I recently got into a discussion with a older relative about my book and how and where it wold be published. He was happy for me, and very supportive, but he was having trouble understanding my terminology when I kept refer to "Indie" authors and "Indie" publishing. Actually I noticed a few friends and various other people not really understanding what I was talking about either. Being immersed for the last two years in the world of Indie books I guess I just took for granted everyone knows what we are about. I choose to read and review mostly Indie work. I have worked with Novel Publicity, who I feel is one of the best in publicity for independent authors, and I have chosen to go the non traditional, independent route with my own work. So this post is I guess a primer on what exactly Independent publishing is, and why it's important to me. I'm going to jump on my soap box a little.
Independent or Indie publishing is also commonly called small press. In the US they are publishing houses that typically have sales less than $50 million dollars annually. Most companies publish less than 10 titles a year, but a lot of companies do publish more. They actually make up more than half the market share of the book publishing industry and often rely on genre specific titles. Small presses should not be confused with vanity presses. Which means small presses are publishers that engage in book selection, along with editing services, marketing and distribution. They do not charge authors to publish, and make their money like traditional publishers, marketing and selling the book after. (Vanity presses publish anything individuals are willing to pay to have mass produced. Like self published authors. Self published authors do also fall under the Indie term, and I am not putting down self published authors. Some great work comes out, but you also have to be careful.)
Independent or Small Presses are becoming more prevalent in the technology driven society we live in. My belief is they bring more choices and quality work to consumers. They allow more of the great work that is out there to reach a wider audience, and the quality of their editing and marketing services have advanced in the last few years. Just like with all things, you have to weed out the not so forthcoming or lackluster offerings and find the ones that fit your genre and personality.
Some of the best are Write More Publications, Evolved Publishing and Ring of Fire Publishing. Check out websites, blogs, and other authors sites and see what they have to say about the particular small press you are thinking of singing with. Check their submissions policy, which is a good sign if they have one. Be advised small presses are also inundated with submissions and may take awhile to get back to you. And as always, if something sounds too good to be true, it just might be.
Like I said I am not against self publishing. I thought of it myself. But I think having a publisher behind you gives a little more creditably to your work. That is just my opinion. There are many successful self published works out there. Just as there can be less than stellar offerings coming out of small presses. It's a gamble we take. I like the hands on creative control I have with a small press. I love my publisher (Write More Publications) and have been satisfied with the process I have literary fallen into.
Most importantly I think Indie Authors, weather self published or from Independent publishing houses, need to stick together and support each others work. Which as a whole I think we do well. Some information is spread via the web that reviews are paid for, which is not always the case. That the work is not edited, which is not the case. And that these books won't sell. So not the case. The more the Indie community bands together and dispels these rumors and shows the quality of work we provide the better the case we have.
I am excited about the world of Independent Publishing and the quality of work coming off the presses. Show the big guys they do not run the literary world. We have a quality voice as well, and we will write on. So in a nut shell that is my take on Indie Publishing and what it means. Hopefully I shed a little light on it.