, I suggest reading both posts anyway because THEY'RE EPIC.

A Little Background...

A family member of mine wrote a book and self-published, but they never kept up with any of it. They made a facebook for it, making promises of a second book. They didn't sell much to my knowledge and the second book never came about. So, my initial thought of self-publishing was it was a lazy way to do things.

My mom didn't necessarily think that. She looked at it as though you were in control of your work. Still, because of what I knew at that time, I was against it completely. I thought it was frowned upon because it seemed lazy. Seeing that this family member lost their dedication to writing after that, it wasn't something I wanted to turn to. So in the beginning, I was all for traditional publishing.

Okay, fast forward a little. I read Go Teen Writers religiously and I didn't have a blog. The only thing I did on the computer was Neopets and writing, which y'all know I wrote stuff for Neopets and no, I'm not telling you the title of the stories because they are hideous.

Anyway, I had a few published works on Neopets and that's all I wrote. I got bored and decided to experiment writing about real people. I took the Neopets story I wrote and made it a life-based story of castles and kings and queens.

So, fast forward a little further, after getting the idea for Uprising, and getting closer to the idea of actually wanting to publish, I began reading up on traditional publishing. The process and everything about it sounded so... tedious. I didn't like a lot of the steps you have to take to actually get through the process, only to have a very high chance of being rejected.

Since I was so against the idea of Indie publishing, I just accepted this, something I don't tend to do. I accepted that this was the process and started mentally preparing myself, though I was far from being ready to submit anything to any publishing house.

Let me take a moment to say I don't think it's bad for anyone to publish traditionally. This is just my story and it's personal to me. Everyone is different, so this isn't going to be for everyone.

Well, after a while, I started opening up to the idea of going indie. I was sitting on the fence, unsure which way I would fall. What would work for me?

I began to lean towards indie publishing, feeling like the traditional publishing process was discouraging and I didn't want to go through with it. THEN something EPIC happened.

The blog tour for K.A Emmons' book, The Blood Race happened. Before that, I had only heard a little of Abbie and nothing of Kate. WHAT WAS I DOING WITH MY LIFE WITHOUT THEIR BLOGS IS THE QUESTION I NEVER HAVE THE ANSWER TO.

I began reading about The Blood Race and it sounded so EPIC, though it did sound a bit out of my genre preference. But hearing how she was doing this on her own, going through the indie process in the most professional way possible really inspired me. I fell towards the indie side and never looked back. I also bought her book and Kara Swanson's The Girl Who Could See with a gift card and some cash, the first books I truly ever bought myself.

AND I NEVER REGRETTED IT! The Blood Race (and Worlds Beneath) have become my favorite books ever! Abbie and Kate continue to inspire my writing and my dedication to pressing on, even when it feels like I'll never reach the end. (Seriously, if you haven't heard of their blogs what are you doing with your lives?)

Five Fast Facts About Going Indie...

- You have total control over everything. You decide the title. You decide what the book cover will look like. You decide if you hire an editor and if you do, who you hire. You decide everything.

- You do pay a little more. Publishing houses do pay a lot of money to publish your book, costs you don't have to worry about. But, in my opinion, I would rather control everything and pay more money than have little to no control and pay nothing. And that's just from some stories I've heard. Not every publishing house is like that.

- You do keep more money. After the publishing house does everything they have to do for your book, such as marketing, cover design, editing, promotional stuff, you will get about 20% of the profits of your book. So, if you sell enough books to make $10,000, you will only get $2,000. With self-publishing, depending on who you go with for your publishing, you make about 60% of the profit. With that same $10,000 figure, you would make $6,000.

Now, if you are into writing and publishing for the money, YOU ARE IN IT FOR THE WRONG REASONS! So don't let this be a factor that cuts you off from one side or the other. This isn't about money. It's about sharing the story your soul is crying out for.

- You have to do everything. Hire an editor, a cover designer if you aren't handy with design, formatter if you don't have the right programs, not to mention all the marketing. So. Much. Marketing. Self-publishing is all about word of mouth. But you know what? I love it. I haven't really done as much marketing as I would like to just yet, but soon, I'm hoping to get some social media for my books, as well as a self-hosted website to do as much advertising as I can.

- No deadlines. At least, no set in stone deadlines. I think a lot of us put ourselves under self-imposed deadlines. And that's great. It can help us work faster sometimes. However, in the sense I'm talking about, we don't have an agent on our backs telling us we need to get something done in a quicker manner. We have all the time to make sure the work is where we can accept it. Let's face it. We will never be done writing one book. Sometimes, we have to accept where it is.

- You keep the rights to your book. Traditional publishing is a crazy market and I have respect for those who enter it. The one thing I never liked was that publishing houses have the right to your book. They could change details you don't want to be changed and it wouldn't matter if you didn't like it. Now, they are doing what they think is best for your book, but shouldn't the author be more in charge of that? Now, this could sound like a nightmare to some. Don't get me wrong, this scares me. However, not every publishing house is going to cut you out. There are publishing houses that will value your opinion and want your feedback. You just have to find them.

With indie publishing, you decide everything. Even when the editor sends back the edited manuscript,  you often decide whether to apply his or her edits or if you're going to scrap them, much like what you do with Alpha and Beta readers. (But please take the editor's advice on grammar and punctuation. Those are the most important.)

What Draws Me To Indie Publishing...

Honestly, it's the control. I am probably a control freak in many aspects, but especially when it comes to writing. Writing means a lot to me and I want to do my best. I want to approve of my work. I feel like there is a certain aspect of that you can't get with going traditional. But I also think certain things work for certain people. Going Indie isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of work and patience. It takes dedication. You are the one pushing yourself through this project. You are a one-person team.

There is no agent. The editor is the one you hire, not one that is paired with you from a publishing house. The cover is all your own control. Never compromise what you want. This is YOUR book.

That's all I have to share for today. Before you leave, please be sure to subscribe to get every post directly to your inbox and click that follow button if you have a blogger account to keep up to date every time I post. Also, click this link HERE to check out Lila's epic post about why she wants to traditionally publish. If you are a writer who is trying to decide what the next step is in getting your book out there, I totally recommend checking out her post to help you figure out which method best fits your needs. 

No one is the same, so we all have different preferences and demands. By no means am I an expert, so please, please, please go do your own research as well and I hope you find exactly where you need to be.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments!
What type of publishing do you tend to lean towards?
What is your biggest writer/author goal?

Keep Shining A Light, my friends.

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  1. Great post, Ivie! I'm currently leaning more towards indie publishing, since I want to major in something different in college (chemistry/forensics, maybe). I love writing, but I want to have a separate career because I have many interests. So, I would love to self-publish my stories, because of time and I'm not sure I want to give all that control to a publishing house.

    But who knows? I'm open to both, so we'll see. :))

    1. It's great to be open to both because you never know what could happen. Either way, I pray you reach all your goals! <3

  2. Awesome post, Ivie! Looks like there are a lot of good reasons to Indie publish, although I still think I'm going to go traditional. I'm going to miss the control factor though. XD But I wish you luck in all of your publishing endeavors!

    Danielle | silverphoenixwriter.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you! I wish you luck as well. I pray you reach your goals and hopefully you know I will be a loyal fan no matter what way you publish. <3

  3. Personally the thing I like most about indie publishing is that there are no genre restrictions. As I commented on Lila's blog, traditional publishing, while the pros in that field don't like to admit it, is tied to the trends and what they know FOR A FACT will actually sell. I have books that can fit into those categories, but I am also writing books that will not in a million years fit into the category of "trendy." And that's okay! I have in fact decided to go Hybrid, which should be an interesting ride for sure...but we'll see. At the moment my hope is to publish Pentegreens and Hood's Arrow traditionally with mainstream publishers, the Watched books (christian dystopian) with Enclave or the like, and then do my alternate-history trilogy through indie means. Traditional publishing does scare me some, but I think it's doable and it's what I've always wanted. I need other people to take some of that control out of my hands, too...if it comes down to content stuff that I don't like, I won't budge on it, of course, but I can't do cover design OR formatting to save my own life, so the idea that someone else will take care of that for me is really reassuring, in all honesty.

    So that's my really long reasoning on this. I really loved this collab--it was awesome! :D

    1. Wow, you know what, I want to do a post on Hybrid authors now because they aren't talked about a lot. I think it's awesome what you want to do I pray you succeed in all of that. I totally understand where you're coming from and I loved reading your reasoning behind it all. I look forward to see your writing career blossom. <3 <3


  4. Having control over your book is a big reason why I'd like to go Indie, but for now I'm still aiming for traditional... mostly because it's so hard to market your book on your own ;D

    1. I don't know if it's true, but I heard even with traditional publishing, you still have to do a lot of the marketing on your own. However, I see what you're saying. I actually look forward to that part. XD

      I pray you reach all your goals!

    2. Yeah, I think you are right. If you don't "make" it immediately, you still have to market. But... if you get a good publisher it's easier to get into places like Barnes & Noble and Amazon and other main book distributers :)

      Thanks! Same to you ;d I can't wait to read your book.

    3. Yeah, exactly. And I think Createspace is becoming more accepted. I'm going to purchase my own ISBN's so I can still have my book in places like Barns and Noble.

      <3 <3 <3

  5. YES! This is why I love Indie publishing, it's way more laid-back. Great post! These were fun to read. :D

    1. Same. There's so many hoops with trad-publishing. Not that it's a bad thing, but I don't want to jump through all the hoops. XD


  6. There are pros and cons to both I guess. I still prefer traditional publishing, but I think Indie publishing is a good way to go.

    1. They both have there pros and cons for sure and I think it's all about personal preference. XD

  7. Yeah, I’ve been debating Traditional vs. Indie for a while now. Indie is starting to appeal to me more because it’s more relaxed and not as deadline-focused, but traditional would be awesome! I’ll keep thinking about it.

    Thanks for this post, Ivie! It cleared up some questions I had about indie publishing.

    1. There are pros and cons to both. I totally recommend reading Lila's post if you haven't because it gives a great perspective on traditional publishing.

      I'm glad this cleared things up for you. <3

  8. *looks super smug* remember the time I had read The Blood Race and you hadn't?? *wiggles eyebrows*


    Jkjk XDD

    THIS WAS A REALLY EPIC COLLAB GUYS!! I can definitely see both sides of the story. I am one of those people who looks at big challenges and says, "well I'm gonna prove to everyone I CAN do this", so I was reading this very carefully and thinking, "which is more impossible? Trad publishing or indie publishing well? gimme the harder one mwahahaa!" Ok still kidding here. That is not actually a deciding factor ahem XD

    Currently leaning more towards trad myself but we'll see. We'll see what God has planned for me ;)


      Thanks! I'm excited for you either way! I think they both have unique challenges. XD

    2. Thanks XD OH and btw I saw this post in my feed and thought maybe it could be helpful to you in some way lol http://christiswrite.blogspot.com/2018/06/create-marketing-plan-that-works-for.html?m=1

    3. Oh, thanks! I actually follow that blog, too! I just haven't got around to read the post, but definitely heading there now. :D

  9. A great collab! I loved this.

    While I'm planning on traditionally publishing my novels, there are a few works I wouldn't mind indie-publishing. Jules and I are even thinking that we might self-publish our collab novel if we get to that point. So I guess I'd be cool with being a hybrid author. That would be fun.

    I'm glad y'all did this collab! It's well done.

    1. Thanks!

      Hybrid authors are really cool. I think I'm going to do a post on them soon. :D They don't get a lot of attention, honestly.

      I look forward to supporting both you and Julian in your writinig endevors! <3(Did I spell that right? Probably not. #writerprobs XD)

      Thanks! <3

  10. EEP, I love your post!!! It was a GREAT idea to showcase these routes from two different perspectives. :D

    There are definitely ups and downs to both sides! The control of self-publishing does sound super nice, even if traditional publishing is what I want. xD

    Again, this is SO EPIC! I had a lot of fun with this collab. <3

    1. I love your post!! <3 <3 I love seeing things from a aspiring trad-author point of view because I've been in the Indie mindset for so long. The control is honestly what won me over. But I totally get what you were saying in your post. <3

      THANKS! I had a lot of fun with this, too. Thank you for doing it with me. <3

  11. I love the collab here and the different thoughts!
    I'm solidly in the indie camp. I like the control and the fact that it's on my timetable, at least to some degree or another. Part of me wants to see if I can get my current trilogy traditionally published because it's so big to me and I want ALL THE PEOPLE to see it and enjoy it, but I also want people to see it as soon as possible so I don't want to go through the tedious process of querying (or even just submitting so someplace like Swoon Reads) and submitting and WAITING. So I'll likely stick with indie.
    The problem with indie publishing, for me, is the money involved. With my short stories I used stock images and had my mom edit them for free (some embarrassing typos still slipped through the cracks...), so it didn't cost anything. But with my novel false-start with House of Mages I paid $580 for an editor and cover and then ended up using neither and with just one book of this trilogy it's going to be roughly $635 total for editor and cover, and as a teenager without a job that kind of money is not easy to come by, lol. I'm still determined to indie publish (I'm working on getting into freelance editing so I can start earning money) but it has the potential to still take a while.

    1. The money part is hard. I do have a job, but it wasn't easy to find the job I have. It took me quite a while. With Indie, it cans till become popular as long as you market like crazy and then you can make money off of what you've written, which is the dream. XD

      Whatever you do, I think you'll do it really, really well. I do want to ask who you used for an editor? I know someone, the person who I will be going with, who has low cost, high quality editing. :)

      I think you are going to be very successful. <3

      And, if you're still looking around for no-cost, which I totally understand, I'd say find some people online to be beta-readers. Readers love to be beta-readers. Especially if you have a following of online friends, I'm sure they'd love to help. My suggestion would be get the draft to where you want it, have the betas go through it, apply the updates, have a different set of betas go through it, and then go from there.

      Mom's are the best alpha-readers and editors though. :D

      Freelance editing sounds awesome and I pray you reach all your goals. <3

  12. Mad respect for everyone who chooses the self-publishing route, but it's...not for me.

    If I ever become published, as I hope to be one day, I assume it will be through traditional publishing.

    A good writing teacher/friend of mine once said that self-publishing is a way to avoid the critiquing of publishing houses and agents. I don't know if I agree with them, but I would really like to hear your opinion on that idea. I hope that doesn't offend you, as that is not my intention in mentioning it, I'm just genuinely curious what you think of it.

    Keep up the great work, Ivie! <3

    1. I take no offense at all to that because that is a big belief about the self-publishing route and I even used to believe that.

      However, when I met Kate, aka K.A. Emmons, I was still rooted in that belief, but I was a bit on the fence. (I'm an indecisive person, that's an important detail. XD) As I saw how she was doing this and how successful she was becoming, as well as what she did to do it as professional as possible, I was impressed and realized that was what I was meant to do.

      Now, I think some people probably do use self-publishing to avoid critiquing and all of that. But those people aren't actually putting in the work they should. Now I'm not saying we all need to hire fancy editors, cover designers, and all that. We can all learn and pick up those skills, as I am trying to do. Of course, I will hire an eidtor because I want my book to be great.

      So, I see why your teacher says that. And I think it's awesome you want to go the trad route! <3

      Thanks for posing that question! <3




    1. MARY! MARY! YOU ARE THE BEST PERSON EVER FOR LINKING THIS, THANK YOU!!! I was at work, but I had the short shift today, so thank you!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU BRIGHTENED MY DAY!!!!

    2. I saw it was out today and my first thought was IVIE HAS TO KNOW! TELL THE IVIE! RED ALERT! RED ALERT!

    3. Lol, I knew it was coming out today, but I had to be at work. :/ But I watched it with my siblings and it was EPIC!! I need the movie now! XD

  14. I liked reading you perspective!
    I think I would be so awesome just to have my story in book form! I'm at the very beginning with my book! I have the idea, I just need to start writing... I'm not at the publishing part yet.
    I'm on the fence. Indie publishing sounds really cool!

    1. I totally suggest Lila's review to help you decide on what you want, but with the stage you're at, I think it's best on just writing the story and focusing on that. I often let myself get distracted with larger details. I look forward to learning more about your story as you write it. <3

  15. O.K. Is THIS your picture now??? (Because it is really, really beautiful [and the hair is reddish {and I still sort of think of you as a redhead}])
    Great thoughts!! Both my parents have published through Indie publishing, and I myself am not sure what I am going to use, but I am wanting to learn everything I can. Thanks for the great post!!!

    1. Yeah, it's me. :D Thank you! <3

      That's cool! Whatever you do, I'm sure you'll do great! <3

  16. I mean, hey, I'm an Indie writer so of course I agree with this post! And I still have a long list of books that I plan on Indie publishing including but not limited to My Time in Amar books and my Return to Amar books and A Winter Dark and Deadly, buuutttt, I also plan on branching out into the Traditionally publishing waters with several of the stories that I'm currently working on. So I guess I'll have to see how that goes *is scared* *cause is a huge jump*

    1. Haha. XD

      Whatever you do, you'll do great! I can't wait to see where your writing career ends up! <3

  17. I love this collab!!!!

    I used to think self-pub was what people did when they weren't "good enough" to get traditionally published. I was worried that if I took that route, people would say I wasn't "really" published. All that good jazz.

    But after reading sooooo many epic self-published books (like The Girl Who Could See), I'm slowly starting to realize that those myths aren't true. Sure, some self-published books aren't great quality, but hey - sometimes traditionally published books aren't great quality either. And I can find great and amazing reads from either path.

    That being said, I plan to traditionally publish my trilogy, if possible. I'm certainly not afraid to self-pub (in fact, I'm considering taking that path for a fantasy novel of mine), but I would love to try both of them, in the end!

    1. THANK YOU!

      I used to think the same thing and it's a very easy thing to believe, especially when some self-published books aren't the best quality. I totally understand that. The awesome thing is, more and more people are starting to do things a little more professionally and the fact that their doing it in an independent way is pretty EPIC.

      I hope you reach all your goals, traditional and indie! <3

  18. Man, was this post super helpful!

    I must admit that the control factor is really making me consider Indie more closely as someone who stresses over the littlest details and has her own way of doing things. The cost is still giving me pause...

    Awesome post, Ivie!



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