Are You Indie or Self-pubbed?
Posted by Bek Harrington
AKA – Why I hate self-publishers
I am going to be brave and outrageous and make a distinction that I doubt has been made before; the difference between an indie author and a self-published author. In addition, why I hate the latter.
The impact and effect of the digital revolution is far-reaching and the publishing industry is no exception. Companies such as Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble; making it easy for the 1000′s of rejected authors to finally see their work in print. (Albeit electronic print)
Anyone with any interest in non-traditional publishing has likely heard of authors such as Joe Konrath or Amanda Hocking; what about these folks? Barbara Freethy, Gemma Halliday or John Locke. These authors have all sold more than a million copies of their books. The success of these hard-working authors would not have been possible if not for the ebook publishing revolution.
The down side to this is the putrid avalanche of rubbish which is flooding the market, also as a direct result of e-publishing. You know the type of thing I’m talking about. Books that have covers slapped together using some dodgy (not meant to be used this way) program. Books that are seemingly immune to spellcheck. Books where the laws of physics, nature and grammar have been defied and abandoned. Books where the formatting is a mangled jumble of font styles and sizes. (Here’s a tip, your writing is supposed to be creative, not the fonts you use.) Books, that let’s face it, should never have seen the light of day. These are the types of books I categorise as “self-published”. The creators (I refuse to acknowledge them as authors) of these books should be shot.
Indie authors on the other hand, focus on their craft; improving their writing and storytelling. Indie authors realise it’s their job to write a good story, but they will need help to produce a good book. They seek assistance and advice for editing, formatting and cover design. They consult colleagues and beta readers to identify strengths and weaknesses in their writing. All with the sole purpose of producing the best damn book they possible can. Indies know and accept, that doing it yourself is not the easy route. They understand how incredibly hard it is to get noticed and achieve even moderate success.
Can you spot the difference?
Now you might be asking yourself what has prompted this hostility towards the brainless and talentless self-published writer.
Aside from the obvious obstacles and challenges faced by an author, these self-pubbers and their ramshackle offerings are having a devastating effect on perception towards non-traditional publishing and it’s authors. Countless book reviewers will no longer accept any type of self-published work. They are tired of having to sort the wheat from the chaff, only to occasionally find something worth reading. (The importance of book reviews will have to wait for another day.)
In an industry where the big boys already have a major advantage, as far as customer perception is concerned, we need to be nothing short of perfect if we want to sway readers. The incompetence and ineptitude of self-publishers guarantees that indies will, for the foreseeable future, continue to be viewed as pariahs of the publishing world.
Indie authors UNITE! Death to the self-publishers. Say goodbye to childish book covers, farewell to spelling and grammar errors. Let the revolution move forward. Together we can change the face of publishing. We can give readers fantastic stories at great prices AND keep control of our work.
So ask yourself – are you an indie?