Indie Author? Ugh. Awful Writers, Aren’t They?

For some readers, that is.

Self-published novels, you say? They’re poorly written, badly edited and usually have zero in terms of a traceable plot line. No doubt, indie authors are ruining it for everyone, especially for those writers toiling away at more traditional publishing routes.

Heard of the magical, mystical world of self-publishing? Then you’ve probably encountered one or more of these snarky opinions (and much worse). Miraculously (I know that this will shock many of you) “self-published work” isn’t always synonymous with “terrible.” In fact dear challenger of that previous statement, I could share a disturbingly long list of traditionally published work that’s a total waste of shelf space. We all have our opinions.

The reason an indie author chooses to self-publish is entirely personal. Considering the route? Don’t let the stigma of self-publishing dissuade you from doing so. Not sure why so many people think this route is the way to go? Below are a few of the more popular reasons an author chooses to publish their own work. Read on and you may encounter a whole new perspective on the matter.

Building Relationships

We all have stories inside of us. Sometimes, our only goal is to write that one thing and send it off into the world, hoping it connects us with others who may share a similar story. There are no underlying ambitions – no wish for fame or fortune. A self-published work is simply a means to say what you need to say (you’re welcome). Many indie authors that choose this route have no desire to go through a traditional publishing house only to be told that their story isn’t worth the investment. They’re not in it for the money.

Accepting the Challenge

There is a rule in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers which states that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Whether you’ve managed to struggle through those 10,000 hours of writing or not, creating a book is just plain challenging. Good work doesn’t cease at writing a draft. There’s rewriting, editing, getting feedback from readers, and even more rewrites and tweaking. Some writers may go so far as to have a cover created for their work. Heck, you’d be hard-pressed to keep someone from publishing by any means necessary after all of that! Granted, self-publishing comes with its own set of challenges – and all of this helps to make authors better. Challenge accepted.

A Tryout

If you’re an indie author (or considering the path) and you haven’t heard about some of the more wild success stories, you’ve been living under a rock. Amanda Hocking, E.L. James and James Redfield started out with nothing more than a self-published novel – and now they’re laughing all the way to the bank. Need more evidence? Check out this list of self-published success stories by the Huffington Post. While not everyone approaches this line of reasoning when self-publishing, some indie authors see it as a dream, nay – a GOAL to live out the Cinderella story. No query letters. No toiling after just the right agent. And you know what? It really does happen. There’s a lot of work involved, and dare I say it – some luck. But isn’t that the case whether you navigate through traditional or non-traditional routes in an effort to gain fame and fortune? Making millions this way isn’t necessarily easier, it’s just different. Who wants to be the same?

So hey, do me a favor and quit bashing indie authors and self-publishing. Actually, I can’t stop you, if you’re that determined. So instead just know that I, for one, am a lifelong fan of anyone who has the guts and the gumption to tell the world “my art is good enough.”


2 thoughts on “Indie Author? Ugh. Awful Writers, Aren’t They?

  1. Agree, well said. Though truth is I’ve only bought physical books from authors published via traditional publishers. It’s a habit. A paradigm shift is required. My thinking is slowly starting to change, having discovered very good writers blogging and publishing from e.g. wordpress. The bar to entry to publish via traditional means is high, and friends who have worked for publishers tell me how the majority of manuscripts are simply discarded. JK Rowling took a while to publish the first Harry Potter! The world would be a different place had her story never reached the shelves…So, in all, yes to self-publishing. Though for the reader, it might take a while to sift through what’s good and bad.


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