October 8th is Indie Author Day. But what’s an indie author? It’s an author who is also a do-it-herself publisher. In other words, the buck stays with the indie author right from dreaming up the characters for her new book to selling the finished book to the reader.
Who is an indie? Me!
What do indie authors do? Often, everything. They conceive a book and/or series, check out the market for the saleability of such an idea, then set down to write it, adapt it, etc. They hire editors to help them develop the story and make it stronger, then a different one to check the almost-final draft for things such as inconsistencies and grammar. Then they find and hire proofreaders to look for things such as typos that may have slipped past the final edits.
(Indie authors often burn supper.)
They also upload those finished books to a *very* SMALL list of legal book sites, send take down notices to the plethora of other illegal sites that HAVE STOLEN THEIR BOOKS AND ARE GIVING THEM AWAY WITHOUT PERMISSION (boy, has that gotten out of hand lately and is hurting some artists to the point where they can NO LONGER AFFORD to write and publish their work–so please, please only purchase or download freebie books from sites such as Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, Google Books, All Romance eBooks, Tolino, and Barnes and Noble. We get paid for those sales and free downloads from the listed bookselling sites help us gain visibility on those sites as free downloads are rewarded there. Not to mention, pirate sites are often stealing your personal information in exchange for the ‘free’ download of our stolen work.).
(Indie authors have been known to cry during release week when they are trying to earn enough to pay off the book they just released and they find it being illegally distributed on torrent sites.)
Indie authors also have the cool job of hiring cover designers, or if they’re brave like me, creating their own. They design the interiors of their paperbacks and ebooks, register the copyright, apply/purchase an ISBN, write the little blurb about the book, read over contracts and terms of service and take care of taxes and other payments. They book promotions for their books, hold giveaways, create social media memes and banners, approach reviewers for reviews, write newsletters for their readers, maintain their websites, answer reader questions and more!
Sure, traditionally published authors do some of their own promotion these days too, but generally they write a book, sell it to their publisher, work with the editors the company hires and work under their deadline instead of their own, accept whatever cover and book blurb someone else creates as well as the release date for the book. They can’t control pricing, promotions, or other things.
So now that you have a glimpse of what indies do…why is it so AWESOME as a reader to get some indie book love?
Here are a few that top my mind–feel free to add your own in the comment section!
Four Great Reasons to Love Indie Authors and Their Books
- Lower prices! Indies often choose a lower price on their books although there are limitations with online sites on how low or high we can go. Often we try to find a balance between a good deal for the reader and managing to pay off the costs of creating a book which can easily run over a thousand dollars. (Plus, we have to eat, pay taxes, and make our mortgage payments. 😉 Few of us have found publishing to be a get rich quick scheme. LOL.)
- More sales! Again, we have the control to have a little fun and reward our readers with free days, mega sales, and other great stuff with our products–books!
- Faster release dates! Since we control and book everyone in our chain of command we can work much faster than a larger corporation when it comes to releasing our books quickly so readers don’t have to wait to see what happens in a series.
- Unique reads! Because publishers have a lot of bottom lines to meet, they often can’t afford to take a risk publishing something niche or a little different. For example, Champagne and Lemon Drops was rejected by a lot of publishers because it didn’t quite fit the mold. And yet, when it was my free series lead-in, it found over half a million readers who enjoyed the fresh take on romances that aren’t picture-perfect. Yay!
- Fast reads! If an indie book is done at page 200, that’s it! There’s no contract to force the author to keep fleshing out their book to make the agreed 300 pages which would lead to a draggy book that goes ooooonnnnnn and ooooonnnnnn.
So? What do you think? Do you have a favourite thing about indie books? Let me know in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Want a little something as a indie-reader reward? How about getting book 4 in my Blueberry Springs series for FREE? With my newsletter subscription, I give away three short, sweet stories about women falling in love on Valentine’s Day in the small town my readers have come to adore. Caution! The laughs in this series can be addictive! Claim yours here: www.jeanoram.com/FREEBOOK