Monday, July 2, 2012
Q: What is an Indie?
A: It’s when your belly button doesn’t stick out. Ha! Just kidding. Indie is short for Independent Author. Or Indiana Jones, but I think you spell that with a –y, i.e. Indy.
Q: Why celebrate Independent Authors?
A: Because supporting an Indie Author is supporting small business. These are talented entrepreneurs, creating high-quality books and selling them at competitive prices. It’s what readers should be looking for, to be honest. Indie authors are enterprising people starting up their own businesses...It's the American way! Celebrating their efforts around the 4th of July makes perfect sense.
Q: But don’t all self-published books suck?
A: No, they don’t all suck. Far from it. While self-publishing is a process of making an e-book available, or working with a POD (print on-demand) publisher, and Indie Authors do self-publish in this sense, I see a difference between the stigmatic "self-published books" and being an Indie Author.
Indie Authors don’t work alone; self-publishers do it all themselves (hence the name). Self-publishers self-edit, often rushing to publication with a first draft of a first novel. While there are many horrible self-published books out there, there are even more great novels by talented new Indie authors (including those who publish through small presses). Indies solicit expertise from peers and/or professionals to hone their writing, from grammar and line edits to character, plot, and pacing; they care deeply about the quality of their writing. It’s the dedication to the craft that is enabling Indie Authors to create a new perception of quality in the market.
Q: Aren’t you an Indie Author?
A: Yes, but this isn’t about me. This is about the entire community of Indie writers and the readers who support them. While I would love for more people to read my books, I want to recommend two Indie authors whose books I read an enjoyed:
Travis Erwin’s semi-memoir The Feedstore Chronicles is a fictionalized account of his coming-of-age, set around his high school job in the Texas panhandle. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, and funny doesn’t come easy. Sure, some of the humor is crude. Okay, pretty much all of the humor is crude. There are a couple scenes that make fart jokes seem like church talk, one involving a bulldog. But it is funny, and it’s the voice with which Travis describes the awkward situations that makes the narrative so compelling. His writing is natural, witty, and full of heart.
Anita Laydon Miller has independently published two books, Earthling Hero and A Scary Good Book and is currently working on a new YA novel with agent representation. Her stories are perfect for middle-grade readers, with characters they can relate to. She has a good sense for writing action and suspense, in A Scary Good Book, especially…It’s as good as any Hardy Boys or Three Investigators book I read as a kid. Anita is finishing courses in pursuit of her MFA degree, I expect her future works to keep getting better and better.