I have a confession to make and it's been a long time in coming...
Brace yourselves for this because it's not pretty...
I am an absolute Book Snob.
A recovering Book Snob really...
But, there it is. When it comes to books I am a perfectionist. I have always preferred my books from big name publishers who I thought provided the best, most grammatically correct, and error free, novels that would satisfy my need to read. I mean, these books are in stores all over the world with the backing of the best and brightest in the publishing industry, right?
A few years ago, before I started this blog, if someone had offered me a copy of their self published book I would have scoffed at them and told them to come back to reality and realize if the publishers didn't want it, I didn't want it either. (I told you- Book. SNOB.) That sounds terrible, but it's true. If the publishing companies didn't want it, then how could it be any good?
While I'm at it, confessing things and such, I'll go ahead and tell you another one of my little quirks-I don't do libraries. I borrowed a book from a library once several years ago when I was unsure of whether I was really interested in the series (that book was The Emperors Blades btw) and then cried and whined for three days because the book I'd fallen in love with wasn't my own and I had to give it back. Sure, I could buy another copy (which I did) but it wasn't THE copy... and my heart was slightly broken.
So there you have it. I'm a book snob and I don't like using libraries...
Anyway, now that your asking yourself why the hell am I telling you any of this, well, mostly it's because this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want. But, more importantly, I am writing this because I want to point out that if I can change my book snobbery ways, then so can you.
I posed the question online as to why fellow readers support Indie authors and thanks to the Grimdarkians I have a more well-rounded view of why these authors deserve our support.
I can tell you exactly why I support indie authors-I support them because I know how hard it is to write a book. I know how heartbreaking it is to receive rejection after rejection, and I am very well aware of the nightmares of marketing. Marketing is a full time job. Believe me, writing the book is easier.
Every book out there comes from a desire to be heard, the author has a story to tell and they want to make the world a better place by sharing it and that's why I support their need to create. And on many occasions, I have been blown away by their talent.
To quote Steven Kelliher (author of Valley of Embers) - I started supporting indie authors when I realized they didn't suck.
Indie books aren't born from a lack of talent, they are not a lesser form of writing. Most of the time an author becomes self published because they are tired of the rejections. They have a solid book, professionally edited, ready to go, and it's time to get it out in the world and move on to the next project.
Another reason for going the self publishing route is the freedom to control your own vision and I'm so glad Martin Owton brought this up in the discussion. With self publishing, the author has complete control over the way their book is presented. You get to choose your cover artist, you decide the genre, where the book is sold, who gets copies for review and you have full control over all future writing to follow.
I know in my case, when I looked over a publishing contract, the publisher wanted full control of any writing from then on. They wanted first dibs, and then they had final say over who got the piece after them, or if it would ever be published anywhere. I don't know about you, but that was too big of a risk for me. I could write a piece I really believe in and never be able to share it.
So, from one stand point, supporting an indie author is supporting an uninhibited art form.
That's not necessarily to say that traditional publishing hinders their authors into writing uninspired mush, mainstreamed to create fast sales, though many times it does feel like that's exactly what they're doing. I mean, Twilight... Come on guys...
I was still on the fence about something I have been considering until Scott Oden chimed in and cleared my head in his brusque, no nonsense way. For a while now I have considered going strictly indie and small publishers. Reading and reviewing only Indie authors to free up my time to help bring more attention to the 'lower tier' authors out there. I considered it, that is, up until Scott appeared on the thread and posed the question- "Why are we making it 'Us vs Them'?"
Self published authors aren't the only ones struggling for exposure, he pointed out. It's not just Indie books vs Traditionally Published books, it's a whole community of authors looking for support for their writing. If we really want to put a label on it, it's Bad books vs Good. And that's what I'm here for, to sift through the duds and bring you the best of the best, no matter the publishing format.
So why support Indie Authors?
Because we can all agree that we love a good story. We want to be entertained and there are so many amazing books out there we haven't discovered yet.
I saw this fantastic design by Shawn King (STK Kreations) and you can blame him for this entire post if you like, or thank him (if you stuck around to the end you're probably in the mood to thank him, I hope). I love this badge he created and asked if I could borrow it because I really wanted to share it and display it proudly on my blog.
I support Indie Authors
and I hope you take the time to give them a chance and support a growing community of fantastic self published books.