My mentor, Carolyn McCray, said it best. “Indie isn’t a bad word.” She couldn’t have said anything truer if she tried. Unfortunately, many people still turn their nose up at Indie authors. #crazypeople. Granted, not every Indie author is a bestseller, but who’s to say what is good or bad in the world of writing. We all have our own likes and dislikes. The world is diverse, and we should be glad of this.
So being an Indie author doesn’t mean your novel sucked so much that a publisher or agent wouldn’t pick it up. It means that you wanted the final decision when it came to your book, and you should have every right to this. It’s your book. You are the one who spent hours, weeks, and months bringing this story to life. You should have the final say in what stays and what goes. I do urge you not to cut any material until you’ve given your beta readers a chance to read your work. A fellow author told me this week, “If they get bored, they will tell you.” She is right.
Besides being the chief and commander of your book, you also have the say on how and where it gets distributed. This is where I have to stress something to you. eBooks! They are the new black, the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you plan to be an Indie author, you want to sell your work as an eBook.
Does this mean you shouldn’t have a printed version? Of course not. Many people, and I am one of them, love having the hard copy. I have over two dozen eBooks and my list is still growing, but I am a sucker for a printed copy. I love looking at my bookshelf and seeing the many stories I have read. It’s like a trophy case of some sort.
I plan to release my novel as an eBook and printed copy. But are you still asking, why an eBook? It’s simple. This is the twenty-first century. Like it or not, everything is going digital. There have been many reports and articles that believe brick and mortar books stores, like Barnes and Noble, Walden Books, Books a Million, etc., will being going out of business, at least in the sense of their physical stores. How long this will take, I have no clue, but I think it will happen eventually because eBooks are so popular. Borders is already feeling the heat from the eBook invasion, but that’s another story.
Kindles, Nooks, Sony eReaders, and iPads, are the big thing now. Even smart phones and iPod touch have apps so that you can read eBooks on your phone. I have at least four eReader apps on my iPhone 4. I normally use Kindle and Stanza, and I will get into all of this on another post. You can also download eBooks to your PC. With so many options, why wouldn’t you publish an eBook? I can’t urge you enough to do this. You are losing out on sales if you don’t.
Next week, I will discuss the different eBook options and formats. eBooks have paved the road for Indie authors, and through them we have entered a level playing field with those who have published traditionally. I mean no disrespect toward traditional authors. They worked hard to get where they are and I respect that, but we Indie authors work our butts off too. As always, comment with your thoughts. I want to hear from you!