Indie Author Magazine: How will the strategy of publishing wide play a part in the future of the industry?

Paddy Finn: I don’t subscribe to the idea of exclusive versus wide. It focusses too much on such a narrow sliver of your intellectual property’s potential. The question should be: How do I make my IP work the hardest and smartest for me and my family? Sure, exclusive versus wide is an important question for many and going wide can be a great tactic. But don’t mistaken tactic for strategy. Exclusive versus wide is such a small part of the bigger picture that if you put it on a pie chart of potential, you wouldn’t even see it.

Indie Author Magazine:Do you anticipate that the definition of wide will ever evolve to mean more? If so, where do you see authors going?

Paddy Finn: Wide already means so much more. Most of the indie publishing community just hasn’t realized it yet. With so many new tools and platforms coming to the fore, authors interested in going wide have so many options. Right now, you could build a 7-figure business on Kickstarter without even touching Amazon, Google Play, Apple Books, or any of the e-book-centric platforms. Some might laugh when I say that, but I’m proof that it can be done. Anyone can do it! The crazy part is so few do! thing is so few try or fail to stick with it after achieving less-than-stellar results on their first attempt. I built a 7-figure publishing house from scratch solely using Kickstarter. And I’m in the process of building another that will make 7 figures year one. And crowdfunding is just one avenue among many. Some of my author friends generate silly numbers using the TikTok shop, YouTube, or selling direct from their website. And in ten years, there’ll be a dozen new avenues we can’t even imagine yet. Great things await those who brave the road less travelled.

Indie Author Magazine: On an individual level, direct publishing can equate to greater control over titles, greater royalties, and a closer relationship with readers. What will the trend of authors publishing direct mean for the industry as a whole?

Paddy Finn: Direct publishing gets back to the core of indie publishing: Taking the fate of you and your story-babies into your own hands. Indie publishing began with a handful of authors who refused to let gatekeepers to tell them what they could or couldn’t do. In bravely exploring uncharted territory those early indie authors discovered a horde of insatiable readers salivating for more books. And they delivered what that audience wanted, paving the frontier for those of us who followed. But the pique of that gold rush is behind us. Those mines still have gold, but it’s becoming more difficult to find. And as any author worth their salt knows, “THE END” is just another way of saying “NEXT”. Direct sales is a natural evolution in the industry lifecycle…especially an industry built on a foundation of people who stuck it to the man. For many, direct sales is still an unknown, but that’s what makes it so beautiful! It’s like tapping into another gold vein very few have discovered. That said, worthwhile prospecting is never without risks. It requires an investment of time and/or money. But those who brave the risks and stick with the process will reap the rewards of another indie publishing gold rush. What that means for the industry as a whole is anyone’s guess. What matters is that you’re out on the frontier, digging new roads and building new infrastructure for those who will follow. Instead of waiting to see how the industry changes, be one of those changing it, for therein lies true success.

Chelle Honiker

Chelle Honiker

Chelle Honiker is an advocate for the empowerment of authorpreneurs, recognizing the importance of authors taking charge of both their craft and careers. In response to this need, she has founded a media and training company dedicated to supporting these creative professionals. As the co-founder and publisher of Indie Author Magazine, IndieAuthorTraining, Indie Author Tools, and, Chelle’s team of more than 80 writers, editors, trainers, and support staff provides resources and insights that help authors navigate the complexities of self-publishing. Her role as the programming director for Author Nation, an annual conference in Las Vegas, further exemplifies her commitment to fostering a community where authors can grow and succeed. With a career spanning over two decades in executive operations and leadership, Chelle has honed her skills in managing complex projects and delivering impactful training programs. Her experience as a speaker and TEDx Organizer has taken her to many countries, where she has shared her insights with diverse audiences.

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