An Introduction To The World Of Indie Publishing

What are the pros and cons of being an 'Indie author'? Here is an introduction to the rapidly growing market for independent publishing.

What are the pros and cons of being an ‘Indie author’? Here is an introduction to the rapidly growing market for independent publishing.

‘Indie Author’. I first came across this word on a Google+ community. Being new to the jargon of the publishing world, I imagined it to mean an author from India!

Not convinced and secretly convinced of the bizarreness of my definition, I finally hit Google search, and wow, a new world was revealed.

I am sure there are people out there wondering about ‘Indie’ authors, like I did, hence I am sharing my insights, in the hope that it will help beginners.

The writing world has evolved like all the other worlds,and there literally are no boundaries. I was dumbstruck at the accessibility I found as a writer. Within minutes, I had people sharing, reading, liking, commenting, and criticizing what I wrote. This is a great luxury of modern times. History knows how some of the best literal works were lost, or not recognized; today there is connectivity and it’s so easy to be heard.

Publishing, however, is  a different ball game – there are plenty of choices here as well and one of them is the Indie way.

Who is an Indie author?

Indie is short for “independence” or “independent”. It may refer to the fields of literature, art, music, and so on. For the sake of this post, let us talk only about the Indie author. In my opinion, it can mean any of the following categories of writers:

  • Debutante writers who take the self-publishing route, and manage all the activities associated with publishing on their own like Editingproofreadingcover designbuying/owning the ISBNPrinting,Sales and MarketingBook PromotionsBook Distribution etc. They have the option to hire experts to do some of these activities, but they are independent (Indie) and choose their own course!
  • Writers/Authors who choose vanity publishing houses to publish their books. Since these are small independent publishing houses, they are Indie.
  • Authors/Writers who are published by the traditional top six Publishing Houses, but whose books are now out of print may also choose this course to make the content available  in E-book formats.
  • Authors who have published one or two books through the traditional publishers, and later choose to go the independent route. This is done since the indies get to keep better profit margins from their book sales, also since they manage most of the publishing activities on their own they manage to reduce costs, there are no middle men to eat up on the profits.

There is a bit of debate all over the publishing world about who the Indie author is, but the above is my gathering from research. It would be great to hear what you think about Indie authors!

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News from the world of Indie Publishing

A few interesting facts about Indie Publishing in recent times:

Penguin announce their own self-publishing arm

This discovery genuinely amazed me, I wondered: why would Penguin want to do this? It sounded crazy, but then I realized that the shift from traditional to the Indie route is immensely evident in the publishing world. The Indie advantage seems to be overtaking the charms of traditional publishing. It, in a way, is a question of survival in the digital world; and this is where the Indie writer dominates.

I will not be surprised if in a few decades everyone chooses the Indie way. Why should a creative work be not published? Why should a few publishing houses rule the world of creativity? This space needs little bit democracy. 

Are there doors that are closed for an Indie Author?

In my research, one aspect that was evident is the fact that as an Independent Author we do not have all the doors open for us. Sad but true: many writing organizations do not consider you to be a real Author if you are only self-published.

We cannot be nominated for an Edgar or many other such literary honors!

So, should we take the Indie route? It’s quite debatable, and I would be glad to hear what you think!

For me, the bottom line after this research is that it ultimately boils down to your aspirations as a writer; if you want the awards and do not care about other things like freedom of expression etc. then the Indie route is not for you.

But I am writing to be heard and it is what fuels me – so an award or no award doesn’t really matter. Being heard helps my mind and that is the sole cause of writing for me.

There are authors who simply want to write good books and get them out there for people to read they do not care much about the literary credits. They are content, being truly Indies!

It is an author’s pick ultimately! I have chosen Create Space to publish my debut poetry book in November 2014.

Hope all will go fine with this new adventure….yes, I choose the Indie Way.

An Author’s Hope….
“When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
‘His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.’- Hilaire Belloc

Originally published at author’s blog.


About the Author

Bhawana Bhowmik

I am a poet, writer, book reviewer, book cover designer, active blogger addicted to writing-reading-researching! I have 10 years of corporate professional experience working with giants like Accenture, AT&T and HSBC. read more...

5 Posts | 14,334 Views

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