Friday, 27 April 2012

I is for Indie

     Today we are talking indie publishing, now I know it is short for Independent but I like to think it is also short for individual.

    Before we get started let me introduce you to Winterflood’s Second Law, there is a first law but I won’t cover that here and anyone who breaks it will quickly learn it.

Winterflood’s Second Law

    This Law is that for every individual you add to a project, after yourself, you double the chance that it will screw up. So the Law states that for a project to succeed you need the smallest number of additional people involved in it to make it successful. The smaller the number of participants the less chance of failure and the greater chance of having to take responsibility for any failure that should arise.

    This Law rises from experience and I am sure most of you have come across it at some point.

Is it all about I

    So what does this have to do with Indie Publishing? Well as I said at the start I like to think Indie means individual and keeping with Winterflood’s Second Law, the production of my first Kindle novel, The Last Mask - Tradition, was an individual production, firmly reducing the chance of others messing up the project and firmly putting any problems on my shoulders. Keeping it as an Indie project also meant that everything produced for the project came from the same creative mind, they all matched the style of what was being produced.

    I painted the concept art before the novel was even started.

    I planned and executed the novel.

    I made the trailer with my art and music, and words taken from my novel.

    I painted the cover.

    I edited and published the novel.

    I promoted the novel.

 A Unity of Vision is I

    At every stage the same person was working on the vision, I could bounce the story off others to make sure it was working, but it was the same hands making the work and so I hope it all shares that same vision. The words match the pictures, and the pictures match the music. It all comes together through various medium to show the world of The Last Mask.

    If I had got someone else to do the cover or trailer then they might not have got it, they might not have presented the vision as I saw it, and they might have also failed to complete the task as per Winterflood’s Second Law.

    So I believe the Last Mask is a good example of how Indie Publishing can work. One individual taking all the steps in publishing a novel and completing them by their self to present something with a complete unity.

I see I

This thinking about Indie Publishing came to me after reading the feedback of Sammy H K Smith on The Last Mask - Tradition, where she stated what she thought Self Publishing was -

At this point I agreed with what she was saying and it made me realise what I was doing. So is it a good thing to be a team of one if your team can produce the goods, but if you have to extend the "I" then make sure the others are going to reflect your vision and they are not going to break Winterflood’s Second Law.

Beyond the I

Obviously there are others involved at some point, it is not like I can go review and buy the novel myself… well I could but that defeats the objective. So once it is finished you then have to launch it into the world and try to make your Self Published Indie book a Mass Market book, as that is who you are competing with. I am still hatching those plans but watch this space.

The Last Mask - Tradition is available from all good Amazon Kindle store, links on this page.

Do you see what I did there...

Till the next time I will leave you with I.


  1. You make some very valid points. The only way to have TOTAL control over your own work, is to do it all yourself. You can pull others in for feedback or suggestions, but once you sign a contract, or hire out pieces of the work, you're taking a risk of having your vision diluted. Not everyone has your talent for cover art, book trailers, etc, so Stephen, my hat goes off to you. Brilliant job!

    1. Indeed finding a team that shares your vision is hard. I also think that the main thing that sometimes stands in the way of people trying to do the things on their own is their little voice saying they can't do it, but who knows until you give it a go.