Indies are books written by independent authors, those authors not published by big name publishing houses. Some are published by small, independent publishers and others, probably the majority, are self-published (ePubbed). This is a new industry of books that came about following the rise of the eReader and eBook Industry. This is an incredible innovation that has allowed previously unpublished authors to publish the books they've been writing and/or dreaming about for years.
I happen to have the good fortune to be part of this blooming Indie Industry. I only jumped on the band wagon back in August of last year when I ePubbed my debut contemporary romance novel, "Outback Love." I would like to say that "Outback Love" started out with a big fanfare and instant success, but such is not the case, as with most indie books. First off, most of us indie authors are virtual unknowns. When we ePub a book it gets slipped in there, real quiet like, amidst all those books by well-known authors. We hope and pray for that first sale to an utter stranger (a sale not to a family member or friend) and then we jump up and down and shout for joy when it happens. It is at that point that an indie book is truly born.
Most indie authors are poor, or close to it. We don't have connections with big publishing houses, agents, etc. and we don't get monetary advances for our books. The poorest of us design our own book covers and edit our books with the help of family and friends. In fact, by the time a book is ePubbed, we've pretty much driven our family and friends to utter exhaustion. Nine times out of ten they will no longer answer the door, take our phone calls or even return emails. Yes, we're really hard on our family and friends. Some of us are fortunate enough to have author friends and we drive them to distraction too. If we have enough money, we actually pay or bribe someone to edit our books and even purchase professional covers. Well, enough said about all that.
Indies can sort of be compared to those surprise babies who arrive in this world from time to time. What is this? Where did it come from? In the case of indie books, it might have been residing in someone's closet or under a bed for many many years. Or it might have been rattling around in some indie author's head for like forever. That doesn't make it inferior to a planned baby, oh, I mean a planned, pampered, traditionally published book. It just means an indie book has a rough start in life.
Suffice it to say that indies often have a tough beginning, but that doesn't mean they aren't great books. I've been reading lots of indie books and, believe me, there are some great books out there. Some are a little rough around the edges, while others are pretty much polished gems, but they all have interesting stories to tell. My hope is that you, the reader, will take a chance on indies and read some of these wonderful books.
Now here is where you might ask, how can I tell an indie from a traditionally published book? Well, in many cases there's a very fine line. A lot of traditionally published authors are ePubbing some of their books, which makes them indies too. On the other hand, some indies don't want anyone to realize they're indies and so are unwilling to speak up. So all I can tell you is to try reading some eBooks by authors you've never heard of before.
Many indies offer one or more books at a low introductory price, or even free, so that readers can get to know them. It's a win-win situation for both the reader, who discovers new authors to fall in love with, and indie authors, who gain new readers.
I'll be blogging about "Celebrate Indies" all month long, which is why this post is only Part 1. I hope you'll revisit my blog throughout the month to discover a bunch of indie authors and their exciting, wonderful, great books. Oh, don't forget to take a look at my indie books too (hint, hint).
For those readers and writers who like to Tweet, you might want to use the hashtag #CelebrateIndies from time to time.
Celebrate Indies is about more than just celebrating the indie books, it's about celebrating the indie authors too. So I'm hoping that indie authors will comment below and include links to their books, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and tell us something about themselves and what they write. I'm hoping too that readers will comment about indie authors they've discovered, great indie books they think others would like to read or maybe just let us know what kind of indie books they'd love to read.
Thanks so much for reading this blog post. I appreciate hearing from you, so please don't hesitate to comment below.
NOTE - If you're an indie author and would like to be interviewed on my blog, please let me know. I'd like to do a variety of interviews as we celebrate indies together.