This week on the hot sand we have me, Kim Hornsby. I'm ranting about the worth of Indie Authors and the fabulous books that are turned out on a daily basis at frighteningly low prices.
Self Publishing is relatively new and authors now have the opportunity to bypass the humiliating process of being rejected by agents and editors for years on end, being told "I just didn't connect with the voice as much as I hoped to", or "best of luck in your endeavor to secure a home for this novel". As lovely as it is to have someone reply if they didn't like your book, years of this can make a girl feel like her life's work and heart's calling is simply a silly past time. Add an unsupportive family or writer's block and you have one depressed novelist, sitting at her computer wondering if she's wasted years of her life with a pipe dream that will never come to fruition.
Anyone out there, reaching for the tissue box yet?
Before Amazon opened up its wide arms to include authors of all types and sizes, levels of expertise, and hairstyles, a novelist HAD to get an editor or agent interested in their project in order to be published. There was no other way. Then eBooks came along and the industry changed forever.
Cue the music Halleluiah.
These days anyone can publish anything which is a gift from Heaven if you are an author.
And it isn't a bad thing for readers if you know how to avoid the publications that don't interest you. As an example, if someone published what they ate for breakfast and it only has one review and that reviewer has the same last name as the author, you might not pay $5.99 for that book. Weeding out the good stuff is more difficult with all the choices nowadays but it can be done. Reviews help a reader find a new book. (please write reviews when you finish a book and like it!), as do those blurbs and sample pages Amazon gives us to try out the novel before buying.
There are hundreds, possibly thousands of great books out there in eBook Land that are self-published by authors who will have promising careers as novelists. And there's hundreds, probably thousands of poorly written novels. This puts choosing a book in a whole new category. No longer do we have the highly successful, traditionally published novelists and then the rest of us who can't get an editor interested in our books. Now we have scads of novelists with everything between no-talent to super-talented. Not all indie pubs were rejected by editors first. Many authors choose the Indie route to make more money and keep control of their books. Having a book published with a cover that looks nothing like the book is disturbing. Also the piddly amount of money made can be distressful when you are published by a famous publishing house.
As readers, the book buffet is now enormous, with choices beyond anyone's imagination. Sifting through has become an acquired skill in itself. At least eBooks are cheaper than print and new authors offer books for discounts and free, just to get a foot in your door. Many books are perma free on Amazon to lead you to that author's other books. "Buying" a free book or discounted novel is a great way to try a new author without a huge investment. Bestseller lists (either free or paid) are a good way to see what other people are buying but remember, their choice might be based on a good cover or compelling blurb. Reading reviews helps enormously, and not always the first ten. Those, you can usually assume are the authors' friends and family if it's their first book.
Almost every day I thank my lucky stars that I began my writing career just before eBooks came into play, and that I spent a few years submitting and being rejected. This made me hungry enough to want success in this overcrowded market, which made me keep writing, which made me a better writer, which made my books more readable and marketable.
If you are an INDIE PUBLISHED AUTHOR (see how I capitalized?) I commend you for taking the initiative to publish without the support of an agent telling you how wonderful you are or a traditional publisher--for believing in your work enough to make your dream come true.
If you are an INDIE READER, I applaud you for taking a chance on us writers who have stories in our heads that have to come out. I am both.
If you have a moment, I'd appreciate hearing what Indie Published Book you've read recently that was highly enjoyable. Mine was Maiden's Veil by Lisa Costantino who happens to be a writer on this blog. She is one of those super-talented, beautiful writers I talked about. Check it out!
What about you?
Kim Hornsby is both a traditionally published and indie published author of bestselling novels, as well as a KDP Select Free Days Guide on Amazon. She spends her days avoiding housework, letting dogs in and out of the backyard and daydreaming, which is considered working when you're a writer.