But after the conference was over, I read the contract. It was for a book that was already published. They would give it a new cover and re-edit it. I looked at the company's covers. They are made using the same stock photos that I browse through to make my covers. In fact, the publisher had used a photo for a cover from the same shoot with the same models that my cover was made from. And in return, there would be no advance, no sign-on bonus. I would make a 45% royalty on e-book sales. As an indie author, I make 70%. I would be responsible for 100% of my marketing for 24 months. I'm responsible for 100% now. I would have no creative control over the cover, nor would I be able to put the book on sale when I want. It made no sense to take this deal.
And once I sent in the declination letter, I stopped querying, tweeting, and pitching for a publisher. Even though I had been fairly confident in my decision to be indie before, I was absolutely positive now. And I haven't looked back. Being indie has given me the ability to write a serious contemporary romance (Live for This) and follow it up with a light and funny chick lit book (Made for Me). It lets me write a Christmas novella when I feel like it. It lets me set deadlines and adjust them as I need to. It lets me be creative and be true to who I truly am, therefore bringing you the best book I possibly can.
It doesn't mean it's always easy. Watching people launch books that their publisher has secured 50 reviews for is disheartening. Fielding the comments--"Oh, do you actually edit your book?"--gets tiresome. The backhanded compliments about really being published. Let's face it, despite the larger share of the ebook market, indie books and authors remain the red-headed step-children. Well, I've always felt I should be a redhead. For me, even though it may be a more difficult path, it's the right fit.
To help celebrate Indie Book Day, I've put together a Pinterest board. Check it out for lots of great indie books, as well as blog posts by talented indie authors like myself.
And, because I practice what I preach, here are some great indie reads (other than mine, obviously) you should be checking out:
Elements of Chemistry (3 book trilogy) by Penny Reid
Art and Soul by Brittainy Cherry
First and Goal by Laura Chapman
Face Time by S.J. Pajones
Miss Adventure by Geralyn Corcillo
Speak Now by Becky Monson