Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie – Results

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In 2015, I started the process of canceling my traditional publishing contracts and re-releasing all my books as an indie author. My reasons for the switch were detailed in two posts Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie (Part I) and (Part II).

The process went more smoothly than I could have imagined, and I wanted to share the results:

1. I left myself 8 months to convert 6 books. Two months per book would have been easier as I was re-proofing as part of the process. The advice: Create a schedule and then give yourself extra time.

2. New covers had an instantaneous sales response. Covers do matter whether traditional or indie publishing.

3. My old reviews ALL carried over to the new books. All I had to do was ask Amazon to combine the old (publisher) and new (indie) editions leaving only the new editions visible. The same phone call also combined the kindle and paperback editions so that they’d show as one “tile” (the standard Amazon presentation).

4. Though I priced my ebooks significantly lower than my publisher did, I’m earning a greater per-book royalty. The healthier royalties now support further promotion, while the lower prices encourage more readers to try my books.

5. Promotions conducted on 3 converted books generated about 7,5oo downloads that kick-started a series of paid sales. As a traditionally published author, I couldn’t take advantage of promotions as I had no control over pricing and discounts.

6. I am now able to track my sales with a great deal of detail. This wasn’t an option when my books were under contract with a publisher. The publisher received complete data, and I only received sales volume data when I received my royalty checks.

As a traditionally published author, the most effective way I had of seeing how I was doing was to keep an eye on my Amazon Author’s Ranking, which looked at my sales performance as a whole versus by individual book. (Unfortunately, Amazon no longer offers these graphs). Here’s a look at how my ranking changed when I started the self-publishing journey. Numbers don’t lie!

sales

My writing journey started with a traditional publisher, but I haven’t one regret regarding the switch to indie publishing. The industry continues to change and who knows what’s ahead. For now, being an indie author works for me.

I hope this series of posts is helpful to anyone deciding which way to go. Happy Writing.

193 thoughts on “Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie – Results

  1. dgkaye says:

    Thanks for resharing your journey Diana, I appreciated reading again. Now, I have to ask you, do you still do any paid advertising or do bookfairs (pre Covid, natch)? ❤

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  2. I read these when they first came out, and am re-reading again. It’s SO helpful. I remember at the time you made me feel glad that I had also decided to go Indie with my two books of fiction. There may be a third option though also, of course. To go with a small publisher who you pay for their design work, but then you have total control over the sales and receive all of the royalties (no sharing with the publisher). This only works if you really trust the publisher. I used this method for my children’s books, because I couldn’t have done those on my own (size/illustrations/ etc.) Still a huge learning curve, but I’m also concerning that option for my next book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh. That’s a great point, Pam, and I’ll be that happens quite a bit with children’s books – especially if the author/illustrator wants to go with a hard copy. So you paid them like you would any other service provider – like and editor or cover designer. Thanks for adding your experience! And thanks for reading again. You’re so kind. Happy Writing, my friend. ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent, Diana. Shared…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an interesting series of posts, Diana. I publish with a small publisher and I do experience these same things that you have mentioned. For me, however, it works because I just don’t have the time to do everything myself. The small publisher does a lot for me and deals with all the Amazon administration is time consuming. One day, when I am lucky enough to write full time, then the control issues may be worth addressing. I do understand perfectly what you have said here because I also don’t control pricing and corrections.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A couple of other authors also mentioned time as a real constraint, Robbie. And you are one of the busiest writers I know! The most time-consuming thing I do is marketing, and I had to do that when I was trad. published too, so for me, it isn’t that different at this point. That said, the switch-over was very time intensive. Thanks for reading the whole series. Happy Writing. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. Very compelling arguments and evidence. You’ve now got me rethinking indie. I’ve got six months or so of pfaffing, self editing and proofing before I have to make the decision, but you e definitely reopened indie to me. Thanks so much lovely.

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  6. […] I’ll continue to provide little updates on the process as I navigate the publishing switch. When I’m done, I’ll let everyone know the results 🙂 For the Results click HERE […]

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  7. I am amazed at the difference in your sales. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. It helps a newbie like me enormously.😊

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    • I’m glad it was helpful, Brigid. When I was traditionally published, I had no control over pricing. The books were too costly to compete, and I couldn’t discount, so I couldn’t take advantage of promotions. It was just awful. Much better now. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to make the switch. 🙂 Good luck to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just published my first book and I plan to re-publish someday. This was great insight, especially about how the reviews carried over, thanks ! Sounds like alot of work with multiple books.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] Source: Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie – Results […]

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  10. […] Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie – Results […]

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  11. […] Day, Three Quotes challenge. If they would like to participate, I would like to invite  Helen, Diana and Marilyn to join […]

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  12. Sacha Black says:

    BLOODY HELL. Look at that change! You are a freaking inspiration. If ever I doubt my decision not to even try trad I just come over here and within seconds I’m like, traditional? HA! no freaking way. Love your journey so much. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you so much Diana for sharing your experiences in publishing. It was very insightful and I enjoyed the comparisons you have given with your posts. I love the title of this..Goodbye traditional Hello indie, certainly seems the way to go. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve been waiting for this one! Thoroughly enjoyed the first two parts. This is great. And I love your comment about being happy. I completely count that as “success”. ❤ It is. Thanks for sharing this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Judy Martin says:

    This is very heartening to know Diana, and I wish you continued success with your books 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. inesephoto says:

    Your posts on publishing are the most interesting and useful, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Khaya Ronkainen says:

    Hi Diana! Your posts are really educational, and like the conversation style posts. They don’t feel like a daunting “how-to” books. Thank you for sharing your publishing journey; it’s encouraging. May you keep on telling those enchanting stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Interesting and good to know, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I learn SO MUCH from you. Am sharing this with my writing students and critique group and any other writer I know. Your research is pragmatic as opposed to speculative, and is extremely helpful. The fact that you share your results is just indicative of the generous talented writer/woman that you are. THANK YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Pam. I hope all three posts come in handy. Everyone is different and all publishers are different so each person has to find what works. Having as much info as possible can’t hurt 🙂 Thanks for the visit and Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. […] Goodbye Traditional, Hello Indie – Results […]

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  21. A @ moylomenterprises says:

    Reblogged this on Inner Ramblings Boulevard: and commented:
    Great advice for those of us aspiring to become published authors. Say hello to D. Wallace Peach, one of our loyal followers. Her writing tips are wonderful and I’m sure you’d agree. Hope 9n over and show some love. Enjoy! 🌷

    October 21.2016 (Showcase Reblog wblog)

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  22. Reblogged this on Riley Amos Westbook and commented:
    One authors journey from Traditional to Indie.
    Awesome Diane, thanks for sharing your insights for other’s to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Micki Peluso says:

    Reblogged this on mallie1025 and commented:
    Taking this wonderful advice!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wonderful! Thanks for the reblog, Micki, and I’m so glad the info was helpful 🙂 This whole publishing thing is an adventure, and it’s great to know that there are options as well as opportunities to change your mind!

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