Should you opt for indie publishing or go the traditional route? There’s no easy answer. Every author has to make his/her own decision. I’ve made mine, so consider me biased. But also consider the following words from Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
(If you’ve not come across her before, Rusch is a best-selling author of science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, mainstream fiction, non-fiction, and the occasional romance. She writes under her own name and several pseudonyms. (Here’s a list of her books.) She’s also an editor, publisher and inveterate blogger.)
… if you want a career as a writer, if you don’t want to have a day job, if you only want to write, then it seems to me the safest path to take is the indie path. You’ll have more opportunity. You can work hard and publish a lot and make money doing so.
Will every indie writer make six-figures per year? Hell, no. Nor will every traditionally published writer. But what this particular Author Earnings report shows is that if you want the chance of making six-figures or more per year with your writing, the best publishing path is indie.
(Provided you continue to learn your craft, are a damn fine storyteller, have excellent covers, do the right amount of marketing … and on and on and on.)
Is it guaranteed that you’ll even make a living? Not on either road. But that hypothetical writer that Hugh and Data Guy mention in the front of their report, the one standing with a manuscript in hand, trying to decide which road to take? That writer should ask himself: Do I want to keep my day job for the rest of my life? Or do I want the chance to be a full-time writer?
If he wants a chance at being a full-time writer, he needs to learn how to be an indie writer.
I think it’s that simple.