Indie Insights | Choosing Independence

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“You did what?” Her mouth is open so wide I’m worried that she’ll dislocate her jaw.

“I turned down a traditional deal and chose to self-publish.” I repeat.

“Why?” My friend writes children’s book and has a good thing going with her publisher. That’s great…for her. Not me though. I’m entrepreneurial and, in 2015, already ran a successful business. I did all the online craft and business courses put out by Mark Dawson, Nick Stephenson and Joanna Penn and I read just about every book about being an Independent author. 

Over the years I have pitched to many publishers and agents and been given great feedback. I made wonderful friends through RWA who are both Traditionally and Independently self-published and learnt a lot about the industry.

But looking at the measly percentage I would make from the digital only contract offered to me made my decision easy. I could do everything they were offering and make more money in the process.

My first book was professionally edited and formatted with a great cover (all done by RWA girls!) and came out in May 2017. Sales were slow as expected because I was writing another book and didn’t want to spend too much of my marketing budget for one short novel.

In November 2017 when book 2 came out, I had more than 1200 pre-orders on Amazon alone. Both my eBooks are bestsellers and the paperbacks can be found in most Australian libraries and Independent bookstores.

Do I regret tearing up that contract? What do you think?

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams spent her childhood chasing sheep, riding horses and picking Kiwi fruit on the family orchard in rural New Zealand. After a decade travelling, Sarah moved to Queensland to enjoy the warm weather and country air. 

When she’s not absorbed in her fictional writing world, Sarah is running after her family of four kids, one husband, two dogs and a cat. She helps to run the local writers centre and supports her peers achieve their publishing dreams.

Sarah is regularly checking social media when she really should be cleaning. You can find her online at her website, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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