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.Β 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. Diana, this was quite in – depth and extremely interesting. I am so glad you are having success. I have gone both routes without much success at either, ha ha. Currently I have three books with the same publisher, one of which is out now. The marketing is what I’m hung up on…. it’s truly a massive job. Thanks for sharing and happy writing to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sean P Carlin says:

    So wonderful to get these kinds of insights, Diana, and so happy that the switchover has been a beneficial one for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Author Adrian G Hilder and commented:
    I don’t often re-blog other posts, but concrete evidence that Indie publishing is working out better than traditional for at least one author is well worth sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing, Adrian, especially since it’s not something you commonly do. In the comments there are other authors who have report similar relief and success switching to indie. It’s good news for everyone that indie publishing can be a great decision. πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. PHS says:

    Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    This is very helpful information for authors weighing their options as I am these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the reblog, and I’m so glad to hear that the info was helpful. Good luck with your writing and publishing journey!

      Liked by 1 person

      • PHS says:

        Thanks DW, you are welcome on the reblog. I’m reading over the others in the series too. I’ve reached the point where I’m considering what to do with my print rights – stay indie or go traditional with a possible licensing-style contract (if it’s even possible).

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m obviously relieved to have jumped ship, but every author has to find what works best. My guess is that all publishers are different and going in with an idea of what you want and communicating your expectations will increase overalll satisfaction with the relationship. I did notice that publishers are most interested in electronic rights and print rights as an add on. Whatever you decide – Good luck!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. A @ moylomenterprises says:

    Very insightful.
    I’m really happy to hear your change paid off. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a brilliantly neat summary of your move, Diana. I will be pointing people here in the future when they have questions about what the movie to indie could mean for them. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It does, Diana, although I’m only just about to publish my first book. However, I’ve always desired the ability to have control over my book when it is published and not to place it in the hands of somebody else who will heaps of other books to also take care of. This has been a very helpful post to read. Certainly taught me a few valuable lessons.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This gives me great hope for when I start the indie publishing leg of my own writing journey with the novel I’m drafting. Thank you. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad, Jason. I learned a lot from traditional publishing, but I am so glad I’m done with it and wish I could have unhooked a year earlier. I think indie is the way to go. Great luck on your journey!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. balroop2013 says:

    Congratulations Diana…indie authors would feel empowered with this feedback! Thank you for sharing this…looking forward to some promotional tips too πŸ™‚ Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, gosh, Balroop. Promotional tips?? I’m still learning and feel like a newbie in that department. Fortunately, there are plenty of bloggers to help us out. I’m waiting for magic formula πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for visiting, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Amy Walters says:

    Really helpful post thank you 😊 I certainly will consider this if and when I publish

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the reblog, Val. I’m glad you found this interesting! It’s been a journey that I’m glad is behind me. Still an uphill climb, of course, but all fun from here on out. πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. acflory says:

    Congratulations, and thanks for confirming that going Indie is worthwhile. It always makes such a difference when the information comes from someone you know and is not just a dry statistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we each have to find what works individualy and recognize that all publishers are not alike. That said, information is power, and it’s good to know the pros and cons of every option. I’m thrilled with the switch and glad it’s confirmed what other authors have suspected all along! πŸ˜€

      Like

      • acflory says:

        I’ll be honest, I’ve only ever applied to a traditional publisher once – when Harper Voyager staged a massive open submission – so I have no experience as a traditionally published author, but being an Indie really suits me. I like creative control and not having to answer to anyone else. Plus I like being able to choose an editor I’m comfortable working with rather than one assigned to me.
        As you say though, everyone has to find their own comfort zone. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you so much for sharing, D! Information like this is invaluable – and remarkably hard to come by.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on Nicholas C. Rossis and commented:
    Author D. Wallace Peach shares her sales results since switching from traditional publishing to Indie.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, you are a rarity haveing such breadth of experience in both traditional and now indie publishing – your insights are invaluable to us all who are either starting off or considering altering course. Congratulations on your success, what a magnificent achievement in the first eight months – blimey, how they’ve flown by! What strikes me is the freedom you have gained to price the way you see best, promote accordingly and finally be able to follow closely the sales, adjusting your strategy continually. Inspiring indeed! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • You hit on the key piece, Annika. That ability to price, discount, and promote. I’m still learning and experimenting, and I’ve really just started this part of the author journey, so a long way to go yet. I hope this will help a few writers make better informed choices whichever way they go. πŸ™‚ Happy Writing, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I am absolutely over the moon happy for you!!! I’m going to start ordering your books tomorrow night. I like to read author’s books in chronological order, even if they are not related to each other. I like to see the progression of an author’s “voice” and writing, how geeky is that??? If I can’t figure out the order I’ll let you know. Yay, winter reading will be on its way soon!!!

    Like

    • I found you in spam! Ack! Thanks so much, Kathryn. You are too sweet. πŸ™‚ If you want to be really geeky, my first book was Myths of the Mirror and its series (it was just the last to be pulled from the publisher and re-released. But I am super thrilled that you would read any of my books! Thank you, my friend ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am ordering that series, woohoo! Glad you found my comment!!! xoxo p.s. what are the chances you have a set of those you can sign for me and send ? I could pay you via Paypal or mail you a check (shipping included)and have them shipped directly to me? I am also geeky in the fact that I collect author-signed Indie-published books. I read them all and they all get a special place on my custom-made bookshelf, never to be sold again but perhaps for friends and family to read and give back to me. Let me know. xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  16. This is excellent (and enlightening) information. Thanks so much for sharing it. And congrats on the success — past, present and future!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Steven Baird says:

    Hey, congratulations, Diana. Much success ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. dgkaye says:

    Wow Diana, good on you! You are showing us once again, why it’s great to be in control of our books. The industry has changed so much and trads aren’t putting in the promotional work that our books need leaving the onus on us anyway, so why not reap the rewards ourselves. Thanks for sharing!!! And your new covers are beautiful. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  19. trentpmcd says:

    Very cool. I remember reading the “why” posts before, but I’m going to have to go back and take another look. Do think being traditionally published first help gain you an audience that you brought over with you as an indie?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, Trent, I don’t think my traditional experience brought over any readers. Isn’t that awful? It was impossible to attract readers as a new author with a pricy book and no ability to promote. Oh, I don’t miss that at all. Great question, though. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • trentpmcd says:

        Rereading the first two posts I can see some great benefits for traditional publishing, but I can see a good point being made for skipping a smaller publisher unless you needed it (editing, book cover, etc.).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yup. I think each of us has to find what works and then look for a good fit with a publisher if that’s the way a writer decides to go. I probably would have gone into a contract a little differently if I’d known what I know now. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  20. Joanne Sisco says:

    Your journey is interesting even for those of us who are unlikely to ever publish a book.
    Thanks for giving us a peek into your world as a published author, and congratulations on the wonderful initial results since you’ve crossed over into the indie world!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Your numbers are impressive, Diana. No one said this was going to be easy, but it sure is fun most of the time. Congratulations. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Heartafire says:

    It’s such a difficult and time consuming work, the publishing of a book. Thank you for the excellent pointers and information, and congratulations to you for a job well done! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Really interesting. Good info. I think one of the issues is that authors – naively – think using a publishing house means no need for that horrible self promotion. Ha. Ha. Ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. Ha ha ha. That self-promotion was a huge surprise, plus discouraging and frustrating. I think small publishers will eventually figure something out, or they’ll have people like me telling everyone to run away!

      Like

      • I thought it was pretty well-known. Even big publishers only do a publicity bash at the launch, for continued sales it’s down to the author yet again. Cynthia (reyes) works hard at her publicity, lots of book club talks which strikes me as a good one.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I started out clueless and starry-eyed (my way of doing most things). I think new writers know that they have to market but are often shocked at how much sustained effort it requires. I don’t even want to think about the conversion of time spent to earnings! Ack!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think the other issues that put people off Indie are the costs for professionals. Or not as the case may be. Editors, graphic designers and formatters. Some people do all three themselves. Others buy one or all of them in. One of my authors did a great post, think it was a guest one on Nicholas’s, about marketing. Really interesting. There is lots of ‘how to’ advice out there, but the actual been there, done that, is so much better. Which I suspect is why your post has struck such a chord.

            Liked by 1 person

            • The costs of professionals is intimidating, I agree. When I started, I got around some of that by trading with other authors. The trade off was that it took a ton of time to do a thorough, careful job on my writing partners’ books.

              Like

              • One author I know said she saved for a couple of years to afford the full package. Dread to think what it costs her as she buys all three. I’ve only ever seen one self-pub book edited well by the author, but he made a brill job of it. Even free beta-reading is time-consuming, let alone editing. And the paid-for market is just so diverse.

                Liked by 1 person

  24. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your publishing journey. Remind me please who was your traditional publisher.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Excellent post, Diana. Very encouraging and I’m sharing your post. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing, Bette. Yes, good news that may help some authors with initial decision or with the switch. Just one person’s experience, but it’s a big decision so lots of info helps. Have a great evening, my friend. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Diana Peach is celebrating the switch from being mainstream published to Indie publishing.. with great results.. welcome to the sunny side of the street Diana.. great to hear it went so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Sheron says:

    This is an eye opener for me. As an Indie author from the start, I was dimly aware of the drawbacks some publishers imposed, but didn’t want to push my views too hard. Everyone else was so sure a publisher was the way to go.

    For some authors, publishers pick up editing jobs and supposed marketing jobs that daunt a new writer. However, now, I’m seeing real problems with that path for some…actually everyone else at the table that went that route.

    Going Indie is hard work, but oh, the control over your final product and the ability to choose how to market it is well worth it. I’m glad you’re happy with this new direction..just wish I’d made a stronger case earlier…but you appear to be doing everything right. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s rather obvious with a little data that this is the right road for me. Lol. But, I don’t regret the way I started, Sheron. I only wish I could have switched a little earlier (had to run out the contracts). All good, and I’m happy to share the results! Thanks for the visit, my friend. ❀

      Like

  28. Wonderful post, Dina. An indie author myself, I’m virtually new in the game since I put my haiku collection on Amazon. So I learned a lot form your post. Thanks. πŸ™‚

    Congratulations on the sales hike. Great πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started out so dismally that this increase doesn’t put me anywhere the best seller list, but it does relieve me of much frustration!!! Ha ha. Thanks for the visit and congrats on your book. Your haiku is exquisite πŸ™‚

      Like

  29. This is fascinating. As we always say, quality wins out. I think when you have a good book, that extra control is invaluable.

    Is it difficult to bundle the books? Didn’t know about that one.

    I’m also pleasantly surprised Amazon rolled to comments over. Is your new self-pubbed book a different ISBN?

    Thanks for all your insights, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, Jacqui. The extra control was the key for me, though, of course, a book has to be worth reading in the first place! Ha ha.

      Amazon will “link” the books in a series but doesn’t bundle them into one package. I simply created one gigantic ebook by combining the four single ebooks into one file (with a new ISBN and combo-cover). I then submitted them as I would a single ebook. Easy.

      I needed to get my own ISBN’s when I re-released the books. Basically, I had to start from scratch as if I was submitting a brand new book. The reviews carried over because the content was, for the most part, unchanged.

      Like

  30. jademwong says:

    So glad to hear this change has been working out for you!! Congratulations and keep pushing, Diana! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Nurse Kelly says:

    It’s so generous of you to share this information. Like you said, things are changing so rapidly, it’s just as difficult and confusing for the publishers. No easy answers at all, but worth trying and learning a thing or two as you go. The important thing is to never give up. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  33. foguth says:

    Diana, I’m glad you took the time to write this post, because I now have a convenient link that I can give people when they ask why I cancelled my traditional contracts and went indie. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aaah. You did the same! I can tell from your comment that it was a good decision for you as well. Phew, right? Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • foguth says:

        I am certainly not complaining πŸ˜‰ I love being my own boss & writing the story I want to write vs by someone else’s schedule and their guidelines. My biggest problem was finding a good cover designer, fortunately, I found Kiara.

        Liked by 1 person

  34. Val Boyko says:

    You are such a great support and resource Diana. Thank you for sharing your wisdom πŸ’›

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Wow, that’s wonderful to hear! Having control over my books is one of the main reasons I chose to be an indie publisher. Seeing it spelled out like this confirms for me that I made the right decision.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Very good info. Diana! Thanks for sharing this

    Liked by 2 people

  37. It’s always great to hear good, positive stories. So many people seem willing to mark authorship down as a ‘hiding to nothing’ kind of a business. If at first you are not happy with the results, try, try again! Good for you – and I know everyone agrees that those covers of yours are fabulous!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. The graphic is very impressive and I can imagine also very exciting for you. I am so glad it all worked out for you and your books. You took the right steps in the right direction and now the sky is the limit. πŸ™‚ Good for you, you deserve it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m just relieved to be in charge of my future, Bridget. The graph is impressive unless you know how BAD it was for the first couple years. I feel like I’m just getting started in a way. Thanks for the encouragement, my friend. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  39. philipparees says:

    Wonderfully succinct! Comes as a warning to one flirting with the idea of seeking an agent ( vain likelihood anyway since my ranking is circa …no I won’t even publicise it! Your following is deeply impressive, your resolve and discipline more so!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t speak about all publishers, Philippa, just my experience. I felt as though my hands were tied and I was so frustrated. At least now I’m in charge of my future, and it’s up to me to make it happen. πŸ™‚

      Like

  40. Congratulations! I also am an Indie self publisher. Thanks for the encouragement. :o)

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Al Lane says:

    Thank you for sharing this – glad it’s all gone so well for you. I wonder if you’ve in effect had the best of both worlds – traditional “credibility”/profile, followed by self-publishing control… genuinely happy for you that it’s working out! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

  42. That’s very interesting, Diana. And I say this having now read one of them, you deserve every bit of success you get. A fabulous writer now in control of her own fortunes.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. davidprosser says:

    I’m thrilled the move has been better for you.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  44. confabler says:

    congratulations and good luck on your new endeavorπŸ‘
    I wanted to ask a question. I haven’t yet started writing a book but I plan on doing it in the near future. Still I did some research on the publishing aspect. Since it would be my first, without a pre established reputation, I can’t decide between traditional and indie. Up until now I preferred the traditional route.
    And what about the printed copies of the book in indie? And the promotion part? Aren’t they difficult?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You might take a look at the first two posts as they talk about the pros and cons of my traditional publishing experience and why I turned indie. And this is just my experience, so I don’t mean to speak for all authors or about all publishers. Printed copies are quite easy and free to produce (on Createspace) once your content is well-edited and ready to go. Regarding marketing, unless you go with one of the big publishing houses, you’ll be responsible for the lion’s share of your own marketing anyway. Marketing is incredibly tough if you have no promotional/discounting control, which I didn’t have as a traditionally published author. Hope that helps! Good luck on your writing journey πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • confabler says:

        Thank you for sharing your experience😊
        I’ll be running over to those posts after this.If ever you feel the urge to have a painting as a book cover, please let me know. I’ll be happy to help as a friend.
        Good luck again.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thanks for the offer :-D. I just contracted the covers for my next series, so I’m a long way off from the next project (like no idea at all!). That’s great that you’ll be able to do original art for your own work. Happy Writing.

          Liked by 1 person

  45. Lovey says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this. It is very informative and helpful. Moreover, Good wishes to you. I am already having all kinds of positive feelings for the book. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Great resource here, Diana! It’s interesting to note how quickly things changed on the sales side for you, but I think you’re right with the covers making a difference. Thank you for sharing your journey!

    Liked by 3 people

    • The change was almost instantaneous, Julie. A lot of it had to do with promotional control. That would be something to ask publishers about if going the traditional route… will there be pricing flexibility for promotions? Glad this was helpful πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

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