Sunday, September 30, 2012

The truth about control

One of the nice things about indie publishing is "control." Having experienced both traditional and indie publishing, I can see that I do have more control in some aspects with the indie route. I get final say over my covers. I decide when my next book is available to readers. I decide which stores sell my book. I even get to say how much my books cost.

But this past week has reminded me that even in the indie business, some things are out of our control. I'm having a problem with my books being stuck in "Publishing" on Kobo for over a week now. The Boyfriend Thief was up on Kobo through Smashwords, but I had changed the price 3 months ago and it had never updated, and my later two books still had not appeared on Kobo even though SW had sent them three months ago. So I took TBT down from Kobo through Smashwords and decided to upload everything myself so I could have control.

I'm currently emailing with the web team to hopefully get this resolved, and I'm reminding myself to be patient. Even in the indie game, there is only so much control that you have. Some things, like hiccups in a vendor's system, are out of my hands.

One of the biggest things out of my control is sales. Sure, I can email bloggers for reviews or interviews. I can be active on social media. I can post to my blog. I can offer giveaways. I can run ads on various sites. But at the end of the day, I can't make people buy or like my books. Sales go up and down, often with no discernible reason. I like having the ability to see instant sales numbers on my indie books, but I do admit that trying to understand them can drive me crazy and make me happy that I don't see numbers every month on my traditional books. I've learned not to focus on the numbers too much and just do what I love to do: write books and make them the best I can produce at this point in my career.

It's easy to obsess when something goes wrong or looks like it's crashing around you. Take a deep breath, be patient on the things you really can't control, and focus on the writing.

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