You’ve received an offer from a large publishing house to work as the on-staff writer for a genera that you love. But at the back of your mind, you’re also considering “going it alone” as an independent writer to pursue projects of your choice. Which one should you choose?
Read on to find out what you can expect as an Indie writer.
The answer: “It depends”!
There’s nothing wrong with working as a writer for a large company or a syndicate. But that’s not the career choice for every writer. If you:
a) possess great writing skills
b) have confidence in your abilities
c) don’t need to be micromanaged
d) love seeing books/novels with your own concepts and visions come to fruition
e) enjoy the sense of working for yourself
…then you’ll probably do great as an Indie writer. While most of the above characteristics could also define traditional writing vocations as well, they are more readily prevalent amongst writers that march to their own tunes.
WHAT TO EXPECT
But before you decide to step into the bold and exciting world of Indie writing, give pause for a while and understand what awaits you out there:
1) Multiple hats: Unlike traditionally employed writers, Indies don’t just write. They have to wear multiple hats, including that of:
…and much more! Not that this should scare you off the path of going Indie. Savvy Indie writers soon learn that they really don’t need to be truly alone. By seeking out a team of reliable professional service providers, like book formatting specialists or illustrators and cover designers, Indie writers can easily master the art of wearing those multiple hats!
2) Commitment: When you work for yourself, it’s rarely going to be a 9 AM to 5 PM commitment. You’ll likely end up working on weekends and holidays, and perhaps even putting in 12 to 15 hour days regularly. Why? Because the buck stops with you! Your success (or failure) depends entirely on your commitment, and that’s what will drive every major decision you make.
3) Variety: Most “employed” writers become proficient in a selected range of writings, and their employers leverage that specialty by giving them related assignments. However, as an Indie writer that specialises in mystery or comic content, for instance, there’s nothing to stop you from exploring a children’s book – if you so desire. You get to choose from a rich variety of projects because you alone decide what you want to write about.
4) Flexibility: As a staff member on a writing team, you are often bound by deadlines and schedules set by your employer or supervisor. Indie writers however set their own schedules, and work to their own set of deadlines. Make no mistake however. This does not mean having it easy. There will be days (or even weeks) when you’ll be hard pressed to meet your own deadlines. But the fact that YOU, and no one else, set them in the first place gives you the flexibility of successfully meeting them.
5) Reward: The rewards, both monetary and non-monetary, are tremendous for Indie writers. For one, Indie writers know exactly how much effort they are putting into a project, and they determine what the project is worth to them. Additionally, knowing your own self worth means you can demand to be compensated (in terms of pricing your works) in accordance to what you deem is fair.
Additionally, there’s no greater satisfaction than that of knowing that YOU, and YOU alone, are responsible for a books success. As an Indie writer (unless you are collaborating with other writers), the joy of success does not have to be shared with anyone else – and that makes “going Indie” even more rewarding.
THE GOOD TIMES OUTWEIGH THE BAD
What all this means is that Indie writers enjoy greater career-choice satisfaction than their syndicated colleagues do. As a self motivated author, you can expect to enjoy more independence in:
a) pursuing the projects that YOU love
b) setting your own reward-for-work standards
c) sticking to your own schedule
d) determining work-life balance
However, all of these expectations come with a price tag too – and not just in monetary terms. You’ll need a higher degree of planning, coordination and self discipline, and that’s where partnering with other professionals can pay huge dividends. Book formatting service providers like The Fast Fingers can provide excellent value added services to you, while you remain focused on meeting your expectations of “going Indie”.