I’ve been cursed at, name called, spit at, high fived with the middle finger and been called fat (ouch!). All by people I didn’t know.
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.
Steve - Support from your fellow writers, Tammy? Let me be the first, if far from the last, to offer it—and I hope you’ve brought enough milk and cookies to satisfy the thousands who are right behind me. (Loaves and fishes just aren’t as popular as they used to be…)
Go for it! I’m proud of you!!
Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Join the club Tammy…I finally had to quit the “Northern Colorado Writers” group up here because I got no respect. But, WHO CARES?
I’m loving my life as a blogger, author and INDEPENDENT THINKER! The future of writing is anybody’s guess, so choose YOUR future and go for it!
BTW, what’s your new book going to be about?
Tammy - Hi Steve, Haaa! If only it were true. You’d be surprised how many writers look down their noses at Indies. Shame on them. Whatever happened to the “atta girl” mentality that we would so willingly share with our colleges? I was published “officially” and was always interested in doing it myself. I’m thinking it’s a higher road to travel. Rest assured I’ll bake more cookies should the demand increase the supply. Thanks for the support and the post!
Tammy - Hi Laura Lee, wow, really? You have to wonder why writers don’t just simply support writers. I mean, what the hell? You are very successful at what you do and if were you, I’d do more of the same. You’re awesome. Thanks for being here, appreciate the post!
Mel Glenn - You go, girl. “The “Indie” label is a compliment, but it is a tough row to hoe. You are in control, that’s good, but Indie books rarely get to be promoted. I know, I have one ebook out, and cost me (!) money.
Scott Morgan - Hooray and huzzah for sticking up for the title “indie.” I LOVE the dying arrogance of the status quo in this revolution 🙂
Carmen - Wow Wow Wow Yea for you. Go for it.
I come from an era that independent minded women were to be seen and not heard and we were not smart. What fools. Go be heard!!
I am forever your admirer and your faithful reader.
Tammy - Hi Mel, thanks! In the traditionally published circle, the word Indie is an insult. Oy! I want to know who you used to create your e-book. You gotta share! And money? Hmmm, how much money? Yes, I see a personal email in our future. It’s always wonderful having you here. Thanks for the read, the rally and the post!
Tammy - Scott, the arrogance is dying … but slowly and with great resistance. It feels a bit like a revolution, although many of the ‘friends’ that are now looking down on me were the very same ones that applauded me when I was published. Go figure. As I said, they can kiss my butt. Thanks for the rally kind sir. It will be remembered.
Tammy - Hi Carmen, I understand the generation of be seen and not heard. Never good advice for a woman, especially. Thanks for being my forever admirer and faithful reader. Every writer should have one and you’re mine! Great seeing you here. Thanks awfully for the post!
Jane Steen - Hold your head up high! I too am proud to use the labels “self-published” and “indie”. I love the control over my books’ future, the fact that I own 100% of the rights, and the direct connection with readers.
And I’ve noticed a change from when I first started telling people I was going to self-publish. Faint contempt has given way to interest and requests for advice as traditionally published friends start looking at their rights-reverted backlist or dream of starting a lucrative sideline. We’re the wave of the future, baby.
Kellie - Ya What a BIG BIOOTCH! has this other writer ever heard of “inde” recordering artists? Why do you think singers, bands etc. create their own label? Gosh could it be that the artists keep creative control and more $$. H’m I would be interested to see this other writers age. If I had to guess not of our generation. Our generation is NOT afraid of hard work, not looking for the easy success story. Good for you my friend!
Ande Lyons - Dear Rebel with a Cause…
I am so proud of you! Congrats on traveling the self published ‘Indie’ road… how rewarding on so many levels.
Imagine if you had self published your first book… mmm mmm mmm! (Of course I had to crunch the numbers… my MBA brain forces me to calculate profit margins on every business I see… such a burden… 😉
In my world of Bedtime Story authors… many of them are proudly self published and have a tribe of happy volunteer reviewers/editors for their books. There’s a support group of these writers who help each other stay on the cutting edge of marketing and social media to promote their books. (It takes a village to raise a book!)
Yes, you’ve been called much worse… so keep on sharing the love your way.
I’m truly thrilled to know ya, Indie!
Your devoted fan,
Jenny - If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all. – Thumper
I know the person who called you an “Indie” didn’t write this but obviously hasn’t read it either. Heck you don’t even have to read the book, it is in a movie!
Wishing you the best of luck! Keep writing and publish your words the way you want.
Tammy - Hi Jenny, I LOVE Thumper! We could all learn a lot from that little bunny. But back to the subject: I respect all writers. Period. If they are published by a publishing house as I was or if they self publish as I will be. we are all doing the same thing and traveling the same road. Shame on the judgmental people. So appreciate your support and your input. Manners has a place everywhere. Just ask Thumper!
Tammy - Hi Ande, Haaa! I’m a rebel? Yaaa, I’ve always wanted to be a rebel! The road to self publishing is fraught with confusion (mostly due to so many choices) but anything worth having is worth sweating over, right? Yeah, I hear ya, Ms. Number Cruncher, the numbers make me queasy when I think about what I’ve missed. *le sigh* Live and learn and move on. Bottom line is your publishing house won’t market your book unless your are James Patterson or Steven King. You’re on your own and basically work your ass off to make them a tidy little profit. Thanks, but no thanks. With today’s technology and a little ‘smarts’, I can do it myself. Of course that’s what I said when I tried painting my bathroom. But that’s a whole other story. Color me grateful for cyberspace’s introduction of you to me. I am the better for it. Thanks for being here, my friend, and the the support and encouragement. One day, we MUST meet in person!
Tammy - Hi Kellie, yeah, you’re reading my mind. The writer (and I use the term loosely) is my age. Old enough to know better, don’t ya think? Proof that ignorance and bias visit all generations. In my humble and UN-bitchy opinion, we should support each other in our efforts to make good. It really is that simple. With regards to the kindness impaired woman I spoke of, well, it’s hard to argue with stupid. Thanks, sweet Kellie, for your two cents. It was worth so much more!
Tammy - Hi Jane, you said a mouth full there! Owning 100% of the rights and the direction of your book is priceless. I hope you are right and the tide is changing. But no matter, the independent minded will forge ahead. I say God bless us and wish us luck. We are at least trying! Yes, we ARE the wave of the future, and I have a sneaky suspicion that the future is here. Let’s take our courage, our instinct, and our talent and find a better way. Do I hear an Amen?? Great hearing from you Jane! Thanks awfully for the post!
cheryl - So glad to know “they” aren’t going to get you down. YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!! I hope you never lose that “Tammy sass”. love you
Tammy - Hi Cheryl, now “Tammy Sass” is a name I can live with and own up to. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I love knowing that you are always just a read away! Thanks for popping in and posting.
Pamela O'Mack - Great read again, as usual. I happen to love Imdies! I didn’t know that’s what we were called, but I would much prefer to be around and know an Indie compared to someone who doesn’t have the conviction of what they believe in and are afraid to stand up for it, who put their finger in the wind and say whatever, just to go along with one another. We can be polite and not be judgemental of those who offer a different opinion or different way of doing things. I guess, in my generation, I would call Indies, Phonies! I love you, Indie! Pamela
Tammy - Pamela, you are an Indie in your heart. You go against the grain, you don’t care what others think of you, you march to your own tune. Welcome to the pack. We are free thinkers, risk takers, edge walkers. We must stick together and always support each other in our ideas, endeavors and life changes. I’m here for you! Thanks for posting and sharing your thoughts!