If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What Indie Authors Love and Hate by Polly Iyer


Due to a slip in a publishing release date, today’s blog has been reschedule for next year. I asked indie author Polly Iyer to fill in today. Welcome back, Polly!                                             --E. B. Davis

Polly: Thanks, Elaine. I asked a few of my indie friends from all over the world what they like most and least about being an indie author. To a person, Control and Freedom were the big Likes, as you’ll see mentioned below. The support and friendship of the indie community was a biggie. Hear, hear! One of the biggest downsides: the vultures who prey on indie authors with promises of greater success they really can’t deliver while padding their pockets to “help” us. Also, the lack of respect given to indie authors. Some of the pluses were also negatives. I tried, not always succeeding, to keep answers to two lines and focusing on some unusual elements.

 

                  
ELLIS VIDLER www.amazon.com/author/ellisvidler Most: Control Least: Lack of respect

CARMEN DeSOUSAwww.amazon.com/carmendesousa/e/B006PWOO2W Most: I can write what I want. Least: I don't ALWAYS want control: There's no one to keep me on track. 

EM KAPLAN -  http://www.amazon.com/author/emkaplan Most: Creative freedom on the cover, plot, blurb, release date, genre. Least: The marketing learning curve.

MARILYNN LAREW - http://www.amazon.com/Marilynn-Larew/e/B00V7NLVS4 Most: Control. Least: Having to do all the heavy-lifting marketing.

AARON PAUL LAZAR www.amazon.com/Aaron-Paul-Lazar/e/B001JOZR2M Most: Choosing my own titles, cover art, and marketing strategies. Least: So far, no downside.

SUSAN SCHREYER - http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Schreyer/e/B004CLPMUG Most: The lack of pressure to break out of mid-list territory. Least: Finding my own way, without guidelines. The cottage industry of businesses promising success if you pay them big bucks.

KERRY DONOVAN - http://www.amazon.com/Kerry-J-Donovan/e/B00CR35Q4S Most: Retaining more of my royalty cheque. Least: Having to do all from cover design to promotion.

LAURIE BORIS - http://www.amazon.com/Laurie-Boris/e/B005I551QA Most: Flexibility to respond to the market, choose opportunities, Least? Ponying up the marketing budget.

T.J. SHORTT - http://www.amazon.com/TJ-Shortt/e/B0106JKQWQ Most: Freedom to choose the number of books I write and release in a year. Least: Marketing.

JINX SCHWARTZ http://amzn.to/QpYtAR Most: Freedom! I write what I want, when I want. Least: All that freedom. You have to really work at staying focused. Social media distraction.

DAVID WIND http://amzn.to/15Pec64 Most: To write what moves me. Least: Time for PR; Finding the best editor and cover illustrator, etc. Biggest downside is the time spent not writing!

JACKIE WEGER - http://www.amazon.com/Jackie-Weger/e/B001JS2M62 Most: Indie author networking. Least: 1. The indie who balks at learning our industry, gathers misinformation and spreads it. 2. Those with a sense of entitlement to reviews and sales. 3. Unsavory promoters.

FLORENCE OSMONDhttp://www.amazon.com/author/florenceosmund Most: The control over content, timing, pricing, title and covers. Least: That’s easy—time spent marketing.

EILEEN HAMER - www.amazon.com/Eileen-Hamer/e/B0169VI3Q6 Most: Not writing to someone else's timetable. Least: Not having that supportive relationship with a good agent/ editor. Worrying about covers and publicity.  Not making much money.

 

GEOFFREY MEHL - https://www.facebook.com/Geoffrey-Mehl-1456580037997105

Most: Incorporating my artistic skills as well as evolving technologies. Least: Marketing. The flood of new work overwhelms market value and smothers recognition opportunities.


JULIE FRAYN - http://www.amazon.com/Julie-Frayn/e/B00BH47C3G Most: Pricing, promos, product changes. Least: Finding promo sites with the highest ROI, and that often isn't recouped.

JUDITH MEHL - http://www.amazon.com/Judith-Mehl/e/B008EL9GKC Best: No deadlines. It allows the creative juices to flow. Least: No deadlines. Nothing to force the writing.

RICH MEYER www.amazon.com/Rich-Meyer/e/B004HV1GTM Least: The stigma associated with the "indie" label, because of a lack of due diligence by new writers. "Real" publishers scamming indies with outlandish, PublishAmerica-esque "opportunities".

SARAH MALLERY - http://amzn.to/1r3GUsZ Most: Tracking sales. Changing and updating. Punctual royalty deposits. Least: Promoting. Getting into libraries and big bookstores.

CINDY BLACKBURN - www.amazon.com/Cindy-Blackburn/e/B009DF79L6 Most: Indie means truly self-employed. Least: Indie still carries a stigma that I'm not a "real" author. 

MARY D. BROOKS - http://www.amazon.com/Mary-D.-Brooks/e/B00347V9TW Most: The freedom and control. Least: Marketing. Suck it up, learn all you can and just do it.

SHARON WOODS HOPKINS - http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Woods-Hopkins/e/B005T67VX4 Most: Artistic control. Least: Print books unavailable to same outlets as trad published authors.

BILL HOPKINS - http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Hopkins/e/B008XM8L7G Most: I can set my own publication schedule and my own promotion schemes. Least: No “like leasts” yet.

BRONWYN ELSMORE - http://www.amazon.com/Bronwyn-Elsmore/e/B001JSAPRA Most: Following my own feelings about my stories. Least: Details of publishing, marketing and selling.

WENDY DELANEY - http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Delaney/e/B00E7IM6EO Most: I’m my own boss. Least: The “boss” is more of a taskmaster than I thought she’d be.

DV BERKHOM - http://www.amazon.com/D.V.-Berkom/e/B004EVOYH6 Most: Success is 95% on me. Support and friendship of the indie community. Least: The stigma of going it alone.

EFFROSYNI MOSCHOUDI - http://www.amazon.com/author/effrosyni Most: Flexibility from cover to editor to launch. Least: Time it takes to learn new approaches and tips to marketing.

LESLIE ANN SARTOR - http://www.amazon.com/L.A.-Sartor/e/B0091XR9VK Most: Writing my story my way in my time frame. Least: The lingering sense that indie writers are respected less.

MICHELE DRIER - http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Drier/e/B005D2YC8G Most: Publishing on my schedule. Least: Marketing, library appearances, book festivals and group readings.

R.P. DAHLKE - www.amazon.com/RP-Dahlke/e/B004S2NJFO Most: Freedom to write with no pressure to produce for a publisher--I'm my own pressure pusher! Least: Nothing I don't like.

DIANA HURWITZ - www.amazon.com/Diana-Hurwitz/e/B002BOC3HQ Most: The creativity to envision a final product and see it brought to life. Least: Self-promotion.

PEG BRANTLEY: www.amazon.com/Peg-Brantley/e/B007P35GWW Most: Autonomy. Least: Autonomy

DONNA WHITE GLASER: www.amazon.com/Donna-White-Glaser/e/B004TUBBLE Most: Agility and flexibility to adapt to changes. Least: constant struggle for visibility

Polly Iyer is the Kindle bestselling author of eight suspense/thriller novels: Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, the Kindle Scout winner, Indiscretion, and three books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series: Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, and Backlash. Her books contain adult language and situations with characters who sometimes tread ethical lines. She grew up on the Massachusetts coast and studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. She lives in South Carolina. Learn more about her at http://PollyIyer.com and feel free to email her at PollyIyer at gmail dot com. She loves to hear from her readers.

45 comments:

Paula Gail Benson said...

Polly, thanks for this fascinating compilation. I have great respect for Indie authors. They have to make their own connections and support systems. You and these authors are real inspirations!

Margaret Turkevich said...

A very timely post! thank you.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Interesting list, Polly. Thanks for the compilation.

~ Jim

Polly Iyer said...

Thanks, Paula, Margaret, and Jim. I had to cut down responses a lot, so I will post the full answers on my Goodreads blog later this month or early next month.

Warren Bull said...

Wow. So many responses. Thanks, Polly.

Grace Topping said...

It takes a lot of work to go Indie. Congratulations to all these authors who took their careers into their own hands.

Polly Iyer said...

Grace and Warren, Yes, it takes a lot of work to do it all yourself. But for that you get a lot of control. As in almost everything, there are pluses and minuses.

EM Kaplan said...

I'm chuckling.
Pro: Freedom!
Con: Freedom!
Thanks for this!
--Emily

Peg Brantley said...

Thanks, Polly!

(Note to Kerry Donovan: Kudos to you or whoever designed your cover.)

RP Dahlke said...

Thanks, Polly and the group for including me in your Indie authors. As Polly, and my friend, Jinx Schwartz, knows, I'm not shy about signing the praises of being an Indie author! My ego is big enough to withstand the nay-sayers on this subject, and my bank account seconds that opinion!

KM Rockwood said...

Thanks for asking these questions and gathering the answers. It gives us a lot to think about.

Aaron Lazar said...

Thank you, Polly, for pulling this together. It took a lot of work and time, but it's great to see what folks are thinking out there. ;o) Happy writing!

Sharon Woods Hopkins said...

Thanks for your hard work in pulling this together, Polly. It's wonderful to have the community of indie authors!

Ellis Vidler said...

Interesting comments, worth thinking about. Thanks, Polly. I especially like Rich Meyer's comment about lack of due diligence by some indie writers. It translates to lack of respect for all. But I love being independent.

Polly Iyer said...

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your experiences. As Sharon and a few others mentioned, the indie community is very supportive. Yes, we do it all by ourselves, but we get some major help when needed.

Laurie Boris said...

Thank you, Polly and Writers Who Kill. It was enlightening to read about everyone's experiences, and heartening to see so many kindred souls. I feel privileged to be part of such a great, supportive community.

Polly Iyer said...

Ellis, I agree about Rich's post. So many people aren't learning the craft, and that makes it bad for those who have. We are being judged with the same broad brush. Fortunately, most are doing the work needed to produce good books.

E. B. Davis said...

I think you are all courageous. Perhaps self-doubt is the worst inhibitor. I love hearing from everyone, and thanks, Polly, for blogging today. Publishers that change publication dates are troublesome. That's no problem for this crew. :>)

Polly Iyer said...

Thanks for thinking of me to fill the spot, Elaine. It was enlightening all around.

Kerry Donovan said...

Wonderful article. thanks for posting this, guys.
Most informative and interesting.

Kerry Donovan said...

Thanks Peg Brantley,

The cover was down to me and a close indie author friend of mine who lives in Brisbane, Australia. We've never met in person, but I couldnt't do without her.

BTW, the guy behind the dark glasses is my older son. :)

Aurora Springer said...

Interesting post on pros and cons of Indie authorship

Carmen DeSousa said...

Thank you for this, Polly. It's nice to know we're not alone with our Indie troubles. I think it was pretty clear that the majority of us love the same thing: control. And yet, many of us had the same complaint: marketing. Here's to sticking together, guys. It's our joining of forces that has made the "least" thing we love about being an Indie author bearable.

Good luck to all of you, and know that I'm always available to help in any way I can.

Michele Drier said...

Thanks for this, Polly! One thing that struck me was the quantity of GREAT writers who responded! Says a lot about Indie writers.

Polly Iyer said...

Carmen, you do help us, a lot. Brava to you.

Polly Iyer said...

Michele, you're right. There are some terrific writers in this post and elsewhere, carrying the indie mantle.

Jackie Weger said...

Wow! Polly Iyer, you rocked this blog. Nicely done. It does seem that promotion is the bugaboo for indie authors. It is true how and when we promote determines an indie author's paycheck. As Indie authors, we also control our $$$ flow. If we don't promote, no $$$. Some promotions are for exposure only to get eyes on our books, some to drive sales. I am not concerned with respect or disrespect by other authors or industry gurus. They don't pay my bills. My Amazon royalties do...I am so not a best selling author--but steady on. I don't have a day job. My books have to pay their way and my way. And they do. That is the goal and it takes perseverance, common sense, and not an ounce of magic.

Wishing you all good things in life,

JackieWeger
eNovel Authors at Work

Gloria Alden said...

Polly, so interesting! I like many who self-publish like the control. I can write as much or as little as I have time for and publish when I think the book is ready, and not once a year like many publishers want. And yes, I don't like the lack of respect for indie writers. I'm a big reader and it's surprising how many typos, etc. I find in books published by bit name publishers, and yet they have no trouble getting their books in libraries or book stores. Because, I'm more interested in readers than money - although money is nice. :-) I donate my books to local libraries. Also, we Indie writers don't have to share our money with an agent or a publisher.

Polly Iyer said...

For those of you who haven't read eNovel Authors at Work's blog, you really should. Jackie Weger tells it like it is and give invaluable information on promotion. The link is: http://enovelauthorsatwork.com/enovel-authors-blog/ Read through the posts. You'll come out a lot smarter.

Polly Iyer said...

Gloria, a friend contacted me recently about the wrong word in a very famous author's book. She used plaintive for plaintiff, and the editor at one of the BIG 5 didn't catch it. That's a pretty big goof, so yeah, there are lots of mistakes beyond indie writing. Thanks for your comment.

Jinx Schwartz said...

Thanks, Polly, for including me and my opinion--as everyone knows, I have an opinion on almost everything:-) Indies are becoming the new norm for many of the reasons stated by this group.

Polly Iyer said...

I think you're right, Jinx. I for one value your opinion.

Jackie Weger said...

A note about typos, etc in books. All books are a human endeavor. I have a very good editor, a beta reader to proof and my formatter has a degree in English, plus I ALWAYS download to my Kindle for a galley read before I tick Publish... and we still learn of snafus. Those get corrected with 24 hours. That is a plus. A typo or a dropped quotation mark or an em dash that gets misplaced once drove me nuts. Now, I just take it in stride and repair for the next reader. A raft of errors and mishaps in a published ebook is disconcerting. If the story is a grabber, I'll plow through them. If not--DNF. One hopes the author will learn and repair. I do not see it as my universal problem if the author does not repair a book. I am not going to try to change the mind of a Reader who dismisses all ebooks as ill-written. I notice there is more chit-chat among authors than organic readers about typos, grammar, etc. Readers and reviewers nail those ill-written books and move on. That works for me. My focus is to get MY units in good repair for a reader's enjoyment. Each well-written unit lifts the image of all indie published books. I am NOT going on the defensive. Won't. I don't even like adding to the discussion in public--it is more noise.

JackieWeger

DVBerkom said...

Thanks for this post, Polly and Writers Who Kill. It's nice to know the similarities we all share. I'm so proud to be a part of such a hard working and supportive community.

Shari Randall said...

Thank you, Polly, for this fascinating blog! It's easy to see one thing all authors have in common: passion for writing!

Polly Iyer said...

Thanks, DV and Shari, for posting. Passion and hard work are the keys.

Effrosyni Moschoudi said...

You did a wonderful job Polly! Terrific post and thank you for including me on the list :)

Judy Penz Sheluk, author said...

Interesting post. I'm traditionally published but do not harbor any prejudice for those who choose the indy route. I love the honesty here. There are definitely pros and cons to both self and traditional. Either way, it's not easy getting noticed in the masses :-) Thanks to all who contributed to this post. I'll be sharing this one!

Polly Iyer said...

Frossie, thanks for participating. Nice to have a representative from Greece.

Polly Iyer said...

Judy, You are 100% right. It's not easy to get noticed. I keep trying to think of something outrageous to do, but instead, I just continue writing the best books I can and hope that works. It does sometimes, then there are other times...

Bronwyn Elsmore said...

Thanks for putting this all together, Polly.
It looks like indie authors all around the globe share similar joys and frustrations. It's good to know I have plenty of worthy company! Best wishes to all who shared.

Polly Iyer said...

Thanks, Bronwyn. Yes, universal likes and dislikes, some more than others.

marilynn said...

A great blog Polly. It seems that we are all the same and all different. True Indies.

Polly Iyer said...

That seems to be the consensus, Marilyn. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Jackie Weger said...

Geez! I am so late to the table. But this popped up in my mailbox this a.m. Polly, this is fabulous. Well done. Shared!

Jackie Weger