Monday, July 2, 2012

Indie-Pendence Day Q&A

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.


Matthew MacNish said...

The cool thing is that it seems like every year the ratio gets better and better.

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks Rick for such a great Indie Post. I have Travis' book but haven't had time to read it yet.

Happy 4th of July.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I already own Anita's work - and my kids love it! I will have to check out Feedstore - I just finished Midnight's Tale, and thoroughly enjoyed it, though I would never have expected to love a story written from the POV of a goat! The great thing about indie is finding (and loving) the unexpected.

Thanks for the rec!

Johanna Garth said...

I really love the definition of Indie via bellybutton. But so true, every year the writing I read by Indie's gets better.

nutschell said...

a great way to promote indies! Thanks for the recommendations.

Bisi Leyton said...

Thanks for the indie love. You're right about it being about the community of indies and not just individuals. The contact with other indies has helped me get better.

And while there's a lot of good stuff out there, a lot of people seem to only focus on the bad.

Rick Daley said...

Matthew- I'm excited for the future, I believe the trend will continue!

Anne- Travis' book is funny, I really enjoyed it. Have a good 4th! Your copy of Rudy Toot-Toot is on its way...

Sue- I'm glad I found out about this. Marketing is the hardest part of writing, anything I can do to assist other writers makes me feel good!

Johanna- Thanks! Keep reading...

nutschell- Thanks for stopping by!

Bisi- Thanks for stopping by and helping to grow the community ;-) Given time, the stigma will continue to fade.

D.G. Hudson said...

Good Luck with the blogfest.

Great idea to promote better understanding of what the term means.