This is a “Go To Hell” article. Yes, I was bound to write one of these sooner or later, so without further ado…
There is a particular perception that I have been running into lately regarding those who choose to independently publish. It tends to take the following forms and I will address them in my own particular way:
Perception: Indie Authors aren’t good enough to get a Traditional Publisher so they can’t be very good.
Reality: Indie Authors are like any other writers in that they have to compete for swimming space in The Slush Pile. We write, edit, and format the best stories we can and send them out. However, we are competing with hundreds of thousands in a market that often requires instant bestseller with little to no investment. Unless that rejection slip specifically states that your writing sucks, you’re just a victim of numbers and not deficient creative quality. Some of us have tried the Traditional Route for years with no success and decided to put our stuff out by ourselves.
Perception: If you don’t have a professional editor and/or cover designer, you are going to fail.
Reality: I’ve had this one told to me by freelance editors and cover designers and it really pisses me off. Prices on these guys can run anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars and there’s no guarantee of success either way. Some of us start the Old School Way with a day job and little money to spend on much more than office supplies. I realize that they are selling their services, but using the Hard Sell on someone that you know can’t afford it is ridiculous and a sure-fire turn off. Thank you, but I’ll take my chances with my own editing experience.
Perception: You shouldn’t put out so many books in a year because you should focus on quality over quantity.
Reality: I read this in a recent Huffington Post article. The author was putting forth the notion that more quantity equals less quality and unless you are guaranteeing a literary masterpiece, you shouldn’t publish more than four books a year. I don’t hold to that idea because I personally write and publish because I enjoy to write and publish. The quality of my work is implied and I make every effort to put my best out there. After all, my name’s on the cover.
Perception: Since you have to do all the work yourself, maybe you should quit this Indie Thing and go back to submitting to Traditional Publishers.
Reality: This was told to me by a “friend” who had no experience with literature, writing, or publishing, yet felt compelled to impose their worldly wisdom upon me. I won’t repeat my exact response but it fell somewhere between “Kiss my Ass” and “No Thanks, I have writing to do.”
On another note, Parallax hasn’t gotten any recorded sales yet, but I am noticing a lot of reads popping up on the Kindle Unlimited Side. I’m still learning how to interpret these numbers, but it looks to me like a good thing. I wish I had more time to be neurotic about it, but I’m deep into working on Lights and Shadows for December.
Finally, I say do your own thing and tell the cranks to Go To Hell. In the nicest possible way, of course. 😉