But it wasn’t until I was in a heated discussion with a fellow panelist at a writer’s workshop, that I actually took offense when, with a dubious squint in her eyes, she pityingly called me an “Indie”. What the hell??
An Indie? Like that’s an insult?
I had a book published in 2008 through a mainstream New York publishing house. A fanciful little read called ‘Single Past 50 Now What?’. I appreciated the affiliation at the time but found the experience to be less than wonderful.
I soon found that I was not in control of my book’s destiny. I ended up with a book cover that I hated, I wasn’t fond of the formatting, I didn’t actually own the rights to my own work and, well, the list is endless.
Since I was a ‘newbie’, I received absolutely no help in marketing the book and after the books arrived at my door, it was increasingly difficult to get anyone from the agency to return my calls.
I quickly learned that 15% residual on a $14 book was never going to make me rich, let alone famous. I never cared about the famous part, but I was attached to the idea of untold riches finding its way to my doorstep. The book sold over 9,000 copies and is still selling; a testament to the author or perhaps to the current state of marriage for women over 50.
So, this time around, I’ve decided to publish my next book myself. That would make me an independent publisher, or an Indie.
With e-Books being all the rage these days, self publishing could not be easier. Sure it’s more work for me; editing, formatting, type and page style and about 50 other little details that need tending. But it also means I get to keep 60% (or more) of my profits. Hello? That’s more like it.
So, getting back to the bitch, um, I mean the mean spirited lady that called me what she thought was a nasty word, she can kiss my butt.
Since when does being an independent thinker a bad thing? Choice is a wonderful thing. Courage with choice can be life changing.
Many established authors who have had publishing houses behind their books for years are opting to go solo. There is a reason for that; control of your product and hugely increased profit margins not being the least of them.
I’m not at all sure why this kind of snobbery still exists. If you believe that your way is the only way, you’ve got bigger problems.
I am proud to be an Indie. I am an Indie in almost every aspect of my life. It has always been an advantage for me. Pretentious people generally place themselves as judge and jury to those of us who don’t fall within their scope of things. Too bad.
This country was built on new ideas, thinking out of the box and going against the grain. Madame Curie, Benjamin Franklin, Picasso, Christopher Columbus, Steve Jobs were all Indies.
Clearly I am no Steve Jobs and I’m not painting, inventing or discovering anything anytime soon. But I will be putting out an e-Book without the help of the conventional publishing house and I’m willing to bet I’ll do just fine.
I was hoping for support from my fellow writers. Many offer it, just as many don’t. I still have a hard time understanding why people put down what they don’t agree with. I guess we could ask that question with regards to politics and religion too.
Stand down people. Give your judgments a rest. Support your local Indie.
You may not know it yet, but we are blazing the trail for you.