So over at Smashwords they have this built-in interview mechanism where they encourage authors to participate in a Q&A that posts on their profile page and gives interested readers a means to learn a little something about the author in question. Since I’m probably as unknown as they come, I figure it’d be a good idea to do an updated version of that 2015 Q&A here on the ol’ blogsite. Here’s the next weekly installment of the 2017 edition of who the heck am I?, if you will. One question at a time.
Q: What motivated you to become an indie author?
A: In terms of prose books, necessity, more than anything, I suppose. An avoidance to the odds that are insurmountably stacked against a no-name author. But also a kind of D-i-Y punk rock mindset of doing things yourself with little reliance on the establishment because they’re not going to go out of their way to make it easy on the un-agented and under-represented, those with a sparse resume—nor would you expect them to. I was just getting my feet wet publishing in the Small Press when I discovered Smashwords as a viable partner and helpful tool for D-i-Y publishing. Not that I’m currently in this for the money (ha!), but in terms of the monetary breakdown, self-publishing via digital partners like Smashwords and others, the distribution of earnings from sales is flip-flopped compared to traditional commercial publishing. I’m a musician as well so the D-i-Y ethos is in my blood. I suppose the overriding aspect is a sense of control.
As for comic books, well, you’re an indie author by simple default of how one can typically break into that particular industry. At this point it’s a more difficult path than publishing prose fiction. For starters, you have to rely on the contributions of an artist—editors want to see how an artist breaksdown and executes your written script visually. This is I’m told is regardless of the skill of the artist as a basic draftsman and storyteller. 9.9 times out of 10, the route you take there is to self-publish a comic you’ve created via print or the web and have that to kind of shop around to any willing eyes. In fact you have to do that multiple times, either a series of self-financed print publications or a series of webcomics, something visibly there to show that “Hey, I’m pretty good at this and can endure the hardships.” It’s far easier for an illustrator than a writer because they can simply send in or personally show their visual artwork and it’s more immediately reviewable by an industry professional. For writers, like any other industry for writers aside from indie books, it’s a situation of climbing a huge mountain and then once you get to the top of said mountain you find you also have to slay a dragon in order to get that chance to make a first impression.
To be continued . . .
Tune in Thursday for another Q&A with friend and author Jennifer Macaire!