I was having a conversation with a fellow indie author, Kazz Mossman, a founding member of Electric Eclectic books, sometime last week.
During our natter, Kazz raised a point I have never considered, or at least I have not pondered consciously before now.
The point she raised is the fact many people, especially those who are not associated with writing or authorship, have little, if any, understanding of what an ‘indie author’ is.
As I cogitated this, I found myself needing to consider my own position as it was many years ago… no, not that long ago, cheeky. But since the advent of, what was originally referred to as ‘desktop publishing’ became available to anyone who owned a ‘home-computer’…. you thought you had forgotten those terms, didn’t you?
At that time, except for scribbling out a few lines of poetry, a couple of song lyrics and jotting some rough, (very rough), handwritten notes of story ideas on scraps of paper, I could not be termed as a writer, even in the furthest stretch of anyone’s imagination.
I was, however, an avid reader. I found I could devour books in a matter of hours or days.
During my childhood I rapidly progressed from ‘Janet & John’ books to ‘Walkabout’ & ‘Lord of the Flies‘, venturing on to Dennis Wheatley, Bernard Cornwall and James Clavell. Surprisingly enough, these books were interspaced with works from Thomas Hardy, W. Somerset Maugham and H. H. Monroe.
By the age of thirteen, I was absorbed by Wilbur Smith and the lives of the Courtney and Ballantyne families. I also found books by Deirdre Cash, who wrote under the pseudonym Criena Rohan and whose book, ‘Down by the Dockside‘ still resonates with me to this day.
Other authors I enjoyed were Joseph Heller, John Irving and David MacCuish’s ‘Do not go Gentle’, the story of a second world war American Marine’s life, both before and after conflict. I would recommend to any book lover to read both ‘Down by the Dockside’ & ‘Do not go Gentle’… but I digress from this premise of this post.
The point I am making is, I liked to read good stories, ones which took me away from reality and into the world of fantasy and fiction. I liked to escape the humdrum and, for those few moments, allow myself to be transported to somewhere else, to be someone else, in another world, another time… I did not care which author wrote what story, as long as it totally absorbed my mind.
In that respect, nothing has changed for me. I still want precisely the same from any work of fiction I read. If I cannot lose myself in a book, then that book is not for me.
I think this is the same for many avid readers.
Yes, we all find our ‘favourite’ authors; the one’s whose writing style and narration ‘clicks’ with our own personality. These are the ones we watch for, patiently waiting for their next release. But once, even they were unknown to us. There was the ‘first time’ we opened one of their books, read the first chapter or two before we fell in love.
Did we, at that time consider if it was written by a ‘mainstream’ or ‘indie’ author?… did we heck, we simply chose the book because the cover attracted us enough to pick it up, the blurb explained it was the type of story we fancied reading at the time, and when we flicked through the pages, reading an odd line or two we liked the flow.
So, we took the chance and brought the book, hoping it was going to be money well spent.
This is what and how most people tend to select their next reading material. It is not a science, but one of personality, temperament, disposition and, often, mood.
With the above in mind, I ask; do you think it matters to prospective book buyers if they know the author was mainstream published or an independent author?
Do you think it may influence their decision on which books they purchase?
But mostly, do you think the general public know the difference between an indie and a contracted author?
Should we then, as indie authors, indie publishers and self-published writers enlighten, dare I even use the word ‘educate’, the world of bibliophiles and bookworms on this subject?
Do you, as an indie know the difference between these three terms and the basis of each… where/which and how would you classify yourself?
While I await your answers, I shall endeavour, in my usual haphazard and rambling way, to write a post explaining and clarifying the distinctions of being an indie author, a self-publisher and an indie-published writer.
You may find all is not quite what you expect and, possibly, taken for granted… until now.
If you are looking for your next great read why not visit my website where you will find a book to suit whatever mood you may be in right now.
I have a children’s book, another about musical legends, non-fiction works regarding the Royal Navy, short story collections on Crime, Life and being human, another for when you are feeling down, books of poetry and a full-length novel which will make you both laugh and cry.
Along with these are my Electric Eclectic books, mostly shorter works, so a good introduction to my style of writing and narrative form. They cover psychological drama, high-speed urban adventure, ghost-in-the-machine, crime, and pulp fiction/comic book style capers… and more.
You can find my Electric Eclectic books on my website, the Electric Eclectic website, (along with books by other Electric Eclectic authors), or by visiting Amazon’s @open24 store, the choice is yours.
Wherever you choose to go and whichever books you buy, enjoy them.
Happy Days, Paul
6 thoughts on “A bit about indies & readers…”
Great to have inspired you to write an article and you have come up with a different angle causing me to wonder about the type of books I read before the time of the Indie author. Also the places I got my books from. All very different from what I and read now.
But as you said at the end of the day, we’re still readers and all we are looking for is to immerse ourselves in a good tale.
These days I have favourite Indie authors, and there are so many great stories out there that I’m almost spoilt for choice!
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Great article. But, before Amazon and the indie revaluation, we never had to ask if a book was trad or indie. Any books on the market, prior to them, were all trad published. Though, there were smaller trad publishers too. Now, we only have the 5 big publishers left.
And, unfortunately, there are still readers prejudiced to indie authors. In their defense, in the beginning, indie authors flooded Amazon with bad books and bad covers. The readers got stunk in the pocket and acquired a bad reputation. So sad, really.
I do know readers that will never touch an indie published book. Personally, I haven’t read a trad book in several years. I stick with indie books. 🙂
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