Friday, November 21, 2014

Being Indie

Happy Friday, everyone! Today, I'm gonna talk about something a very dear friend of mine brought up yesterday. I'm hoping it'll give everyone something to think about over the weekend. It's all about being an Indie author and why it doesn't make us crap or mean we're not awesome. So, sit back, relax, and let's get going.


Now, this conversation happened on Facebook, and many authors chimed in to say why they love being Indie (self) published.

I'm gonna start with a paraphrase of the original situation (kindly keep in mind the original poster was only seventeen when she published her first book):

She was sitting and talking with some of her college friends, and they were discussing being traditionally published. Someone mentioned that if you aren't with a big six house, you must not be a good writer (validation and all that). Because of this, my friend began to doubt her Indie ways and wonder if she was selling herself short.

Again, that's a short version of the situation with the same outcome and setting.

So, she asked: "Why do you self-publish? Am I selling myself short?"

Overwhelmingly, the responses were more about the community as a whole, maintaining control over one's work from soup to nuts, and keeping more of the profits from sales. There were also some most excellent points made. Some of the authors shared horror stories from friends who signed with publishers, some folks talked about the lack of publicity by presses both large and small, and others pointed out the aspects of film and big actors in crappy movies.

Everything kinda clicked together, and an epiphany hit me right between the eyes.

Know what I realized?

Indie isn't just about self-publishing.

There. I said it.

Allow me to explain. *grin*

Indie is a badge we wear on our chests with pride. When someone comes at one of us, for some reason or another, we go a little bananas. We're fiercely loyal to the title, love our brethren, and dare anyone to challenge our dreams. Because we're living those dreams. Each and every day, we get out of bed to do something we love. We set our own deadlines, work with editors we choose, and hire cover artists we know will do our work proud.

We have an amazing community around us that's a little like a family. People who get that we're a little strange, introverted, and hermit-like.

And they're okay with it.

As a matter of fact, they embrace us for our differences.

But wait! There's more!

As Indies, we get to know our book bloggers. They aren't just blurry faces in a sea of reviewers. They're a lot like us. Every single one of them has a passion that can't be squelched. Their passion is reading. Books. Literature. And we have the unique market insight to what those people are looking for. It's right there at our fingertips. All we have to do is nurture the connection and envelop them in the fold. They become part of the family and are celebrated.

Only Indies can put out a call to arms and have masses of others knocking over little old ladies with purses to rush to our aid (politely, of course).

Sometimes, an Indie will behave badly and get into a situation that's public and disgraceful.

But the community will punish that author so others don't have to. There's really no need for the public to go crazy and berate the person acting up. We do it for you. In that way, we're a lot like family.

Your mother doesn't hold her tongue when you screw up. Guess what? Neither do your peers. We're not afraid to tell you how wrong you are or how ashamed we are of your behavior. But it's done with the understanding that you're shaming the name we've worked so hard to build up.

Bad review? Someone will listen to you rant or give you a shoulder to cry on.

Writer's block? There are masses willing to talk you out of that corner of fear.

Struggling with a storyline? Ask. Someone will have a great piece of advice.

Got a huge deal? Your peers are gonna celebrate and pop champagne in your honor. Why? Because you'll always be an Indie.

So, yeah, Indie isn't just about self-publishing. It's about community, support, and family.

It's a way of life that lodges itself in your heart and refuses to let you go. Even when you push us away, we're there if you need us later.

Indie is in your blood.

You have been assimilated.

So, the next time someone asks you why you're Indie, the simple answer is:

"Because it's the only way to go."

What's your favorite thing about being Indie?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

7 comments:

  1. You are awesome. This was just what I needed. <3

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    1. Thanks, Allyson. :) Glad you found it useful!

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  2. You are such a positive person and it's nice not to read about the negatives of being an indie author for a change!

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    1. The pros far outweigh the cons, my friend :) Thanks for the comment!

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  3. I just signed up. I don't think I can live without your blog!

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Play nice and have fun. If you're a jerk, I won't publish your comment. My blog. My rules. Thanks for taking the time to chat at me!