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June 2018: Publishing Path
~ Athena Grayson ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: Which path did you take: Trad, Indie, or Hybrid? And what led you to that choice?

Athena Grayson said:
I’ve had experience in trad publishing, small press e-publishers, and indie publishing. I chose to plant my flag firmly in indie publishing. The stories I write are stories that traditional publishing isn’t quite sure what to do with. They mix space opera and romance and get-lost-in-it world-building that works best when it has time to build an audience.

More than that, indie publishing gives me freedom to pursue the long-form storylines over multiple books that pull on my writer’s heart and creative soul without having to worry about having a series canceled before the story is told because sales aren’t meeting some arbitrary number. I don’t know about you, but even when I’m excited about a series, I usually don’t start reading until book 3 is at least up for pre-order.

If you’ve ever felt the heartache when your favorite TV show gets canceled (dramatic, I know, but The Feels Are Real!)–ESPECIALLY if the last season ended on a cliffhanger–then you know that the decision rarely came from the people actually making the show. It almost always comes down to budget and profit. “”Going Indie”” frees me up to stick with a story no matter how many (or how few) people jumped on it in the first month.

Besides having the creative freedom to pursue the stories my heart and soul have to tell, indie publishing gives me the breathing space to tell those stories at my own pace. Sometimes, the stories fly from my fingers like they were launched. Other times, I know I have to improve my skills before I can take a story on in a manner that does it justice.

From a career perspective, I’ve always been attracted to the ability to make decisions about my titles (including those titles themselves!) the way I want. No matter if you’re traditionally published, indie published, or hybrid, the axiom that says “”there’s no one who knows your book better than you”” is true, as well as the companion that says, “”no one loves your book as much as you do.””

I’m a pretty small-potatoes indie, so I do practically everything–write blurbs, ad copy, pick titles…the only thing I don’t do is my covers (most of them. I’ve done one or two simple covers for novellas). But I pick the artists and try for the best vision I have for the characters. It’s true that sometimes I pick a title that’s perfect for the book, but lousy for attracting readers. I can’t quite bring myself to put man-chest on the cover of a romance. I flout some genre conventions. I know that the choices I make will have different results (some good and some bad), but I am privileged to make those choices, because I know who made every choice and why. Being an indie author also means that every decision I make can be reversed, changed, altered, or enhanced at any time, under my own power.

Being an indie also means that I *have* to do practically everything. I’m the boss, but I’m also the only (overworked and underpaid) employee. And my boss can be mean. ;D But on the serious side, there are a lot of moving parts to making a book happen. If you are an author, even if a trad pub throws nine figure advances your way, I would recommend you publish at least one indie book, from soup to nuts, as the saying goes, because you will come out of the experience knowing so much more about the publishing process. Even if you never “”go indie”” you will be able to approach your trad career with a deeper understanding about all the hard work that goes into making a book happen.


Scandal by Athena Grayson cover

Scandal: Scions of the Star Empire #1

[New Adult Space Opera]

When a princess who’s no stranger to scandal runs afoul of the secrets of the most powerful cabal on Landfall, even her crown can’t protect her from the consequences.

They can have anything they want…except a future.
Nothing infuriates Princess Ione Ra more than having someone else take control of her reputation from her, and her old nemesis–gossip journalist Jaris Pulne–is poised to do just that with pilfered pics of her caught in a compromising position with her power-couple partner. As someone who’s no stranger to manipulating the markets on her own social life, Ione knows the wrong scandal means social suicide.

Privilege is a prison…
For the other half of the power couple, Den Hades, his survival has depended on staying in his powerful father’s shadow in order to protect his secrets. But on the very night of his one chance to earn a shot at becoming a Scion–and freedom from his father’s ambitions, scandal threatens to tear him from Ione, or worse–force them together before their time.

Available in Ebook:



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