Indie Life: Indie Author Conundrums

Welcome to another month with Indie Life, where we take an opportunity to reach out to other indie authors sharing tips, advice, encouragement — and anything else that comes to mind related to life as an independent author. If you’d like to join, visit the Indelibles Indie Life page.

If anyone’s told you the indie life is filled with heap upon heap of decisions to be made, they weren’t kidding. If you haven’t published a book, you can bet you’re not prepared for the multitude of items you’ll add to and check off your to-do list. But what about those author conundrums, when it seems there’s no right answer — and in fact, no LOGICAL answer to be had?

For instance: 
I experimented with KDP Select for my Children of the Sidhe fantasy romances this year, but I’m in the process of pulling my books out. Exclusivity doesn’t really appeal to me, and the beneits weren’t worth having my books unavailable elsewhere. Books one and two are done and I’m in the process of re-uploading to all retailers. However, book three is still listed with KDP Select — exclusive to Amazon — until December 20th. Meanwhile, I just published book four in the series yesterday. 
Author Conundrum #1: Do I publish book four EVERYWHERE, like books one and two, even though book three won’t be available outside of Amazon until Christmas?
(My preliminary decision on this is to wait. Thanks to hubby for listening to me whine about it until he decided to throw caution to the wind and give me his 2 cents.)

And another example, this one completely different:
I’m almost done writing the second novel in my Foulweather Twins fantasy series. It’s written in first person — that’s how I planned and envisioned it for years before I started writing. Of course, as I’ve written, new points of view have slammed me in the face with their own stories. When readers like a series they always want more, and these additional stories would enrich the world I’ve created with Foulweather Twins…
Author Conundrum #2: Once a first-person viewpoint in a world is established, is it possible to tell stories outside that viewpoint within the same world? Is it completely disjointed to have those other viewpoints be third person? Should I make additional viewpoints first person? Should I avoid the confusion entirely?

The first conundrum I presented is very much about the business of being an “author entrepreneur”, planning publication and promotion opportunities, etc. The second conundrum is completely a writer concern. Sure, there’s a marketing aspect, but the part that bugs me is the incongruity — it’s an artist concern, not really a business concern.
These conundrums illustrate how many trains of thought and chains of action we have to keep in progress as independent authors. Of course, if you have advice for me, I’d be happy to hear it in the comments. 🙂

About J.R. Pearse Nelson

J.R. Pearse Nelson is a native Oregonian, residing in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. J.R. is always searching for the magic in our world. She weaves tales rooted in mythology, bringing legend to life in modern-day and fantasy settings. J.R. is the author of the Children of the Sidhe paranormal romance series, the Foulweather Twins fantasy series, and the Water Rites fantasy series. You can connect with J.R. online at her website. Visit jrpearsenelson.com.

6 comments on “Indie Life: Indie Author Conundrums

  1. Stephen Lawhead has very successfully written series in which some of the books are 3rd and some 1st. I think you tell the story you need to tell the way you need to tell it.

  2. I agree with Andrew to write it the way the story needs to be told. My son just gave me the same exact dilemma to think about a few weeks ago for a story idea and I thought I’d switch it up if I decide to go with his idea. 🙂

  3. You are so right about having to make so many decisions. Do I spend money here or here, and will I ever make it back? When I decided to do an audiobook, I knew I wouldn’t make my money back, at least not for years. Sometimes, we even have to make the decision whether or not to quit the writing business and do something else if we’re not making money anymore…or continue to do what we love and hope the cream will rise to the top.

    About POV. I’ve seen some well-known authors use first person for the main character and third person omniscient for the other characters. I say do what feels right.

  4. Definitely some conundrums there! I’ve seen and enjoyed books written in first and third person together in the same book. It can work.

    As for book four, that’s a hard decision. It might confuse people on the other retailers who buy books one and two and then come for three and find only four. I’d lean towards less confusion.

  5. I’e been non-exclusive on mine (apart form one short) but have wondered whether to try KDP Select… I’m inclined to think it’s not worth it. Although, they do have the ability to add discounts and offers now, along with the priviledge of more promotion if selected. But I’m not hugely informed on this new tool from Amazon. I’d say to try getting them everywhere, just becasue it’s something you’ve not yet tried. One of those distributors might be where you find your major fan base.

    Re the POV issue, I have wondered this too. But if I like the characters in a series, I might enjoy the novelty of being inside another characters head for a change. It adds a little spice. 🙂

    Loving the new header/blog design. 🙂 X

    shahwharton.com

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