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Indie Reading, two months in

(well, almost)

We’re getting close to the end of February, and so far I have read six indie pieces for my reading challenge. I have a couple more novels lined up, and still need to review one, but all in all am making excellent progress.

When I signed up for this challenge over at Anna’s blog, I thought it would do two things for me. A) it would make me read at least 24 books this year and B) it would expose me to self published works again.

Some of you might remember that awhile back now, gee, 2009 I think? I was part of the group of readers at the e-fiction book club. We were exposed to quite a variety of work, but mostly? It wasn’t great. It left me thinking that indie reads sucked. That the people who were self publishing were in some instances delusional about the quality of their work – and ultimately, that the gatekeepers of the traditional publishing industry were NEEDED.

Skip forward in time to 2010/11 – I know things have changed. I’ve read traditionally published books that I thought were complete rubbish. I know that there are a lot of good writers going the Indie route, but I really needed to dive in and explore what was out there for myself. Which is where this challenge has come in handy.

So far I have been pleasantly surprised. Only 1/6 of the stories has been really not great, in my opinion, the rest have ranged from good to fantastic. This is probably about the same ratio I have found in the traditionally published books I’ve read over the same period of time. Hell there was one trad published book I couldn’t even finish because it was so bad – I’ve not stopped reading any of the indie books.

I think it is this – this similarity of quality – which has really pushed me closer to going indie myself. Up until now I have been planning to release the novella myself, and other novellas, but haven’t committed to self publishing a novel (let’s be honest here – I don’t know what novel I will be working on in the near future. I have so many options, and right now, I just can’t make up my mind!). But you know what? When I figure out what it is, chances are very high that I won’t even bother submitting it to agents/publishers. It makes way more sense to me to release things myself, to retain control and ultimately be responsible for my own success or lack of.

Even a year ago I would have been scared by that, but not now. There is so much positive energy going around at the moment, and it’s impossible not to want to be a part of that. I feel empowered, and encouraged – something I never felt when I was sure I had to do this the traditional way.

Just because something is traditionally published, it doesn’t mean it’s good. Just because something is indie published, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. There are amazing books out there, waiting to be read, and I am thankful that those indie authors I know and are becoming familiar with are working so hard to raise the bar. Professional covers, well edited books, and a wider range of stories available. Great stuff!

Anyways, better get back to my own writing huh? If I want to get this novella done and out into the world, I need to work hard and make sure it’s the VERY BEST that it can be! Exciting times, folks. Exciting times.

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3 thoughts on “Indie Reading, two months in”

  1. I think the stigma related to publishing your own work is fading away in a lot of places. In general, I have read a LOT of self-published work in the last 15 years that has desperately needed a real editor, and a lot that has needed a good copyeditor or proofreader, but I’ve also read some fantastic fiction that never would have been published by New York!

    I’m looking at producing eBook editions of my own backlist that I have the rights for. It seems to be a very popular thing to try these days, and it seems silly to share the sales with a publisher if I’m going to be doing all of the promotional work any way. πŸ˜‰

    1. so very true! lol lots of people are releasing back lists on their own – it makes more sense than anything else. I mean the work is already to a good standard, which makes is extra easy as well πŸ˜‰

      You’re also very right about a lot of the stuff not being things that would be picked up traditionally. It almost seems as if you don’t write for the trends, or catch the next big thing before it breaks, then it’s impossible to sell something.

      There are still works being put out that could do with massive editing, or are just plain not fit for reading at all, but it’s great to see so many authors now putting the time and effort into getting their work ready to a professional standard before releasing.

      Good luck with your backlist!

  2. There is A LOT of great work out there that doesn’t “work” for New York. Novellas are a great example. They’re too short for most of New York… so somehow that means the story has no value for readers? Um, some of the best books I’ve ever read are novellas! And 50 years ago, almost everything New York published as a novella… πŸ™‚

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