“Aspiring” Indies: Same Stuff, Different Day

indie authors keep outThe indie-author blogosphere (you didn’t know we had one, did you?) lit up this week with fallout from an article Hugh Howey wrote about the shabby treatment of indie authors at the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans last weekend.

Howey said he had heard from several people who attended the conference that indie authors – even bestselling ones like Liliana Hart – were labeled “aspiring authors” and shunted to a separate room during the book signing event. And while trad-pubbed authors each had three feet of table space for signing their books, indies were crammed in like sardines next door.

As near as I can make out from the comments, the “aspiring author” thing was either a single comment by a volunteer who misunderstood the difference between the two rooms; or a title attendees picked for themselves upon registration, and if they accidentally ticked “aspiring” instead of “published” on the registration form, it was their own damn fault. Continue reading ““Aspiring” Indies: Same Stuff, Different Day”

New Publishing Should Not Emulate Old Publishing

The independent publishing movement is maturing at an astonishing rate. Everything is still evolving and changing daily, but anyone who is paying attention can see we look a whole lot different than when we started.

Indie books are getting better. The product is more finished and professional than a few years ago. Covers are better. Writing is better. There are more success stories each year. The communities are stronger, and we are fighting our way through the learning curve.

Part of what holds us back is the impulse to emulate the old model of publishing to achieve the old standard of success. On some level, we know that big ink was never what it pretended to be. Too much has come out about how the dead tree empires twisted and manipulated sales figures to include pre-orders of books that were ultimately returned after “bestseller” status was achieved. We know about the hollow victories claimed by pay-to-play award winners, and the phony review buzz.  In spite of all their moaning about worthless, unreadable drek, we know big ink cares little about literary virtue where profit is concerned.

On some level, we yearn for what never really was. We want what we thought big publishing was. Some of us want it so badly, we try to create indie versions of it. The problem is, it doesn’t work and it never can. Continue reading “New Publishing Should Not Emulate Old Publishing”