Independence & Me
I’m an Indie author!
The very idea of it still makes my mind boggle. How exactly did I get here? And why on earth would I choose to be independent when it’s so much damned hard work?
Why this seemingly insatiable desire to self-publish?
I guess to understand it we have to look at the traits inherent in my family line. I think stubbornness and single-mindedness spring to the forefront when I consider this. Then there’s a particularly strong strain of what South Africans call ‘the agitator’ in my gene pool.
My maternal grandmother eloped with my grandfather as they were from very different cultural backgrounds. Her father and brothers were not best pleased. To add to this, my grandfather was a member of the ANC so it’s easy to see that the rebellious streak in my family is in fact rebelliousness² on the maternal side at any rate – I don’t think I need to say much more on that score.
The paternal side of my family are made up of Dutchmen and Kalahari tribes-people. Both these peoples are known to be extremely hard working and resourceful with strong survival instincts. Some might say I have too much of the Dutch need to diary every event I attend or plan on attending. Then there’s my rants about fellow drivers not signalling their intent at roundabouts but let’s leave that for another post.
Now, given all this ancestral evidence, surely you’re beginning to understand my leanings towards authorial independence. But there was a more personal and emotional journey which led me to where I am now.
|Uncle Phil & Dad in Oz|
In 2006 I made the firm decision to leave teaching and write on a more full time basis. When I told my dad of my decision he didn’t blink an eye and supported me without a moment’s hesitation. In 2012 my dad died and my rebellious streak asserted itself in a desire to do something to honour his passing. I had a completed novel which I was editing whilst sending letters and emails to agents and publishers – getting the usual rejection mail as expected. His death prompted me to do SOMETHING more concrete with my novel.
Unbelievably, an opportunity arose to publish in e-book format without any expenditure on my part at all. At that time e-publishing was a much debated topic and people were convinced it would have no place in the world. I thought, “Well, what the heck – it’s not costing me a penny.” Tons of no risk no gain sayings crossed my mind:
- Nothing ventured nothing gained
- If you’re not willing to risk the unusual you’ll have to settle for ordinary
- For who that dare not undertake, by right he shall no profit take
So I forged ahead.
I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was doing but the e-book went into the world and I told my friends and family all about it. I made the sum total of £12 in royalties and could not have been prouder.
What I hadn’t counted on was all the other stories in my head just begging to be let out. So naturally, I had to do something about them. My first toe dipping experience of self-publishing stirred the desire to write more, learn more, develop as both a writer and independent author. I realised I’d started something which needed to be taken to the next level and the next thereafter.
“Bring it on!” I thought.
So here I am.
Indie Author - Me!