We’ve all been there. You browse through dozens of books listings looking for your next great read, you find something that piques your interest, and you make your purchase. You can’t wait to see what journey the author will take you on. Snuggled in your cozy blanket, with your cup of coffee, you start into the story. Hmm! Spelling error. You continue on undeterred, anyone can miss a spelling mistake. Then before long you find yourself re-reading the same paragraph, something doesn’t read quite right. Error after error crop up, grammar, spelling, wrong words, ruin the experience. You look to see that the novel has been self published and you think Aha. You feel ripped off and at that moment you make a judgement. Novels written by indie authors are garbage. But if you allow yourself to fall victim to that kind of thinking, I guarantee you’ll be missing out on some amazing stories by top-notch indie authors.
Indie Author Stigma
Up until recently, I hadn’t decided how I would go about publishing my upcoming book. Initially I thought I would publish it through a traditional publisher. That’s just what you did, right? Anyone worth their salt would be traditionally published. Then I discovered self publishing and I realized I had to do some research. I, too, had a bad impression of indie authors at first. There are just so many poor books floating around and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be associated with that kind of quality. I might be new and making mistakes along the way but I do care about the quality of the work I produce. It does seem like a significant number of indie authors don’t really care about what they put out. That is kind of a sad statement but a true one. The best part of self publishing is that anyone can publish a book. The worst part of self publishing is that anyone can publish a book. Therein lies the rub.
The Truth About Indies
There is a sea of indie authors, many of them who produce quality work, but they are lost in the numbers. If you take the time to wade through the weeds I promise you’ll be able to swim freely in the open ocean of respected indie authors. There are indie authors who care about spelling, who care about grammar, who care what their cover design looks like. There are indie authors who care. They bear the brunt of the costs to make that all happen, and it’s not cheap, because they care about their reader’s experience.
Publishing houses would normally cover these cost if an author chose that route. Oh and it is a choice ,now a days, how a book is published. The idea that an author would be traditionally published if their work was any good does not hold water any more. Many authors choose to self publish from the start and never look back. Many factors play into whether a book is accepted into the traditional publishing process. Genre, timing, other books on market, similar new releases are just a few examples. Don’t buy into the belief that ALL indie authors should be considered as anything less in the publishing world. It’s just not true but there is a difference between an author who cares about their work and one who doesn’t. Those who write without caring about quality offend us all and squarely deserve the credit for such a stigma.
The cold, hard truth of the matter is that you should not be able to tell the difference between the indie authors who care and traditionally published authors. In the end they should be the same and many are. A quality book written with care and attention to detail should be appreciated for what it is regardless of who wrote it or how it was published.
So after doing my research and learning that I, myself, had been duped by the stigma of indie authors, I decided that the indie author path was the right choice for me. After finding numerous groups and organizations committed to changing the stigma I realized that I want to be part of the solution and not the problem. I want to be a part of the movement to raise the self publishing bar. Becoming an indie author just makes good business sense but becoming a respected indie author just makes good sense all around. Indie really isn’t a four letter word to be used with disdain. My hope is that one day I will be considered a respected indie author and I am not naïve about how much work and money it will take to get there. My marathon of achieving this dream has just begun but I think about how sweet the finish line will be. How amazing will it feel to step across the finish line and hold my weary head up knowing that I gave it all I had.
What are your thoughts on the indie publishing scene?