Why I chose to Indie Publish

When I decided to Indie publish

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I decided to go the indie route. But it was before I finished the first draft of my first novel, Path Unchosen. I did briefly consider trying the traditional route. I researched agents and publishers, read widely, studied publishing trends.

Why I decided to Indie publish

In the end I didn’t contact any agent or publisher. It’s right for a lot of writers, but for me it felt old-fashioned, too removed from how and why readers are selecting books to read. I’ve indie published Path Unchosen and Truth Unveiled, the first two books in my paranormal suspense series. And I intend to indie publish a novella in the same series, and a historical suspense I’ve plotted.

At the beginning I didn’t understand the ins and outs of publishing and marketing in the new digital age. Now … I’ve got a better idea of how much I still have to learn!

To be honest, this route is harder than I imagined.

The workload is overwhelming at times. Chronic fatigue doesn’t help me. I don’t have the stamina or focus of the old healthy me, and the need to wear so many hats at once can leave me paralysed with indecision. But I’m persevering, and the question is … why?

A short answer: self-determination. I want to self-manage my career as a writer, and I love having complete control over all aspects of creation, not just the writing.

I work with a group of friendly and capable professionals: cover designer Andrew Brown of Design for Writers, book designer Jane Smith, editor Marcy Kennedy, and more recently Website designer Laird Sapir of Memphis Mckay. I always planned on publishing with professional support, and honestly do not recommend any other way.

Path UnchosenPath Unchosen won a book award a few months ago. Feedback from readers has been mostly positive, but the external validation has added a zing to my step!

Everyone I talk to about my books, even those who never read fantasy, absolutely love the covers. It was money well spent! And it makes me happy 😀

Professional editing in particular is crucial

This is the one thing anyone considering the indie route just has to find the money for. Marcy completes a structural edit for me initially, and then a line edit. She identifies plot holes, rabbit warrens and numerous little things I’ve missed. In a soon to be published post, I’ll talk more about staying sane while editing a full length novel (the answer isn’t chocolate, though chocolate always helps).

The one thing I struggle with – rather embarrassingly, as I was a career marketer before sickness forced me to leave full-time employment – is self-branding and book marketing!

I decided at the start to limit marketing until I had more than one book to sell. I did try one book blog tour with Path Unchosen, just to test it out, and was very pleased with the visibility and reviews it achieved.

It’s now time to get serious about marketing my books and myself. So, I’m studying book marketing, branding, and visibility to try and make sure I have a solid marketing plan that delivers awareness and eventually sales.

Indie publishing is not for everyone. It feels right for me, and at this stage I’m planning on sticking with it. If you are a writer I’d love to hear about your experiences in publishing. And I’m happy to answer any questions anyone has about the process, or anything else about my experience with Indie publishing 🙂

I’m not affiliated with any of the professionals I’ve mentioned above. But you can see their work in action 🙂 If you’d like to contact them you can find them at:






Kim Cleary, Author

Kim Cleary

Kim writes paranormal stories with a intrigue, suspense and a hint of romance. She loves all animals, especially her dogs; and thrives on coffee and chocolate while writing and researching.

6 thoughts on “Why I chose to Indie Publish”

  1. Kathy GatesKathy Gates

    I chose the indie route because I like the freedom of being able to match word-length to story rather than needing to go for set lengths. I’m a fledgling novelist and at the moment am writing novella length stories.

  2. Kate SparkesKate Sparkes

    This sounds so much like me, right down to the marketing troubles! I have zero regrets about taking the indie route. I’ve considered traditional for future projects, but it seems like such a long, torturous process where so much can go wrong, just for a chance that MAYBE my book might be in the less than 1% that are chosen for big hype and marketing. Anything else, I can do for myself. I’ve got a great cover designer and a couple of fantastic editors. If I have to sacrifice potential bookstore placement for creative control, I’m okay with that.

  3. Kate MackayKate Mackay

    I have been undecided about self-publishing or going down the traditional route. The amount of time needed for promotion was my main issue with the DIY route as I work full time. However, I am frustrated with the length of time it takes with publishers; the latest has had it 4+ months and hasn’t even replied to an email I sent two weeks ago. After reading your post I am seriously reconsidering my options as I like the idea of being more in control. Can I just ask do you have hard copies of your books or do you just e-publish? It would be nice to do a mix really. Thank you for your insight.

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