I am an independent author. Sometimes, just saying it aloud helps. 🙂 There’s a lot of stigma attached to being “independent” and a lot of negativity, usually slung from publishers and those authors and aspirational authors who believe the traditional route is the one and only route to being published. Well, in 2021, all I can say is “good luck with that.”
Being independent gives me and authors like me the freedom to decide pretty much everything. It also means we have to own our mistakes along the way. Like everything, there’s a learning curve, but learning is a big part of the reward. Can I do things better? Sure. How do I do things better? Well, I go and learn from people better than me in that area.
But one of the true freedoms can be found in the creative process, including everything from writing to cover design. I’ve always done my own covers – some are better than others, some are far better than others, meaning I really should go back and change one or two of my covers. And, because I’m independent, free to make my own mistakes, I can.
This year, a good friend I met through writing but have never met, put me on to 3D art. I’ve always enjoyed playing around with images in Photoshop, but felt something was missing – in a nutshell, it was “people” or characters who were missing. With 3D models and assets a whole new world opened up, and I could put a face on my characters. Now, there’s a danger here, and anyone who read The Lord of the Rings before Peter Jackson’s films probably experienced the same identity crisis as I did when Elijah Wood became the new Frodo. So, if I add Petra, one of my main characters, to a book cover or promo image, as I have started doing, then readers might experience the same thing.
I think I just compared Petra to Frodo, there. 🙂
Whatever the consequences, I’m actually fine with it, as what I’ve discovered is a new string to the creative bow. Now, when I create covers or promotional images I find I am adding to the story. Sometimes playing around with a cover inspires a story, which is what happened last night when Petra went back in time (see cover image).
I don’t yet know when or if I’ll write this story, but I’m seriously considering it, just to shake things up a bit.
Being an indie author gives me the freedom to do that.