Independent authors tend to get a bad rap. Even after so many years, with the advent of CreateSpace and KDP and even keeping in mind that revered talents like Jane Austen, Walt Whitman and Nathaniel Hawthorne were self-published, in many cases the independent author is automatically assumed to be not good enough to be picked up by one of the Big 5, so they had to revert to publishing themselves. And while it might be true that some indie-published books could benefit from one more round with an editor or the hiring of a professional cover designer before the “publish” button is clicked, it’s also true that many are just as good, if not better, than something you’d see come from HarperCollins or Random House.
Publishing independently offers an author flexibility over their own work, and this is what a lot of us find most attractive. We can write what we want without hearing an editor say “I like it, but I don’t know who would buy it”. We have control over our covers, rather than having one forced on us where the characters or the scene don’t match anything in our story. And the only deadlines we’re subject to are the ones we impose on ourselves, so we can take all the time we need to make sure our book is perfect before letting it go. And for me, it’s that last point that’s come in most handy recently. Because while I was hoping to have A Holiday Gift, book 2 of the Silver Bells series, out in time for this Christmas season, the truth is that the book just isn’t ready. It needs more attention than I have time to give it and still have it perfected in time. So instead of publishing it, I’ll be spending this winter and the following spring restructuring, re-motivating, and rewriting so that I can make it as perfect as possible. The new goal is next summer, hopefully in time for Christmas in July. And in the meantime, I have a few ideas for how to keep the residents of Springhollow busy until then. Stay tuned! After all, who said Christmas is the only holiday worthy of a love story?