not just broke: why I chose indie publishing

Like most things that are labeled as “free”, when it comes to self publishing, there’s all this fine print, double meanings, and hidden agendas and costs. They say nothing in life is [really] free.

I keep finding that to be true everywhere I look in the publishing industry. Its hard to listen to writers with well-paying jobs and published books that people are actually buying tell working class and poor writers to self-publish as if its absolutely free.

See, its not really an issue of me being “broke”. I’ve never had much to begin with and getting paid these days is even harder than it was in my mom’s day when she was building her super working class career.

Some publishers will act like not having presentable and tasteful cover art, an editor, and an agent is a choice. Pardon me for saying it sounds like these people don’t know what it’s like not to have access to those resources or  be able to afford them

I often compare publishing to getting a record deal. You don’t really choose them, they choose you. You are recognized by them. I don’t know if that’s the way I should think about it but it is what it is. Probably sounds very pessimistic.

But it does require you to have money, it requires people of status to recognize you.

There’s this unspoken understanding that nothing is really free no matter what anyone tells you. Pay up or suck it up. This has always been one of my greatest obstacles in really believing I can be published, write from my passion, and make any semblance of a sub-modest living out of it.

I don’t ever expect to be as famous as Octavia Butler, J.K. Rowling, or any of the big names. I think I just want to be heard.

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5 thoughts on “not just broke: why I chose indie publishing

  1. It is possible to do it all free as long as you’re willing to do it all yourself. It’s not easy but I have done all of mine and I’m still learning when it comes to formatting, which is the hardest thing for me, but the only money I’ve spent has been for a few print copies I wanted for myself.

    • I’m glad to hear you say that. I’m ready to see if I can do the same, being a person of no money. Sometimes I’d like some support though…but support cost money unfortunately…. The kinda of support that doesn’t cost money is hard to find.

  2. Have you tried getting your manuscripts traditionally published first? That will do away with most (if not all) up front costs. I’m also sure I’m not the only freelance editor that does payment plans. You need to e-mail me. I can help. (wordsmith [at] jessicaschmeidler [dot] com)

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