I’m Going Indie – Yikes!

Dan Walsh is the award-winning and bestselling author of 11 novels, including The Unfinished Gift, The Dance and What Follows After. He has won 3 Carol Awards and 2 Selah Awards. Three of his books were finalists for Inspirational Book of the Year. Dan is a member of ACFW and Word Weavers. He lives with his wife, Cindi, in the Daytona Beach area where they love to take long walks. Click here to connect with Dan or check out his books.

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My monthly column here on Novel Rocket falls on the 1st Thursday of every month. The timing couldn’t be better. I have no problem thinking of a topic today. Yesterday, I did something I’ve never done before. After writing 13 novels under traditional publishing contracts mostly with Revell, I’m going indie with my newest novel, When Night Comes. Today, it’s available for pre-order on Amazon. 

I’ve been following the indie trend for the past 2 years, very closely over the past 6 months. At the beginning of the summer, my wife and I decided it was time for me to jump in. I knew I was in the clear to start with this novel, because it’s a story my publisher passed on when I pitched it to them 2 years ago. They liked it but felt it stretched my brand too much. It was too suspenseful.
In case you haven’t read my books, they’re more in the Nicholas Sparks category, love stories and family life dramas (like The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery and The Reunion). No one’s forced me to write these books. I like writing them. But I also like reading and writing suspense novels (read more of them than anything else). 
So, I finished this novel over the summer while also writing my next Christmas novel for Revell (talk about feeling stretched). That novel, The Ornaments, will come out next Christmas (2015). This brings up one of the interesting upsides I’ve discovered about indie publishing–how quickly you can get a book into readers’ hands after it’s written. 
If you’re good at math, you might have picked up in my bio that I have 11 novels published right now. But I’ve just said, When Night Comes, is my 14th book. The Ornaments is Book #12. My 4th book in the Restoration series with Gary Smalley is Book #13 (The Legacy). It takes traditional books a year to come out after I’ve written them. Because of that, my new indie book is coming out before both of them.
Compared to what I’m used to, it feels lightning fast. I finished When Night Comes over the summer, edited it and secured the artwork in Sept. Uploaded it for pre-order Oct 1st, and it will be ready for wide release a month later on Nov 1st.
I LOVE that. 
There have certainly been challenges. In the last few months, I’ve had to learn to wear a lot of new hats. As an author, I guess it’s fair to say before this I’ve been a kept man. With a publisher like Revell, I’ve mostly been able to focus on…well, just writing the books.
But I’ve had a ton of help. Lots of writers have answered all kinds of questions, like my new friends on Facebook’s Christian Indie Authors (CIA). Author friends like James Scott Bell and Randy Ingermansson have also been a great help. But perhaps no one has helped me more than fellow NR columnist and author, Brandilyn Collins. It’s fair to say without her help, I’d still be months away from this point. 
So what’s next? God knows (I mean that). I don’t. I guess I should say what my little 3 year old grandson often says (mimicking his mother’s favorite answer to his many questions)…”We’ll find out.”
How about you? I’d love to hear about your journey? Have any of you done the hybrid thing (writing both indie and traditional)? Gone totally indie? How’s that working out? What’s some of the best advice you would give? Tell me something you’d do differently if you could go back and do it again.
Oh, and while you’re at it…why not CLICK HERE and pre-order my new indie suspense novel, When Night Comes. I know, shameless. But I have to be. I’m indie now.
If you’re not ready to head to the register, CLICK HERE where you can read the back cover blurb, the first chapter, and a special Note I’ve written to my existing fans (explaining this crazy thing I’m doing).