Amazon is doing a pretty neat thing for October (which I have heard is Indie Author Awareness Month, but I don't think it is as widely accepted, promoted, or controversial as Black History month, so whateves) they are promoting Indie authors and featuring Indies who use the hashtag #PoweredByIndie
The purpose is to bring awareness to Indie authors and why they choose indie publishing. I suspect it is an effort to break the stigma of indie publishing, and I totally get that because I was very much against it, until I got my first several contracts.
I (Don't) Wanna Be One of the Cool Kids
So, why did I choose Indie publishing? Well, I was with an agent for two years, shopping The Clear Angel Chronicles. I was frustrated because the bulk of "top tier" publishers are kind of like the popular kids in school: A pretty tight clique who will only let other popular kids play. I have never wanted to be popular, cliqy or any of those things. After that round of rejections because I didn't have a viable audience, we moved on to the mid-list publishing houses. I got several contract offers, but many of the most agreeable offers were from houses who were basically doing the Indie thing, but wanted to keep all but 15% of my earnings. My book would only be online for the first three months and then if I had enough sales, then they would do a paperback run. Several of the publishing houses had spelling errors on their websites, horrible graphics, or some other "thing" that my OCD brain just would not accept.
The only one that looked promising wanted me to change my character's name. Obviously they did not read enough of the book (although, to be fair, I have had a few reviews who complained about the confusion too.) but Clear Angel's name is very symbolic... And I was just supposed to scrap that? If they had asked me to change anyone else in the book, fine, but the main character, who's name is symbolic? Hmmm. Yeah, I guess I really was just not cut out for the traditional publishing world.
I Wanna Be ME!
And so here I am on this delightful adventure! I am solely responsible for my successes and failures. It is a lot to take on, but I love it! Would I take a traditional deal if it came my way? Probably, but it would require a lot of give and take. I'm not Van Halen with the "no brown M & M's" diva-ish, but if they want to publish my baby, they can't mess things up with generic titles, generic covers, and generic advice. I don't want to be generic. I want to be messy, thrilling, controversial, intense.
I love being Indie because it allows me to be me.
The best part of being indie? The community. We are the oddball table with awesome geekiness, delightfully bizarre conversations, intense storylines that intimidate the cool kids.
If ever there was a time that it was chic to be geek, now is that time! Indies are loving it and rocking it and it seems book fans are too!
What is your favorite indie title? Let us know in the comments below.