Friday, 28 March 2014
INDIE-VISIBLE––AUTHOR COLLECTIVES III
Triskele Books is always keen to hear about other author collectives, and today we are pleased to welcome the USA-based Indie-Visible to the Triskele blog. IndieVisible members were kind enough to answer our questions.
1) What brought you all together and when? And how did you come up with the name, IndieVisible?
It was the brain child of Jordan Rosenfeld and Chelsea Starling, in October 2012. We both were feeling creatively isolated and frustrated with publishing. Chelsea had already come up with the name for a different idea which was to review indie authors, but we felt it worked well for the collective model that we began to dream up. We individually invited in creative, talented writers who had skills and ambition that aligned with our dream of putting out quality books without a gatekeeper to do it for us.
2) What factors triggered your decision to go indie?
Each of us has a different answer for this. Most of us have either been published by the mainstream in one form or another and were dissatisfied with wait times, finding new agents, lack of creative control, and the rest had seen that now was the time to take publishing into our own hands thanks to technology and attitudes changing.
3) One thing we’ve been working on at Triskele Books is how best to communicate between members –– email, Skype, Facebook? How do you work as a team, in terms of communication, and getting tasks done? And how do you resolve any differences of opinion?
We have a private Facebook group that works well for us. We tried doing Google Hangouts, but we are spread all around the world in different time zones (we have one member in Australia, and one in New Zealand!) and it was too difficult to coordinate a time that worked well for us. As far as teamwork goes, different members offer different skills, and we rely on everyone to pitch in what they can to make it work.
4) Like Triskele Books do you each retain the rights to your own books, pay the costs of publication and receive the full royalties? And if so, what elements are done collectively?
We have two cover/graphic/web designers on our team, several editors, and a book trailer producer. We generally pay each other for the work we need done, but at a discounted price. Authors publish independently, with our indie-visible badge printed on the spine and back cover if the author wishes.
5) What do you see as the benefits of being in a collective? Any disadvantages?
There is a wonderful post one of our talented members, Amy McElroy wrote which covers exactly this. Read it here: http://indie-visible.com/it-takes-a-collective/
6) Do your authors use the same designer? And do you try and go for a shared look or feel? Does Indie-Visible have a unique selling point?
Chelsea Starling created the branding for Indie-Visible along with a handful of the collective’s book covers and websites. Victoria Faye also created a handful of our covers. They design the covers with the story and author in mind, not with the collective in mind - aside from the fact that they produce quality, professional covers, which is a requirement within our collective. Our members are free to hire any designer they prefer, so long as the end result does not look cheesy and homemade.
7) Are you actively seeking new members? And if so, what sort of criteria must new authors and members meet, to become part of Indie-Visible?
We are not currently seeking new members, but if there was a person who had a crazy talent for marketing, we’d bring them on board in a heartbeat!
8) Would you like to tell us about your plans for 2014 and beyond?
We’re still gathering momentum. Many of us have new books coming out. We’d like to be more of a resource to other writers, and we do have a FB group called the Indie-Visible Lounge that anyone is free to join, as well as using our social media to share what has worked for us marketing wise.
9) How do you see the future of publishing generally?
Publishing in general seems to be a lot like the Sneeches on the Beaches story by Dr. Seuss. Gone is the time when authors with “stars upon thars” are the only “real” authors. Amazon changed everything - now anyone with an offbeat story that would never have gotten picked up by an agent or publisher can find their audience. And as E.L. James proved, even poorly written erotica is a viable market. The playing field has been leveled, and we expect to see a combination of publishing scenarios - indies, hybrids and traditionally published authors all thriving in the future. We’ve seen a trend for novellas and serial novels making a comeback, and wouldn’t be surprised to see more and more readers gravitating toward bite-sized works that can be read during lunch breaks, on commuter trains, etc.
Thanks very much for answering our questions, and we wish you the best of luck with your independent publishing ventures!
For more information about IndieVisible:
Founders: Jordan E. Rosenfeld: www.jordanrosenfeld.net & Chelsea Starling: www.chelseastarling.com
Christina Mercer's Arms of Anu––sequel to her award winning "Arrow of the Mist" a YA fantasy, March 17, 2014.
Jordan, writing as J.P. Rose, Night Oracle––romantic suspense, April 20th, 2014.