Enough With The Indie Author Slamming.

Getting over the indie stigma is a daily challenge. Everyone assumes we self-publish because we were rejected by people who know better than to let us publish our books. Clearly, that’s not always the case, as I am one who chose this as my preferred path. I’m too much of a control freak to allow others to tell me what to do with my own ideas. And so what if it had been the result of facing countless rejections? Indie authors have proven their resourcefulness. They have proven there is more than one way to skin a cat. Oops, sorry for that terrible cliche’. Β But you know what I mean. Bottom line–the indie revolution is here to stay, and I’m happy to be part of it.

Most days. πŸ˜€

Sometimes I’m just too doggone irritated by the snide remarks and obvious biases. Take this blog post written by an indie author about other indies, for instance. He is definitely highlighting some of the negative aspects of being an indie author, or at least the negativity of being associated with other indies who have questionable practices. Some of these things occur by SOME authors that give us ALL a bad name. It in no way should be taken as gospel for ALL indie authors. And I refuse to believe NOBODY likes us.

I will only list the heading of his points without regurgitating hisΒ reasoning. You can click on the link and read them for yourself.Β  These are my thoughts on each:

1. The Endless Self-Promotion. I do my best not to self-promote all over the place because that’s just annoying for others AND myself. I have so much more important stuff I like to talk about…like my favorite shows and movies. πŸ™‚ On the other hand, if I don’t tell people about my work, no one will know. Sometimes I get irritated being in groups where I can only shout out other authors. What about my books, dammit? The same big name authors are mentioned over and over again. I talk about them too. But if all I do is talk about them, how will I spread the word about MY books? Those authors have built-in marketing/promotion. Indies do not. I do, however, agree that the self-promoting abuse by some authors has made it harder on us all.

2. A Lack Of Gatekeepers. My gatekeepers are my beta readers. If they are impressed, I let it roll. If something stinks to them, I rework it until they are satisfied. My OCD also helps with editing. Errors jump out at me like red hot coals. But c’mon. Agents/Publishers/Reviewers think they are the authority on books, and they aren’t. They are the authority on their own opinion of a book. Someone else reading the same book may have a totally different perspective. Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on official gatekeeper opinions about our books before publishing them. We can let readers decide their worth. Of course, making sure the editing is good is a must. BUT I have noticed people don’t rag on the errors in books by big name authors. I have yet to read a book without a typo, misspelling, or punctuation error. The only books I see readers complaining about in this regard though are indie books. Even though that is not the case for my books, I think it’s truly unfair for others.

I have also noticed countless authors getting ripped off by paying for “editing” from someone who can’t freaking edit. Most indie authors ARE trying to make sure their work is up to snuff. They keep running into wolves in sheep’s clothing. So-called “editors” need to stop preying on an indie’s desire to be taken seriously. Readers need to stop holding indies to a higher standard than they do Big 6-published authors.

3. The Scamming. Yes, the scamming sucks. People can just be opportunistic jerks. That’s in any industry.

4. Writing As A Business. I don’t know why the hell people assume just because you write about vampires, you’re trying to mimic Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Or if you write BDSM, it’s because 50 Shades is popular. Why can’t it just be because you LOVE the genre and they inspired you to go for it? I saw that Twilight comment in a review of my book, and it peeved me greatly. You don’t know my story. You don’t know my inspirations, motivations, and aspirations. Don’t assume you do. I love vamps. I love writing. I love writing vamps. It is art AND business because I take it seriously. End of story. And for those authors who write certain things to follow market trends–who gives a bleep? Let them be. At least it gives readers more options in the same genres they love. Everybody wins.

5. The Successes. I knew when I took on this risque’ brand that I would not achieve mainstream success, so eff it. I may not make millions or retire from my day job within this decade, but I’m following my passion. So what if I’m inspired by the few that branch out and achieve mega success? Everybody has someone to idolize…at least they should. You need to study the folks who have succeeded in the areas you want to succeed and learn from them. If an indie author made it big–great. I’m going to figure out how they did it. So far, I know they haven’t written the types of books I write. Maybe that’s indicative of the level of success I will reach writing what I do. But it at least provides a certain formula, you know, in case I change my mind and decide to write for mainstream audiences. And for the record, I believe those breakout authors had received countless form rejection letters and lots of people telling them they were not J.K. Rowlings. Good thing they didn’t let that stop them.

***What are your thoughts on Jason’s Top Five Reasons Nobody Likes Indie Authors?***

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13 Comments

  1. Thank you SO much for writing this post. I read that post by that person and it was just irritating to me. I thought it was self-serving and it just displayed his frustrations with the industry. His frustrations are not my frustrations and I could have done without reading another slamming article. I agree with your rebuttal on each point. I’m glad that you have the strength and conviction to write what you write and not let anybody tell you any differently. I believe there is enough room in the publishing world for everyone. Ask my husband about the five cases of books stored in our garage :). I’ve got plenty of books on my to-be-read list also. BTW, although I like paranormal, I’m still trying to build up the desire to even read Stephanie Meyer, so she doesn’t strike a winning chord with everyone. IJS.

    • Thanks for the comment, Sheryse! With all the challenges we face daily in this industry, it would be nice to see more positivism shared, wouldn’t it? I agree that there is enough room for ALL of us. There are lots of readers, and they don’t just read one book a year… and they don’t all have the same tastes, as you’ve pointed out with Twilight. I do my best to encourage other authors as often as I can. There’s enough negativity out here to last a lifetime. It’s unfortunate that this latest indie author slam came from another indie author. smh

  2. I wouldn’t worry about someone like him who spews bile as link bait. Put it down to jealousy. The thousands of people who buy my novels serve as a fair “gatekeeper” and I make a living at it. *shrug*

    • That’s right, J.R.! If your novels are selling and readers are enjoying them, that’s all the validation you need.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Dicey! I was nodding in agreement when the discussion came up in the FB group.

    • Howdy, Alesha! I saw this blog posted on somebody’s FB page (not even sure which), but I had too much to say to post a quick comment. I hope other authors (and readers) will not internalize this author’s rant about a situation that is more beneficial for us than it is harmful to us or the publishing industry.

  4. I can’t help but agree with a lot of what he says…. Sorry 😦 I can of course see it from your side too.
    There are some fantastic indie authors out there, T. L Shreffler, Jolene Stockman, Stacey Rourke and of course yourself to name a few.
    Unfortunately in my experience, if I split indie’s into three groups, Dire, Good, and Fantastic, the Good and Fantastic added together would probably make up 10% of the Dire (and that is being overly generous)
    It is a sad fact that when I open my FB news feed in a morning I am inundated with author after author trying to sell me their book, my emails are full of one offer or another to buy someones book for $.99…..(This never happens I’m English my currency is sterling!!) I must spend fifteen minutes every day hitting ‘delete’ or ‘hide from news feed’, but still they come!
    Don’t get me wrong I spend most of my time promoting indie authors, my whole blog is dedicated to them. I interview them Review for them, Beta-Read for them, partake in blog tours and do cover reveals, in fact anything they ask me to do, I do. I want to help and I do it for no gain, with no ulterior motive other than the hope that I will find another fantastic author to add to my must read list. I have the time and I’m a book-a-holic.
    All that said, it cannot be taken away that with the ease of self publishing ebooks the reader now has to slog through a pile of s*** to find something worth reading and it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Most people just don’t have that much spare time, when they do pick up a book they should be able to expect that the book is spell checked and the grammar is correct at least! (of course the odd typo is acceptable we are all human but come on, I could give you buy links to some ‘books’ that an 8 year old would write better.)
    My worry is, what is this going to teach our kids? Prior to this SP boom you could almost guarantee that if your child read a book the spelling would be 99.9% correct, there would be no misuse of there, they’re or their so you wouldn’t have to worry about them picking up bad habits. That is not the case anymore and I worry it will leave us with a generation that doesn’t know ‘write’ from ‘rong’!!!
    So yeah there needs to be a ‘Gate-Keeper’ of sorts, The buyer needs protecting as much as the author, and a lot of these ‘writers’ need to accept that just because they ‘want’ to write doesn’t mean they ‘can’.

    • Don’t be sorry for providing another perspective. πŸ™‚ I appreciate the insight from a reader/reviewer standpoint.

      I usually encourage people to read samples of my books in order to see if they are “write” for them. (You know I mean “RIGHT”–just having some early morning fun) πŸ˜€ But honestly, I think that would help readers sift through mess. If you read the book samples provided (like on Amazon), many times you can see that it will be a mess. I have read several samples with heinous errors throughout the first few paragraphs. That’s a sign, for sure. I certainly don’t buy the book after that. And… *whispers* If you find out you have bought a dud, return it. Readers have that option as well.

      I do agree that just because self-publishing is available, not everyone should exercise his or her right to do it. I’d just like to see more positive things said about those of us that readers think are good. I’ve never even heard of the other names you mentioned. (Thanks, btw!) Most of the time, it’s the same ol’ big name authors recommended to readers. The good indies just get left in the dust…along with the not-so-good. Of course, thanks for all you do to help spread the word for us. Hopefully, more readers will shun their generalized biases, read individual book samples, put on their discerning hats, and discover new indie books they enjoy too.

      As far as the constant promoting–I see it in my feed too–I put that under business practices and strategies, and realize most people don’t know anything about running a business. They wrote a book (art). Now they have to learn how to market it (business). It’s unfortunate, but most people don’t take the time to study and learn how to do that effectively. Overly-aggressive marketing in any business is a killer. What I’ve discovered, and would tell any indie author who asked: Everyone has to know what you do, so provide info. But they usually do business with you because they like you, so spend more time being personable.

      • Yes the samples and the look inside feature are a good feature. I forgot to mention Jessica McHugh, I like her work too!

  5. Thanks so much for this post! God Bless you for taking time out of your schedule for posting this. As I read, I found myself saying, “HEY! I think the SAME thing!!!” I especially love point four about passion. For me, it is passion first. But I firmly believe that my passion will translate (has translated) to success. I really love this book business. God has gifted me for it. I write words that entertain and edify. I really enjoy what I do and everyday I speak into my life that I am writing full-time. (I speak my desire in the present tense). Why? Because I love writing and I believe that you should do what you love.

  6. You made some really great points, and it is true that a few bad examples tend to get generalized but are so not the rule.
    I think indie authors are really awesome, especially since they tend to be the ones who interact with their fans more πŸ™‚


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