Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Indies Need not apply

The first day of my vacation I wanted to post something that's been on my mind since I saw a discussion thread going on about indie books. The argument was that they should all be burned, completely removed from Amazon, and unavailable for anyone because they were not real books.

Meaning, unless a major publishing house produces it - the book cannot be "real". The perception that indie authors are rejects who are littering the world with unwanted stories. Well, I'm just here to say that this is not the case. Many of us are entrepreneurs, taking our creativity and fate into our own hands. Imagine how many hundreds of query letters a publisher receives daily. One single page, to summarize your book, and they decide by that small blurb if they think its marketable. They meaning, whoever reads the letter. There are a number of authors who were turned away, only to eventually be picked up and their book become a bestseller. It's a lottery. Why? Because it's the READERS who decide what is a great book.

Another point I'd like to make is that just because something is traditionally published, does not make it a better book. I have read a lot of dull books over the years I wish I hadn't wasted my $25 on.

Then last night, I stumbled upon a site where the reviewer specifically stated "Indie authors need not apply". This rubbed me the wrong way. I realize it's the reviewers & readers choice, and that with indie authors they might be inundated with books, but I felt segregated. I haven't approached review sites to look at my books, as I've been too busy writing them, but I enjoy reading the websites, and would like to think the door is always open for an indie author to have the same fair chance as a traditionally published one. This is not uncommon. Many sites won't even spotlight your cover if you are indie.

Imagine if the only art you were exposed to were through museums, and not from individual artists, or street artists. Imagine if the only food you were allowed to eat were from chain restaurants, and not mom and pop shops, or cooked by family and friends. Imagine if the only music you could listen to were from major record companies, and not the local band in your favorite bar or that up and coming band who opens for major acts (and is better than the act) but hasn't gotten a contract yet. If you look at some of my previous posts or on facebook, you'll see that I promote a lot of indie artists. Or if you never saw an indie film - you would have never seen "Taxi Driver", "Good Will Hunting", "pulp Fiction", or "Citizen Kane"..and there would be no Sundance Film Festival. Imagine a world where the only creativity you saw was filtered by what others would allow you to see. How much do you want your free choice to be dictated?

Yeah, maybe I'm a little serious for my first day of vacation when I really need to be out there putting on my bowling shoes and eating some pizza. But as an indie author, I work extremely hard in all aspects of writing, editing, cover design, and publishing. I decided not to play the lottery, and share my stories with the world. I decided to take full creative control of my writing. If you choose to carve out creative art in your life based on standards of who produces it, then you are missing out on the soul of creativity. Publishers are driven by sales. I am driven by inspiration.

Thank you, to each of you, who have chosen to give this indie author an opportunity. Thanks for the support and enthusiasm you have given in all forms, and thanks for opening doors, and not closing them. <3

WHERE every bird is bold to go,
And bees abashless play,
The foreigner before he knocks
Must thrust the tears away.

-Emily Dickinson

Highly interesting article!


  1. Wow, I can't believe someone wouldn't read your book simply b/c you are an indie author. I buy books based on the sypnosis. If it sounds like something I would enjoy then I'll buy it no matter who publishes it.

    Try not to let this get you down. Sterling is one of my fav reads of 2011 and if someone refuses to rea dyour book simply b/c it's not published by a major publisher, then they are the ones who are missing out on an incredible read.

    1. Thank you for the support, Wilda. I think the bottom line is: we can't remove choices. Hopefully as time goes on, perceptions will change.

  2. Well some people are just dumb and there's no arguing with stupid. Let's be honest, not all writers, Indie or "manufactured" are good. Indie brings a lot of layer and color to an otherwise carefully planned, mass market produced books designed for pop consumption. Indie puts a different twist on an otherwise predictable genre.

    I love and support Indie authors and their books. Your creativity and uniqueness continues to amaze me. Some are unpolished gems, but they're gems nonetheless. Your determination alone in putting your work out there without a marketing team is impressive and your resilience in dealing with us bloggers and critics is inspiring.

    Viva La Indie!

    1. Agreed, and TY for the support! You'll find the good, the bad, and the ugly among trad and indies. My stone may have imperfections, but it shines because i warm it with my hands, and polish it with my breath, and admire it with my heart. I love my characters. Boy, doesn't this take me back to my favorite childhood story! lol (insert sappy face here)

      Velveteen Rabbit

      "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

      "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."