Funny thing happened after I read my first indie novel that I found on Smashwords—I absolutely loved it. Why is that so funny, you ask? You may already know that indie authors are brave, persistent and talented. Why should that come as a surprise to me? Perhaps I’ve been conditioned to think that self-publishing means the author wasn’t good enough to be picked up by a publishing house, (not true) or that the copy must be riddled with typos, badly in need of an editor, (fallacy) or needed a guiding hand with content. Have I been a publishing snob by not buying independent novels? I would like to think that my recent book choices were due to the fact that I love a good series and I was continuing my current addiction. But was there a smidgen of prejudice lurking beneath?
To ponder that, I had to take myself back to my first efforts to sell a screenplay. After studying all the masters of screenwriting, picking my work to the bone until it bled in writer’s groups, getting wonderful reviews by test readers and yet still receiving the rejections (if I even got that much) from the publishing and agent queries, I had to rethink my strategy.
Thinking the problem was in the toughness of the screenplay industry, I decided to turn my script into a novel. While a whole world opened up to me with the freedom of fiction I soon found that no matter how many liked my books, finding an agent that would even consider reading a synopsis from an unpublished writer was harder yet. Their explanation: the description of your book has got to exactly fit the description of what the publishers are looking for. Where’s the room for an exciting, high concept or a brave, genre crossing breakthrough novel? In their defense, I realize there are too many queries/submissions to be read. So, as far as the writer is concerned, the system is broke and it’s the reader’s loss as well.
While studying the how to get published books a pattern was emerging. It appeared that all the hard work and expense I thought I would be handing over to a publisher to make a book successful was actually going back to the author. Publisher’s nowadays leave the responsibility with the author for editing, (although they’ll do it for a fee), publicity (you are expected to build your own platform), marketing ($$$) and then there’s the rewrite suggestions, making it more sell-able (commercial, they mean, perhaps void of the original concept or purpose?). Okay, now why, again, do I need a middle man if I’m supposed to do all this for myself?
So, I enter self-publishing with new material. I write my heart out, revise it many times, proof read 100 times more, have test readers give a thumbs up and I brave the ebook formatting challenges. Something wonderful has been birthed. It’s fresh, unique, a new voice from a “new” talent, but I was still missing something.
There’s a universal law, unwritten, but nevertheless, understood. It’s so simple that we often miss it and here it is: You give what you want to receive. Buy what you want to sell. Pay for something you expect others to pay you for and give a review if you want a review. So, I bought my first indie book. There was another funny thing about it. I also realized that I was an indie author. Suddenly, all indies were cool, and innovative, having something wonderful to say through their books. There wasn’t a governing entity to make them sell out or change their baby beyond recognition. What got cut out was from an artistic decision that was mine. A new mantra floated up from within: Indie authors are worth the read and whatever you pay for their work.
The moral of this story: I had to clear what I thought of indie authors and their work because that applied to me and that opinion would be projected out to all on an unseen level. As soon as I bought that eBook by an independent author I received another book sale and got my first review. Energy was moving once I took care of that little belief.
To argue the theory that self-published books have more errors, I’ve read many typos and mistakes with grammar in books from publishing houses. So what if one or two slip by. If the story has your attention, you’ll let it slide and if it’s an eBook, it’s a matter of time before it’s corrected. For all the anal reviewers out there who love to point out typos, tthis setnence is fur you. And for all the publishing houses that are reading this, hey, make me a really good offer, big boy. Let’s see what you can do.
Now, when I seek a book by an indie author, I feel I’m searching for hidden treasure, reading that includes the author’s original content, not part of the preordained trend, something controversial perhaps, the jewel that was missed by the book industry powers that be.
The wonderful novel that I read by an awesome, Aussie, indie author is Between Gods and Shadows by Dianne Gray. It’s also called The Everything Theory.
Terry’s latest release
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