Sunday, July 20, 2014

Indie Is For Losers?

"The only people who go into self publishing are those who couldn't get a real publishing deal."

I've heard this canard from countless people, from editors to agents, and even friends.  So many people have come out and said that indie publishing is the last resort of those who couldn't succeed that's it's become an axiom to the uneducated.  And once upon a time, it might have even been true, but it's so far from the truth nowadays that the truth is but a tiny speck in the distance.

(Whoever knew such losers could seem so successful?)
Above are but two of the novels written by supposed losers.  The one on the left is Witchfinder, by Sarah Hoyt, and the one on the right is Wool, by Hugh Howey.  I've had the honor to interview both of these incredible writers, and if theirs is the measure of failure, I can only imagine that success means I get to realize my dream of ruling the world.
Success stories like these are becoming more and more commonplace in a world where the average traditionally published writer isn't earning enough to put food on the table, but more indie writers are breaking out.  By breaking out, I don't necessarily mean in the sense of self published books like Eragon(didn't know that was indie published, did you?), but rather in the sense that more indie writers are able to make a living by writing.  Yes, most indie writers aren't there yet, and, truth be told, most will never get there, but neither will most traditionally published writers.  Let's forget the thousands that fall all over themselves to traditionally publish yet never do - even those that manage to get far enough to have some publisher pick them up are unable to pay the rent with their average earnings.
More and more writers are figuring out that they can earn more by self publishing than they can by spending years trying to kiss the right agent's ass and then getting meek deals that fork over most of the revenue and all of the rights to a traditional publisher.  The Amazon/Hachette situation is but one more nail in the coffin of the traditional world, even if it may take 20-30 more years to put it in the ground.
We all know the big time authors and their books, like Stephen King and The Shining, or John Grisham and The Firm, but here are a few you might not realize were indie published - Wool, Eragon, Fifty Shades of Gray, The Shack, The Celestine Prophecy, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and many others.  Those that think it's a road to loserdome are living in 1980s America and really need to join us in the present, where new technology and the ability to directly reach the fan base makes indie publishing not only possible, but more desirable, even more so when one considers the canards sold under the guise of traditional publishing(Think you'll get an all expense paid book tour, or that marketing is now the job of someone else?  Think again!).
I hope to be as big a loser as these folks one day.  We can all dream...

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