Saturday, May 30, 2015

All About that Indie

This morning, I was thinking about the path I've taken in the last year. It was about this time last year that I was bored, hanging around on The Facebook (I like to call it that to be so retro) and I noticed a "Launch Party" for a book called Synchronic.  I didn't really know what a launch party was at the time, but I moseyed in there and started watching people. Chatting in a launch party can be really fun, depending on who is hosting at the moment. One of the authors there (Nick Cole) offered to write a free blurb for anyone who had bought the book, and since he was a trad pub author, he had obviously done a pretty good job on his own. So I threw a short plot synopsis of my manuscript, as then unpublished, which I was still considering sending out to trad pub agents/etc. He gave me a blurb, and I thought it was pretty good. Then, another of the attendees at the party, Samuel Peralta, helped me tweak it 'til it was what I have now. I was pretty happy with all the help I had gotten. And then, I had a revelation.

I didn't need to wait. I didn't need to send my manuscript around to agents and the like who would take forever, then maybe or maybe not reject me as unmarketable, or whatever. Mariposa is not firmly in a specific genre-- it skirts a couple-- and it's not one of the "hottest" markets. It's not technically Urban Fantasy (although it's close). It's not horror. It's definitely not YA, although it's kind of New Adult, but also not really. It's best called magical realism, but no one really seems to quite know what that means. So I probably would have not been considered an easy sell by most traditional agents.

But So What? I sent out a note to my awesome cover artist and commissioned my art. I found myself a developmental editor to see if the manuscript which I loved but probably didn't have the distance to actually notice the flaws in and he got to work. My target launch date was early November. And I did it.

I launched my novel a little later than November, but in the meantime, I was also invited to submit a short story for my first anthology, Tales From Pennsylvania. That story, "Sisters of Solomon" will soon be available to read on its own, and it's set in the world of Michael Bunker's Pennsylvania.

And now, since then, I've published an entire new novel that I hadn't even thought up 'til last October or so. I've also published a couple of short stories, one in an anthology called The Dragon Chronicles, "The Book of Sefkhet," which will be released as a standalone in July sometime.

All of this stuff about me is actually an introduction, then, to all the amazing work I've read this year, and the indie writers I've met as part of the scene. People who I have on my Kindle, who I have read, and who are on my increasingly long To Be Read list.

A lot of people think "ew. Indie publishers are just vanity writers who need edits and have ugly self-made covers and sucky stories who couldn't get published on their own." NO. Some are, yes. But none of the people I have come to be friends with fit into that category. We have professional teams-- editors, cover artists, formatters, beta readers, and reviewers, all who truly put out an amazing product. Some of the authors I know have hit the bestsellers lists like USA Today and NYTimes. Seriously. And the great inspiration for a lot of us, Hugh Howey, is a stellar superstar of indie publishing that sets a very high standard.

So, long story short, (too late) here is my list of writers you ought to be reading. Amazing work, super awesome nice people, and great books. Books that will change what you think about indie publishing. Books that kick the crap out of a lot of trad pub, and that seriously did it all in the kind of independent drive to succeed that people applaud in industries like music, but who for some reason make fun of in books.

So I'm gonna go through my Kindle, and list what books pop out at me that you really ought to read. I'm probably going to miss some people, but if you get started here, you will be on a path to greatness. A lot of these books are written by authors who I have read multiple works by, but I'm putting here my favorite, just so simplify. I'm only doing one book per person, although the temptation to put more is great.  Oh, and I'm also only including people in the list below who are not also included above, but you should find those up there ^ too.


Read these. Not necessarily in this order. But read them. 

Next time I'm going to create a list of the books that I have on my Kindle and TBR list that you should also read. I have so many. It's a long list. It will take me a while to compile, but it has amazing writers on it, and they're all great folks who I really need to spend less time chatting with on FB and more time reading their books.

Anyway... the point of it is this: these books are all amazing. And if people ask "why bother reading indie writers when there are so many other writers who have been proven by agents & publishers to be good?" Seriously-- some of them are. Truly. I am not against traditional publishers. But I also realize that there is an element of luck and timing and who you might know to getting your manuscript noticed and published in the traditional path. And for a lot of people, that's simply not realistic, but that doesn't mean they aren't GOOD.

There are some really good indies. Just because you took a chance on an indie book one time and it sucked, don't give up on all of them, because that is just a shame and you're missing out. 

No comments:

Post a Comment