**In my continuing effort to assist Indie author publishers and to help their voices be heard, I continue my series of guest posts from Indies. This post is from David Dakan Allison, whose new book Two Crows: A mythic journey into the fifth dimension is now available.**
Ever since I ran away from home in high school, I’ve been an Indie. Even before I wrote my first book, I was an Indie. I love being Independent. I don’t want anyone to own me. I don’t want to sign a deal, a binding contract, with anyone, I can’t get out of. Things change and I want to be able to change when they do, not be locked in with some huge enterprise that doesn’t give a shit about me as a human being; only loves me for my numbers. Yuck.
I never liked the idea of a publishing house selling a book for ten bucks and giving the author one measly dollar. One fucking dollar! Give me a break. Even without knowing their costs, it’s always sounded to me like a scam, a total rip-off. They have a huge skyscraper and the author is dirt-scraping by. Not right.
When I published my novel Two Crows, my first question was, What sort of freedom do I have as an indie writer, to share metaphysical philosophy? And how will this freedom be accepted, as I present it to the mainstream reader?
Before self-publishing Two Crows, we needed to choose what category it belonged under. It’s the kind of book that could be listed under multiple genres. After scanning the Amazon categories, we chose Metaphysics as our third, since Two Crows takes the reader into the 4th Dimension on a journey to the 5th, to places the normal human can’t see; therefore “beyond the physical.”
I joined the company of an elite group of all-time Best Sellers: David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy, Hermann Hesse’s Sidddhartha, Carlos Castaneda’s The Teachings of Don Juan, and a book I thoroughly enjoyed The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. There are so many more I could list. I would even go so far to place The Bible as a metaphysical best seller. I found myself in exalted company.
I then realized the freedom of being in this category. I chose this category, not the Publisher. I chose it because I’m free and independent and do what I like.
Reading David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, I was continually amazed at how audacious he was. He kept writing borderline shocking passages, which most mainstream houses might not dare publish, if you’re name isn’t David Mitchell. Because his novels are so successful, transcending an indie-type book into mainstream, it gave me the permission to be bold, to push my envelope, to write well, with more je m’en fou freedom.
That’s what indie writers have: More Freedom. We need to keep it that way.
I think turnaround would be fair play. The authors should get the $9 and the publishers $1. We do most of the work, after all. Really, think about it—they’re now making us do our own promotion as self-publishers, before they take us on. A publisher just told me to come back after I’ve sold 5,000 to 10,000 books. Once I build that big an audience, why should I be giving the publishing house most of the money? It’s my hard work that got me there, and they think they deserve 90% of it? Get real.
This whole system seems to be cocky-ass backwards, and it’s time for a new model.
Is there a place for the big publishing houses in the future? I think there is, but not structured like it is now. We’ve entered the age of transparency. Do they really need the high-salaried executive staff and that money pit expensive corporate headquarters? I don’t think so. That’s where the author’s profit goes, and what good does all that fluff do us? How about if they scale down to a warehouse and a small computer tech crew, directing traffic. Us indies can make deals with printers and shippers, and you Random House can have a dollar for directing it to a book store, or placing it on your site. How about that?
My novel Two Crows can be found at: http://geni.us/3fbH