Thursday, December 19, 2013

No longer indie

Tis the Christmas season and where I live everything is covered in about six inches of snow. It would be beautiful if I didn’t hate the cold so much. Alas, it just gives me an excuse to stay inside and keep writing. I’m about ninety percent finished with my latest novel. A sci-fi adventure that takes place fifty years after humanity has driven off an invading alien force. I’ve been working on it for eleven months to the day and I hope to have it finished and available for sale by early February. I plan on a strong marketing strategy with a new twist. I am no longer labeling myself as an indie writer.

I recently read in several separate articles that the stigma associated with labeling oneself an “indie” comes at a steep price. It causes immediate views of amateur writing and storytelling with pages littered with grammatical and spelling errors. So many new writers are publishing throngs of books that are no higher quality than first drafts and that the practice is starting to give a bad name to all the devoted indie writers who take the time to make certain their story is tight.

I’m not saying that these new writers don’t deserve a chance in the new literary ocean of manuscripts I’m saying that many of these books need time to mature and are sent out into the world way before they are ready. To prove my own point, I recently went on Amazon and read the sample pages of nearly fifty books that were published by indie authors. Some of these authors used fake publishing names to make the books appear legit, some had covers that they obviously made themselves, and some had Amazon rankings of more than a million.

Out of the fifty samples I read, only twelve had zero errors and a story that engaged me. Most appeared to be mere attempts at starting a plot and some were so bad that I couldn’t even follow what was happening. No wonder readers are more leery than ever about giving new authors a chance.

I say go ahead and read my sample pages. I’m proud of my books and the enormous time, energy, editing, and drafts it took to write them. I’m not publishing books to impress people or to get rich. I’m publishing books because that’s what I’m hard-wired to do. I’m all for the proliferation of art in any form and consider writing one of the most challenging. A creative person can write a hit song or paint a masterpiece in one day, but writing a novel takes tremendous time and devotion. I just don’t believe some of these new wave indie writers are giving their own work the commitment it deserves. Therefore, I am no longer going to refer to myself as an indie writer, but rather just a writer. I’ll let the readers decide if I’m worthy of that title.

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