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Can being a control freak reduce your chances of success as an indie author? (1 Viewer)

sunaynaprasad

WF Veterans
As a person in general, I've always been a huge control freak with almost anything. However, I would also fantasize about my books becoming movies and being big like "Harry Potter", which were more common in my early days as an author. I would even try to sell movie rights to my books through sites, like "Greenlightmymovie" and others where people could submit books or scripts to be considered as films. But I would doing that prematurely. Yes, I was aware that I wouldn't have gotten to have any creative control if my books were films. But now that I've gotten to know myself better, I realize that I would really dislike any adaptation of my books where I wouldn't get to have control. In fact, recently, I developed a mindset where I should avoid things like film rights, foreign language rights, and commercial publishing because they would "mess with my ideas." It might not be the smartest mindset to have, but I feel that it's realistic for me. Once I really understood how much control you lose in traditional publishing, my internal reaction was, "I'm glad I self-published."
And because I self-published my books, marketing and success are more challenging, although I hear that can be true for traditionally published authors, except big names, like Stephen King. I am also well aware that things like foreign language rights and movie rights are complete fantasy for most self-published authors, especially those like me, whose sales and downloads are satisfying for the most part, but could be better. If I want to be more successful, not necessarily a national, house-hold name, bestseller, would being a control freak get in the way? I do have extremely specific envisions of my ideas, especially characters, and get easily offended if they're not, at least, similar to what I imagine. I know I would find fan fiction of my work insulting, especially if people made my characters do things that they would never do (which is highly unlikely to happen, anyway) and I would be quick to debunk fan theories.
 

apocalypsegal

Senior Member
One of the hardest things we have to do is get rid of the notion that our work is our super special baby. Of course, we think our work is wonderful, no one is doing anything like it, it's going to set the world on fire. But the truth is, the vast majority of creative people aren't making anything all that different. We're a dime a gross, really.

Self publishing is about control, to a degree. But it still means we have to look at market trends, genre expectations, reader satisfaction. It's no different from being a widget maker. Customers want only yellow widgets, they will ignore your green ones. Unless you can give them a reason to want green widgets, it doesn't matter how you make them, there's no market.

If you want to expand your income, you have to look at the various ways that might happen. Foreign rights, film rights, a gaming company wants to adapt the work, someone wants to make greeting cards using your characters. Yes, you will lose some control, especially if you're not that well-known, but even the biggest names often have no say in how their work is adapted. It's just how it is.

Of course, all of this is probably moot, as it's rare that anyone gets a chance at most of these things. You can get an agent and go for a publisher for foreign language rights, that happens to self publishers. You can find an agent to shop your book around for film adaptation. I have seen a few going after the game industry. It's all a gamble, and if you don't want to do it, then don't. If a film company comes to you, just say no. That's what all that control is about, after all.
 

Moose.H

Senior Member
Take a piece of paper and write down your goals in order of priority. If you are behind on child payments money may top your list otherwise your story is part of you and will set you up as an author however you get through the process. If you don't get published everything else is just conjecture.

Take this thought and go through your narrative and see how it fits your priorities.
 

Cephus

Senior Member
Good luck on that. Once you sell the rights, your control over the project is essentially nil unless you are very famous or very influential, at which point they might allow you to stick around. Otherwise, they can do anything they want with your work and you have absolutely zero say.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
I think it you get a reputation for being difficult to work with it can blacklist you.
On youtube Lindsay Ellis talking about the control-freak werewolf porn author was interesting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhWWcWtAUoY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3v5wFMQRqs
But that was a person who was also trying to control OTHER people's content and it sounds like you just want control of your own. Indie publishing might be good. I think contracting for certain control at the beginning might help with film... gosh... not that I really know... but I'd say "pick your battles". I think it was probably important for J. K Rowlings to monitor some of what they put in or didn't put in because of it's importance that only she understood for the books that were coming out.
 

Selorian

Patron
I know of many indie authors who have released foreign language versions of their works. That is definitely within the realm of retaining control over.

Movie rights, although I don't know a lot, could depend on the popularity of the title being licensed for the film and how much they are willing to relinquish to the author for the chance to have the rights to it. If numerous people are competing for rights, that is the best opportunity for you to get more control.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
It really depends on what type of control freak you are.
If you are anal-retentive about details and editing...then it is a good thing.
But if you apply that mindset to the story then you will likely write an underwhelming story simply because you are trying to stay between the lines.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
As a person in general, I've always been a huge control freak with almost anything. However, I would also fantasize about my books becoming movies and being big like "Harry Potter", which were more common in my early days as an author. I would even try to sell movie rights to my books through sites, like "Greenlightmymovie" and others where people could submit books or scripts to be considered as films. But I would doing that prematurely. Yes, I was aware that I wouldn't have gotten to have any creative control if my books were films. But now that I've gotten to know myself better, I realize that I would really dislike any adaptation of my books where I wouldn't get to have control. In fact, recently, I developed a mindset where I should avoid things like film rights, foreign language rights, and commercial publishing because they would "mess with my ideas." It might not be the smartest mindset to have, but I feel that it's realistic for me. Once I really understood how much control you lose in traditional publishing, my internal reaction was, "I'm glad I self-published."
And because I self-published my books, marketing and success are more challenging, although I hear that can be true for traditionally published authors, except big names, like Stephen King. I am also well aware that things like foreign language rights and movie rights are complete fantasy for most self-published authors, especially those like me, whose sales and downloads are satisfying for the most part, but could be better. If I want to be more successful, not necessarily a national, house-hold name, bestseller, would being a control freak get in the way? I do have extremely specific envisions of my ideas, especially characters, and get easily offended if they're not, at least, similar to what I imagine. I know I would find fan fiction of my work insulting, especially if people made my characters do things that they would never do (which is highly unlikely to happen, anyway) and I would be quick to debunk fan theories.

It did not harm me.
 
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