Whenever I listen to William Shatner’s “Has Been” I think of the naysayers talking down indie authors:
‘Never was’ talking about ‘still trying’
‘Forever bitter’ gossiping about ‘never say die’
What are you afraid of?
So am I.
First, I just want to say … I love being an indie author. It’s great. It’s fantastic. It’s splendid. It’s marvellous. (Oh, I went a bit Roald Dahl there for a moment.) Why? Well, just let me count the ways!
1) Every achievement is your own. You work hard for each and every sale, but when you get one it’s so much sweeter for being yours. Your work writing, your work editing, your work on the cover, on the blurb, on promotion, on EVERYTHING. Of course, I’m not saying that indie authors do it entirely alone or exist in a vacuum, of course other people also contribute to our success, but there’s always that feeling of individual success, which is just lovely.
2) Freedom. You write what you want to write about and there’s nobody to tell you ‘Ew, no‘. There’s no one saying ‘nobody likes pirates, write about vampires instead’, there’s no one saying ‘make your heroine blonde’ or even ‘make your heroine male’. Well, there might be, actually, but as an indie author you’re entirely free to thumb your nose at them and say ‘yah boo and sucks to you, sirrah, I’m doing what I love and damn the world if it doesn’t like it’. I mean, you might not sell anything, but you’re FREE to not sell anything. And you get to write exactly what you like, and put whatever you want on the cover, and generally enjoy a level of creative freedom that artists throughout the ages would be amazed at.
3) Responsibility. Maybe this one’s just for me, because I enjoy reponsibility (for the most part). Being the sole creator of my books means that I’m also solely responsible for them–a double-edged sword, yes, but … sorry, I got distracted thinking about swords then, where was I? Oh yes, responsibility. It’s great! This kind of ties in with ‘freedom’ too, you can’t have one without the other, in being free to do whatever you like you’re also responsible for whatever you (freely) do. I’m not beholden to an editor or publisher or anyone except myself (and to a certain extent those wonderful, mystical beasts known as ‘readers’), which means I have to work extra-hard to make sure I’m not just faffing about wasting everyone’s time. I can write what I like, but because it’s only me judging whether it’s good enough to publish or not, what I write had better be pretty decent.
4) The community! Indie authors are a great bunch, fantastic if you want to know the truth. Brilliant people. One of the most supportive and friendly and helpful groups of indiediddles anywhere. I think partly this comes down to the fact that we’re not in competition, not in the slightest–even two indie authors writing in the same genre on the same themes with similar plots aren’t in competition, because if a reader likes one author’s book they’ll probably like the other author’s book too–or at least give it a go. Of course, it’s down to personal taste, which is the main reason we’re not in competition. Our ‘products’ are entirely dissimilar, at least in every way that actually matters. (I mean, probably most of our books have a lot of verbs in them, for example, but it’s not like there are readers out there going “I’ve been reading too many verbs lately, I want more nouns, give me a really noun-y book”. At least, I kind of hope there aren’t. That actually had nothing to do with anything, I got really sidetracked there; carry on.) So let’s get to the point: indie authors are great and being part of a great group makes you feel great. Great!
5) Our patron saint is Indiana Jones; Indie Indy. Enough said? Enough said.
I could go on, but I actually have to work. Indie author, responsible for my own work! I really want to get this finished tonight, so no more mucking around online. Internet is off … now%$#$^%#$#$no carrier
(Except I’m sneakily back to share this rather wonderful video with everyone:
All right. Actually working now. Bye!)