Indie publishing ...
Just recently I joined two conversations on Facebook, which were about the same Huffington Post article. The author of the piece had put forward a rather scathing opinion of Indie (self-published) authors, that upset a lot of people. She later went on to apologise (after receiving some nasty emails and even some death threats, which I find a bit much) to one said group, saying that the Post had cut the article and with it had changed the original tone of it. Then she added that she would be buying -and reading - some Indie books as she was now convinced that the industry was not just a mere whim of someone who strung a few words together.
While this is all well and good, being both a ‘traditionally’ published and self-published author myself, I don’t think this is good enough. Sure … there is a lot of rubbish out there (my opinion) but many people tend to either forget, or are not aware that self-publishing is where it all started. The big houses have only made their entrance onto the scene in recent years. For example, Random House was founded in 1927, Allen and Unwin in 1914, and Penguin in 1935. Recorded samples of ‘published’ works go back to the year 808, so one must wonder why there is such a stigma on self-publishing when it has been around for hundreds of years.
All writers want to be up there with the big names, selling books and getting lots of dollars for their hard work, but there are downfalls to traditional publishing houses. Once signed up they have no control over their book until the contract has run its course. They don’t get many perks either unless they can bring in millions of sales like Dan Brown, Stephen King or James Patterson. They still have to do their own marketing and promos until they can make enough money to pay for someone to do it for them. Also, they have to pay for their own extras. And did you know they don’t get any royalties – which, by the way, is only 3% of book profits - until their advance is paid off.
There is also the additional thing of getting accepted by one of the big 5 in the first place. Have you ever read a sales catalogue recently and seen a new name? I know I haven’t.
In conclusion, I will say that Indie authors just want to get out there. Whether it’s for fame, fortune or recognition it doesn’t matter. What does matter is, they don’t deserve to be ridiculed. They don’t deserve to be made to feel bad about what they’re doing. And they sure as hell don’t need to read shitty stuff about their achievements, that is put out to the world for all and sundry to see. They have succeeded in completing a long and sometimes tedious journey, and for that, they should feel proud.
(C) Margaret R Blake 03-01-2017