Friday, June 15, 2012

A Quick Take on Indie-Publishing

Unlike some others, I've come a little late to the indie-publishing revolution.  I got a Kindle about 18 months ago and primarily read traditionally published books on it.   It took me a while to wean myself away from paper.  It's only in the last six months that I've branched out and have started to read some indie-published novels due to so many people offering free books.  And I've noticed a few things that I'd like to share with you. 

Creativity & Individuality

When I was shopping around my soon to-be-published novel, St. Anne's Day, (shooting for a late July availability date) to agents, I intuitively felt it wouldn't find a home with neither an agent nor a publisher because I had never read another traditionally published book similar to what I had written.  My novel is set in Pittsburgh, features a nurse and has some Catholic/Christian overtones, making it not an exact fit in any genre.  I read scads of writing manuals while drafting it, and they all said not to do certain things.  They said not to set your story in certain places, feature certain types of characters, or embrace certain issues.  

Well, I've just finished a novel set in Pittsburgh featuring a nurse, not one of the "approved cities and occupations" and liked it.  My sister just read a book featuring a rock star as the protagonist, and coincidentally, she found out a good friend had read it too.  They both liked it.  The writing experts said neither agents nor publishers would touch a book with "celebrity types" of characters.  I also read a "Catholic" fiction novel that advocated natural family planning.  I doubt a publisher would touch that sort of theme.  Most likely none of these books would have made it past the "gatekeepers" who rule the traditional publishing world.  

Storming the Gates

Well, I say who needs gatekeepers!   It is refreshing to read non-homogenous novels.  I like being my own gatekeeper.  If the story is good, to me, that's all that matters.  Sure, I've come across the occasional typo, but I've seen them in traditionally pubbed books too.  Sure, I downloaded one poorly written book, which I abandoned after a chapter, but because e-books are more reasonably priced, I have no guilt putting a clunker down.  However, when I pay more for a hardback and it stinks, I feel trapped into reading it to get my money's worth.  I have more freedom to choose what I like with indie-published books. 

 Indie-publishing enhances the symbiotic relationship between writer and reader, eliminating the middle man--and that's a good thing. 

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