It feels good to be an indie author. It took me a long time to come to that realization. I started this dream of becoming a published author when social networking meant meeting actual people at parties in real buildings, where instead of people telling you they "laughed out loud" at something you said, they simply laughed out loud. I wrote my first manuscript on something called a typewriter that I thought was high-tech at the time because it was electric. The internet was something the government used and rarely talked about.
I never dreamed it would be this easy to write and sell books on my own. And by easy, I mean accessible. I don't mean to imply that it's an effortless endeavor. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to succeed in publishing, but I';m in the game. When I was tapping out my first book on that old electric typewriter, I wouldn't have thought it possible to be in the game without a cigar-chomping publisher (my only references to publishers back then were old black-and-white movies) controlling the fate of my career.
Here's the best part of being an indie author: I control my own fate. I'm in charge of what I write; how I write; when I write. I have freedom. Because of my naiveté when I first started, I wasn't aware of the freedom I would lose with a publishing contract. I thought the artist always won out when it came to making changes to the story. Now that I've gotten to know a few authors under contract, I know that's not true. In a way, I'm lucky that I never had to experience that.
So, if you're an indie author reading this post, congratulations! You are in charge of your own destiny. Not many people can say that. But I ask you: What's been your experience going the indie route? What's the best part about being an indie author and what are its biggest challenges?
Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.