I Won't Feed the Horse (Why I Chose to Independently Publish)

From now until March 6, you can participate in the launch of my new science fiction books, THE SYCORAX SERIES, by supporting my Kickstarter campaign. Go check it out!

Support THE SYCORAX SERIES on Kickstarter

In November of 2015, I wrote about why I decided to independently publish my first novel, PEAK CROSSER (EMPIRE OF THE PEAKS BOOK 1). My biggest reason at the time was that I had tried the traditional publishing system, and been rejected. So I took the next available path.

Fast forward to now, and I've decided to publish my new novellas, THE SYCORAX SERIES, independently as well. But this time is very different. I didn't even try to go the traditional route. I queried no agents or publishers. From the beginning, I decided to do this on my own. 

Why? Because I believe it's the mostly likely path to success in the modern publishing market. Publishers are behind. Every time I hear a publisher interviewed or read something they've said, I feel like I'm listening to horse salesmen in the early 20th century. "This is still the best way to get around. Cars have their place, but it's a niche. Fifty years from now, people will still be using horses as their primary mode of transportation."

Amazon has changed publishing and they are now the driver (it most markets), not publishers. Sure, there's still some big names out there getting published traditionally, and some publishers putting out great works. But in the early 20th century, there were still quite a few people riding horses.

Go check out the top space opera books on Amazon (the main category for THE SYCORAX SERIES). Fourteen are Amazon Unlimited, which means they are books only available on Amazon. The other six are big names, two of them being LEVIATHAN AWAKES of the Expanse series, one Kindle and one audio version. 

Now this is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, right? Of course it is, but that's the point. Authors like Michael Anderle are making more (a lot more) than an average traditionally published author by playing by Amazon's rules and not by the traditional ones. The dude puts a book every 4-6 weeks, and his latest in currently No. 1 in three different science fiction categories. Horse meet car.

But his books must be crap, right? Well, the latest had 92% 5-star reviews as I wrote this. So maybe it won't win a Hugo, but they have found an enthusiastic and voracious market. 

I believe that I can build a career, maybe even a better career, independently. And I get to control everything -- cover art, story, career. It's all mine. The failure will be on me, no one to be blamed but myself. But the success will be all mine as well. 

Will I ever use a traditional model? Absolutely -- if I think it's the right fit at the right time. But right now, I like my path, and I'd rather drive the Model T then have to feed the horse.