Carnival post. Why I’m an Indy.

This post is part of a blog carnival. To find the other posts in this carnival, go here.

It seems like I’m always being asked to defend myself for being an Indy writer. The trouble is, I think the real question is ‘why am I an Indy writer?’ I think that’s really the main question. First off, I’m not an Indy writer because I couldn’t handle rejection. I knew for years even before I wrote my first novel all about the rejection authors go through. One of my favorite authors at that time, Marrion Zimmer Bradly wrote a chapter in a book I found, that was written by several authors to give aspiring writers advice. I no longer remember what it was called. I found it in a public library.

Anyway, she talked about her short stories and the first Darkover stories she wrote, and how she had collected a ton of rejection slips. I thought it was odd, as I thought she had been great. It was the first time I was introduced to the difficulty of being published. Over time I heard all about the insanity of anyone wanting to be published. I heard how it was almost as hard as being an actor for a career. I couldn’t see myself ever choosing that path.

The problem was, that I was already infected by the bug. Marrion was only one of a long line of authors that I came into contact with through their books. They contaminated me with their stories, which laid a seed in my mind that slowly started to grow and take me over. A seed that would haunt me and drive me to write and create people and worlds that I knew I would never have a chance to publish long before I wrote the first story.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get away from that. So in time, I began to write. Just a little at first. But as time went by, I found myself writing more. In the end I finished my first book with the knowing that it would never be published. I had been hardened to expect disappointment after reading so many authors comments about the impossibility. Still, I decided I had nothing to lose, and began to send out queries anyway. I sent out less then twenty, I’m sure, secure in the fact that there was no chance I would be picked up at all. It was then as I was researching agents that I came upon Amazon’s Kindle. It was such a good idea, that I was sure it was a scam. After all, if this was true, who wouldn’t self publish?

So I began to research it and them. My queries fell to the wayside. The more I learned about eBooks and the Kindle, the more I hoped that no agent would respond in the positive. No surprise, none of them were interested. I never expected them to be. I learned eBooks were the future. I saw the evidence, and I was reminded of all the opportunities I missed, for whatever reasons, in the past. I was there with my own video rental store when it first became big. I was there before sports cards became big. I was there and laughed at the Magic the gathering cards three months before they hit the market.

Each of those times I knew about it before they became big. A friend of mine invested into it and caught the resulting wave and would ride it to success, while I sat on the outside playing it safe waiting to see if they were right, and then jumping in too late after the wave, only catching the last splash of it. Well, not this time. This time I’m here as the wave is building up. I’ve seen the pattern a hundred times before, and I’m ready. I’m not missing it this time. Why am I an Indy? Because eBooks are the future. Paper books are going to fall to the wayside like the horse. Those who can get in before the gate-keepers realize their mistake have a chance to get in on the ground floor of a new industry.

Trust me. When they realize this is the future and quit fighting it, they will try to shut these gates and once again, publishing will be as hard to get in as it was before. Now’s your chance to get in and make a name for yourself, and make some cash, too. Some people are making tens of thousands of dollars these days doing what they love.

Are you?


~ by targoun on August 19, 2010.

10 Responses to “Carnival post. Why I’m an Indy.”

  1. I also wrote without expecting it to be even read by another human being. I wrote for myself then, things I wanted to read but weren’t on the bookshelves. I think it’s the same for lots of Indies – we write the things that aren’t necessarily the most popular by trad standards, we don’t follow the standard formulas that have been so successful but now we’ve discovered we aren’t the only ones who want to read them.

    Definitely agree now is the time to jump on board. In fact, I feel like I’m late getting into the game. I haven’t put up an entire novel on Kindle yet but hopefully soon!

  2. Great post! I agree about the getting in early thing. I started out indie 2 years ago and the naysaying was even louder and more melodramatic then than it is now!

  3. Hey Claire, I feel like I don’t have enough work out and the changes are happening too quickly. I’m hoping to have my first full-length novel out by Christmas, but it’s going to be a lot of work to get this manuscript into that shape!

    I wish I could write faster. But I’m not a very fast writer. My rough drafts still start out SO rough. I know as I get better they’ll get cleaner and need less editing, but I’m not there yet.

  4. One thing I’d like to say to all of you younger (than me) writers who’ve had the bug forever: Don’t ever let the people around you talk you into giving up and getting a real job.

    When I was in high school (riding a brontosaurus three miles to school, in the snow, uphill both ways), I knew I was going to be a writer. I told everyone who would listen. Unfortunately, I let some of them (I’m looking at you, unnamed three people who all know who you are!) talk me out of it. Now it’s a longggg time later, but look at me!

    I’m a writer.

  5. Oh, gosh. MZB. That name brings back some memories.

    For the longest time I hated that woman. My fault, not hers. 20 years ago I submitted a story to her for an anthology or magazine (can’t remember which), and she sent me back the meanest rejection letter I’ve ever received. I’ve still got it in a box somewhere.

    For years I couldn’t stand that women. Then eventually I got it. I re-read the letter. She had not gone out of her way to be mean to me, and she had not gotten personal. I’d just remembered it that way. She was harsh, yes, but she backed it up.

    Just sorry I never submitted to her again. She was a good writer and editor. Wish I’d worked with her.

  6. By the time I started writing my first novel in late 2008, I had already made the decision to self-publish. Electronic books weren’t even on my radar at that time. Now, I plan for the eBook first with print copies falling to a distant second.

    Where things end up for publishing is anyone’s guess, but my money is on the continued growth and relevance of indie publishing. I think you made a good decision and I’m right there with you.

  7. Nice post! I think I read that same article a while ago, but I don’t recall what book it was in, either. Yes, I knew from the research what to expect when I started querying, but it was depressing to know the roadblocks that were to come. Pleasing the gatekeepers before even getting to the readers. Gatekeepers that were often wrong on what was ‘commercial’. Now I don’t have to worry about it. Wow, what a weight off the shoulders! Now I only have to worry about crafting as high a quality story as I can.

  8. Zoe, I am desperate to work faster but it just isn’t happening! It’s the editing. I keep hearing people say that about first drafts getting cleaner. Let me tell you, I’m living for that day!

    Levi, that’s such a shame. All of those voices combined have power though. I have to admit that one of the reasons why I haven’t told my family about my writing is because I don’t want them to put me off. Maybe I’m not giving them enough credit but they aren’t exactly supportive and self publishing (and ebooks for that matter) hasn’t really taken off yet.

  9. My queries have “fallen to the wayside” too — there are tons more important things to see to, once you have a product line and can see things begin to move forward / somewhere!

  10. I can definitely empathize with the “I hope all the agents say no!” feeling. There comes a point when you know what you want to do, and all else just fades away.

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