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Indie Author Blog Tag

Happy Friday!

If you’ve been around my site long, you know that I’m happy to call myself an indie author (an author who ‘independently’ publishes.) Although technically I haven’t indie-published something quite yet, haha, I do plan to soon, so I’m going to say it counts. To celebrate the recent National Indie Author Day last week, I was nominated for this tag by a fellow indie author, R. M. Archer – and I’m very excited to participate!

By the way, I highly recommend checking out Ariel’s blog, Scribes and Archers. The in-depth and helpful writing advice she provides there has helped me numerous times, and there’s also a whole heap of detailed book reviews too. Plus, she’s an absolute joy to talk to!

First off, this tag’s rules:

And now, for the questions!

Why do you publish indie?

I’m choosing to publish indie for numerous reasons: because it’s what works best at this stage in my life and writing journey, because I love being so involved in every aspect of the publishing process, because I enjoy learning all the skills needed to indie publish, and also because it allows me to have the final say on each detail about my book.

Because I’m so passionate about telling stories that ultimately lead others closer to God, I want to make sure my novels reflect that. And while I’m sure there are traditional publishing houses that would support that goal, the types of stories I write would probably be hard ones for traditional publishers to sell, since there’s not a huge market for them. I’m not against publishing traditionally, but at least for now, publishing indie allows me the creative freedom to send my stories out into the world just as I’d like them to be.

What’s your favorite indie standalone?

I have so many that I like, but my absolute favorite so far would have to be Blank Mastermind by Rosey Mucklestone. The genre (superhero) is not one I would typically read, but I loved the unique take she had on it. And in addition to the fantastic setting, the narrative voice was strong and witty, her characters were relatable and nuanced, the plot itself kept me up late into the night, and the theme…oh, the theme was beautiful.

My only qualm was that there were maybe two instances of words I’d have preferred to be left out, but they fall on the mild end of things. The content is otherwise clean. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a unique and gripping novel with lots of wit and lovable characters, and an intriguing usage of the protagonist with amnesia trope.

What’s your favorite indie series?

I’m realizing that I’ve only actually read one indie series so far, haha! And in that case, I’d have to say it’d be the Daughters of the Seven Seas series by Grace A. Johnson. As a fellow Christian, ‘pirate’ author, I’ve really enjoyed reading her first book in the series, Held Captive, and look forward to reading both sequels: Prisoner at Heart, and the upcoming release, Bound and Determined. Her stories are every bit worthy of being favorites; full of memorable characters, beautiful description, intriguing plots, and powerful themes.

What’s your most anticipated indie book release?

That would be Calligraphy Guild by the same R.M. Archer that created this tag! I’ve enjoyed watching as she’s progressed through edits and continues to draw closer to the publishing date (set for June of 2022). I’m always game for a high fantasy, especially by a fellow Christian indie author, and every excerpt and bit of information I’ve gleaned about the story has only gotten me more interested. It’s hard to wait!

What was your most recent indie read?

That would be Take Flight by T. E. Price. After being contacted by the author, I received the chance to read this book even before it was released, and to take part in the launch activities. Though domestic suspense is not a genre I read often (indie books can be great for taking you outside your reading comfort zones, haha), I was impressed with this one! An interesting plot that I couldn’t predict, sympathetic main characters, and a biblically sound theme were all major pluses for me. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

What is your favorite part of being an indie author?

Getting to decide on everything. For me it really comes down to that creative freedom and the ability to write and publish the story I want to tell, as I feel called to tell it. Having the last say on everything from story content to cover design, to formatting choices and marketing efforts is such a blessing – particularly being committed to telling stories that lead others to God. Indie publishing allows me the freedom and space to do that, without needing to abide by the wishes of traditional publishing companies that may not have ill intentions at all, but they do still have a market to sell to and families to provide for.

Of course, I do strive for quality similar to that of a traditionally-published author, but as I’m working at that, my favorite part of being an indie author is that it allows me to stay true to my goals and beliefs. I also love all the new things I get to learn, and the supportive and encouraging community of indie authors I’ve discovered this past year.

What’s the hardest part of being an indie author?

Deciding on everything, haha. While all the creative freedom and final say is great, trying to learn and do it all – and do it all well – can be extremely overwhelming. Being an indie author means being being involved, if not fully responsible, for every step of the writing and publishing process. Writing, editing, cover design, formatting, marketing, publishing, etc. There’s a lot of hats to wear, a lot of skills to learn, or a lot of other people to pull together to make my own publishing team if I don’t want to do it all myself. I’m still trying to figure out the best balance.

Do you ever plan to go hybrid?

I’m certainly not opposed to it! The next few years will be very telling as to where my writing is going to go, but my plan right now is to continue writing and indie publishing stories for a while. I’m not currently seeking traditional publishing opportunities, but if something comes up and I feel led to pursue that path, then I will. Both traditional and self-publishing have their pros and cons, and I wouldn’t mind getting to experience both.

How many books have you released?

A grand total of…none, haha. However, I am working hard at the upcoming release of Cabin Girl (shh, what’s that? The release date will be announced soon?), and the release of a shorter work by the end of this year that will let me get accustomed to publishing with Amazon before going all out on a full-length novel. And of course, I have many more stories that I would love to publish after that, God willing. Just none at this moment.

Where are you with your current project?

I currently have two projects approaching the publishing stage. One is Cabin Girl, my full-length pirate novel set to release early next year (again, that date will be coming soon). I’m currently working on its last rewrites, after deciding to rework some description with my protagonist. Her narrative voice is much stronger now and I’m so glad for it!

The second is my short story, The Toymaker’s Doll, which can be found for a little while longer as the freebie I send to my email list subscribers. Edits are done with this one, and all I need to do is finish formatting and cover design, and nail down the last of the publishing details. I’m excited for this, as it’s going to give me a chance to test run the Amazon publishing process with a much smaller – but still meaningful to me – project. My goal is to release this one toward the end of December this year (next month!).

I’d like to nominate the following indie authors:

1. Kristina Hall
2. Vanessa Hall
3. Julia Witmer
4. Kellyn Roth
5. Tiffany Price

Well, thank you for joining me for this fun and thought-provoking tag! I really enjoyed answering these questions, and I hope you enjoyed reading through them as well.

What are YOUR favorite indie reads? Have you ever published indie, or do you ever plan to? I’d love to hear from you, so let me know your thoughts in the comments below! And if you’re an indie author, please consider yourself tagged!

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