Why am I doing this event? Do Indie authors really matter in the grand scheme of things….like for real, are they the future of the literary world? Why the fuck should you care? Well you don’t need to care, but for those of you who do…please keep reading
Publishing a book whether through a very small press or self-publishing isn’t that new of a concept. I don’t have the straight up facts, but whatever, I’m not a fan researching stuff to thoroughly. I just know that it’s been around for a LONG time. Hell, the first name that comes to mind is a man who pioneered a new territory of poetry and has been solidified in the history books as an icon. Walt Whitman’s first edition of Leaves of Grass was SELF-PUBLISHED….WALTER FUCKING WHITMAN! I could share what I know about that, but this Wikipedia page will give you the gist of things.
Really, what more proof is needed for people to take Indie authors seriously. Yes, Whitman kind of had the whole Amanda Hocking thing happen, but he still forked over the cash for those early printing. And his fame took a while as well (I wasn’t there, so maybe it did maybe it didn’t). He was pioneering with the poems he was publishing (something we seem many modern Indies doing with poetry and/or fiction).
My real immersion into the Indie World, at least what the modern world considers it (the new craze, this amazing place in literary history), occurred late last year. I didn’t think much of it until around January/February of this year, though. Back in September or October I found the Goodreads site, and thought it’d be a cool way to organize what I’m reading…that’s it’s use on a basic level. Soon after joining I found the giveaway section. Through that I won a few books (then almost too many, haha…but I LOVE books) and many of these didn’t have the markings of a “normal” book. Then I find out they are self-published. I read some of them. I enjoyed them. I warmed up to Indie authors.
Around this time I was still iffy on the whole e-book revolution, as well. This is a key player in what makes Indie publishing successful. It’s cheaper to publish this way than print, and it gets books out almost instantly all over the world. For Christmas my brother found and bought me an off-brand $50 eReader (which has recently been dropped and killed, please send funds to a fellow book lover for a Kindle ). This was probably the greatest thing that happened to me in my book-related life.
I started finding books from authors I knew. From the major publishing giants. But it didn’t matter much to me, I had most of the books I needed from them in print…and I got them for about a dollar a piece, which is cheaper than any of their ebooks. Then I started using Twitter much more often. Through this I found the world of book blogging, which lead me to discover Indie authors.
The first few I started interacting with, were Rebecca Hamilton, author of her début novel The Forever Girl, and S.M. Boyce, her début is The Grimoire: Lichgates. Rebecca was kind enough to pass along a discount coupon for her book, which I went and bought, read, loved, reviewed, loved some more, and found a new friend in her. Yes, Indies are approachable beasts unlike some authors. Through Twitter Hangman (I’m the champ by the way) and other small interactions I got to know Boyce, as well; she became another great, helpful, snarkalicious friend. And I went on to find a plethora of great people, who happen to also be authors as the time went on.
This is what really got me to appreciate what these authors do EVERYDAY. They wake up and are everyday people. They (mostly) have day-jobs (whether an actual paying job or being stay-at-home parents, which is a tough job to do AND be able to write). They are like you and me. There’s a level of dedication to getting the word out for a book, getting more books out, keeping up with the hectic social media world, and more that kept me there. I could have met a few authors, gotten their books, then left. But I didn’t want to. I saw what they were doing and two things occurred. 1) They have great books that I want to read, and 2) I want to help out in any way I can.
I became a huge Indie supporter from those early days on. It isn’t hard to do either. I already read the books, it’s not hard for me to write a short (or lengthy) review on what I thought about it. That takes 10-20 minutes out of my day. Not only does it help the author, it helps other readers find books they might like. It also seemed to help me remember more about the book since when I wasn’t reviewing a book might leave my mind in a day or two, once I picked up another. Other ways to support them is not just to review, but discuss books WITH them. Conversations about what worked/didn’t in their book or even other books is a great way for everyone to work on their own writing and understanding of books. I could go on and on about Indie Support. Instead here’s a great article on the topic by Rebecca Hamilton.
What I’m trying to get across here, and by holding Indie Week as a whole, is that there is a great literary world inside the bigger picture of literature. Indie publishing, while allowing the Average Joe who can’t form a sentence to save his life to publish a much less than par book, allows some of the greatest unknown writers of our time to try their hand at writing AND get an audience instead of a rejection letter for various reasons (some of which aren’t about the manuscript itself). I enjoy being part of the Indie World. I don’t want to leave. I haven’t given up on traditional books and authors, that wouldn’t make sense either, but Indies have a bigger place in my heart.
In the end a book is a book. I don’t care how it go into my hands. If the words inside move me in any way, who am I to judge who paid for those words to get to me?
Thank you for stopping by for today’s post. There’s also this one from Rebecca Hamilton herself. Please stick around all week for more great authors, and a few more posts from me. Find the entire list of posts here.