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Indies Need to Help Each Other
Hi! I’m Debbi Mack, and I was once a financially successful indie author. That situation changed mighty fast after I decided not to be exclusive to Amazon.
I started my life online as a freelance writer and researcher, who also wrote fiction with the hope of finding a publisher.
Well, I found a publisher and signed a three-book contract. Nine months later, the publisher went belly up. And so much for that, huh?
Right around that time, I suffered a stroke from which I recovered—mostly. Unfortunately, the stroke led to my having a movement disorder called dystonia. (Read more about dystonia by clicking that link.) It’s the third most-common movement disorder, but there are no consistently effective treatments for this condition. And, frankly, its an exhausting condition.
I mention all this, because dystonia not only affects my ability to type, but my concentration and overall energy. But I refuse to stop pursuing my writing goals. And, wouldn’t you know, those goals include writing screenplays. That was always a dream in the back of my mind, even as I wrote and self-published a series of mystery novels, other books, and short stories.
What I Can Do for You
As a free subscriber, you’ll get the first look at my Honest Indie blog posts, occasional book reviews, reprints of my old columns (which remain surprisingly relevant), and other random links of possible interest.
As a paid subscriber, you’ll get access to my private Facebook Group for creators, as well as updates on my marketing efforts. I’m hoping to set up a collaborative space in which indie authors can find resources to assist them and share advice with one another. Hopefully, one that’s not on Facebook, at some point.
My goal is to create a community for indie authors and other indie creators to share their experiences and exchange ideas for marketing that go beyond simply appeasing Big Tech’s algorithms.
Rather than rehash all the usual arguments about going Amazon exclusive or not, I’d advise you to read this article by Smashwords founder Mark Coker. It’s from 2018, but just as relevant today as it was that fateful day in 2011, when Amazon virtually demanded we give them exclusive rights to our content.
I chose to go wide and, frankly, suffered tremendous financial losses as a result. And I get the distinct impression that I’m not alone in dealing with that situation. I’m intend to tell people my story, whether Amazon or anyone else wants to hear it.
The time has come to pool our resources.
I’ve been an indie author since 2009. The bottom line is, I’m not exactly a publishing newbie. And I believe as indie authors, we should seek new and different ways to connect with our readership. Ways that go beyond simply pricing our work so low and giving away so much, that we reduce the results our hard-earned efforts to mere commodities.
Along with writing novels, I’ve written a couple of film review collections. In fact, I’ve been writing screenplays and learning the ins and outs of that business. Indie filmmakers and podcasters have a great deal of experience and unique perspective to offer indie authors.
I’ve also observed that collaboration with other creators can provide major benefits to all parties involved, but can also produce quality work more efficiently. There are also possibilities for creating cross-promotions with others who have the same or different skill sets.
I hope you’ll find this helpful. Among other things, I’ll discuss the decisions I’m making. I’ll keep you updated on my own progress. Hopefully, rumors of the death of indie publishing have been exaggerated.
Join the team
In the meantime, we can have discussions here. Substack is an interesting platform—part blog, part newsletter. And it does have a discussion function. Nonetheless, I hope to set up another online space where we can share our suggestions, pool our resources, post photos or videos, and more.
To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.