Vision is the first step in any venture. I have had visions before, visions that I have brought into existence and, every time, there is a point where a leap of faith is required. It’s the point where the vision needs to develop from a nice little idea into something more substantial, something that will take the vision and fly with it.
I’m a serial project manager. I keep finding things that need developing and I develop them. The last one was a distance education centre for a Buddhist group. It took me twelve years to set that one loose. It now prospers without my help. That was completely volunteer, of course, a fact that my family considered rather unfortunate due to the amount of time I spent on it and the little time it left for earning money. Luckily, I had my performing business still running at the time, and that allowed me to live. (The performing business was my previous project).
The project now is the Awesome Indies. The site and what it represents ie quality indie fiction, is my latest project. It rose in response to a need, and once again, I am inspired to bring the vision to reality. Now, once again, it’s time to leap. The site needs to upgrade to something that can be search engine optimised, something with more flexibility and greater options for displaying more information, and it needs money and a huge amount of effort put into advertising it.
The work required to make the Awesome Indies all that it could be for the authors it represents is enormous, but as it is now, it doesn’t matter whether I bring it to that level or not. At the moment, no one pays any money. I just pay with time. When no one pays money, they have no expectations. There is no stress. But the Awesome Indies site could be more, it should be more and authors need it to be more. I want to make it more for their sake and for the sake of the fine books they create and the discerning readers who appreciate them.
But the leap will require monetary investment as well as time, and I do not have money to invest, so I am asking others. I hope that they will share the vision enough to contribute to its development, trouble is, once people start to pay for things like greater visibility, inclusion in promotions and so on, they expect returns, and that is what is so scary about this leap. It is a bigger leap than any I have made before.
Basic listing on the site will always be free and based only on quality, but I have proposed a subscription model where subscribers get access to greater visibility and access to special promotions, mailing lists and so on. It’s a different kind of beast than the unpretentious practically invisible site we have now.
What if I fail? What if my authors don’t sell enough books to cover their investment? The truth is, it could take a while for their investment to pay off, and nothing is guaranteed. I need to reach a large base of readers who appreciate and demand quality. In today’s publishing climate visibility is difficult. The road ahead is steep. Part of me just wants to forget it, but the bigger part knows that this is what I am meant to be doing. I am passionate about it and I hope that that passion and the support of the others who are contributing their time to this project will make it succeed. What is success here? It is authors selling enough books through the site to make their investment worthwhile.
Jumping is scary, but if you don’t risk the leap, you can’t fill the vision. The really lovely thing about this leap, is that I’m not leaping alone. I already have 14 people leaping with me.
If you want to contribute to bringing quality indie books to the notice of the reading public please make a donation to help the Awesome Indies site lift off .
My new catch phrase is; ‘What’s better than a free book? A good book. The Awesome Indies brings you the best in independent fiction.’