Why You Should Be Reading Indie Authors

writer-605764_1920What exactly is an Indie author?  In my experience, it’s a foolhardy, impossibly optimistic, romantic soul who eschews tradition, nay, thumbs his or her nose at the establishment, and dares to release a book without blessing or benefit of a big box publishing house.  And Indie publishing is on the rise, as are e-book sales, which, by some estimations, will replace traditional book sales in the very near future.

Remember back in the day when we bought records?  No, records, those black vinyl discs with grooves in them.  Big LPs, the size of dinner platters, and 45s, with those big holes in the middle and you bought those little plastic gizmos you had to snap into place?  How did those records get made?  Artists made the rounds, begging to be heard, begging radio stations to play their songs, begging record companies to take a chance on them.

Then came iTunes.  And Youtube.  And many other websites, and suddenly, anyone with recording equipment could cut their own tracks and release them digitally.  And we were blessed with a whole new world of music that would never have made it past the industry executives.

For over a century, executives at big box publishing houses have decided what books the reading public has access to, and to which ones they do not.  In her article on The Huffington Post, Eva Lesko Natiello refers to the publishing houses as “The Gatekeepers,” as she describes the path she took to eventually become a successful Indie author.  Traditional publishers allow books to trickle out, with the decision of who makes the cut most often based on projected sales rather than on quality of work.

It’s now easier than ever before for Indie authors to publish their work and get it into the hands of readers.  Websites like Kindle Direct Publishing, Draft2Digital, and Smashwords allow authors to upload their manuscripts which are then formatted and converted to the various files supported by the e-readers that are out there.  Authors can also easily have their books published to paperback, with the publishing companies taking their cut from sales rather than out of pocket, up front.

The benefits to the Indie authors are obvious.

  • Publish immediately, without waiting for the okay from on high.  Matter of fact, I accidentally published my first book.
  • Complete control over your work.  When you edit your own work, no one makes you cut out a scene that you really love.  You pick the cover, you pick the release date, you pick the sales venues, you set the price.

What do readers get out of the deal?

  • Access.  Access to great books that large publishing houses would have, for whatever reason, turned down.  Read the stats about famous books that were turned down dozens of times.  Who has time for that?
  • Lower prices.  The average self-published e-book costs between $.99 and $3.99, and many are offered for free.
  • Interaction with authors.  By necessity, Indie authors are all over social media.  They don’t have big box marketing departments behind them.  Readers can follow and interact with their favorite writers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other outlets.
  • Great deals.  Often, authors offer sale prices, contests, and giveaways.
  • Buying an Indie book is the literary equivalent of ‘buying local’.  An author is a small business owner.  When you support an Indie author, you support the local economy.

Indie publishing is good for everyone.  If you haven’t read an Indie book yet, give it a try.  Pick your favorite genre and do a little browsing.  Check reviews and recommendations.   And don’t forget to leave a review.  It’s a little thing that means a lot.

Watch This Space–Interview With Eeva Lancaster

Eeva LancasterEeva Lancaster wears many hats.  Her bio on Google+ describes her as a “writer, editor, book designer” and I’m honored to say she designed the covers for Rannigan’s Redemption.

She’s the author of several books, she’s a freelance writer, she’s the owner of the Google+ community Alliance of Self Published Authors, and she’s the creative force behind The Book Khaleesi.  Recently, Eeva responded to Pandora’s Dirty Dozen survey.

Meet Eeva Lancaster.

1. Describe your books and your writing style.

I write mainly non-fiction books. I started off with a poetry book and then my Now What? series. There are so many books in my head. Right now there are 5, but I haven’t found time to write them. I like talking about the elephant in the room. The obvious that few pay attention to. The writing on the wall that we many don’t bother to read. I talk to my readers and get really personal. Since I write from experience, there’s nothing hesitant about my writing. It’s blunt, it’s sarcastic, ironic and real.

2. Talk about your process. Where do you write? When do you write? Are you linear or do you write scenes and put them together later? Who are your muses and where do you get your best ideas?

I get my best ideas from life and people. Honestly, I don’t have a process. One day, I’ll just decide to finish a book, and I sit down and write non-stop. I’ve been a ghostwriter for years, I’m used to cramming. But then I write non-fiction, so my writing process is simpler than those of fiction writers. Research and time = book.

3. Tell us about your latest release.

My last release was You want to be an Online Freelancer… Now What? A guide for people who want to venture into freelancing. It’s based from my own experience. What worked and some of the issues I encountered, and tips and other stuff that can help freelancers succeed. I’m a freelancer first, and an author second. So, there will be more freelancing books in the future. In the pipeline, I have Love Has a Reason. I was planning on a February release, but I should’ve known better. It’s the first of my Happy Ever After series which will mainly discuss relationships. This book debunks the myth of unconditional love. Oh yeah, I haven’t even written it yet and people are already objecting when they see the subtitle on the cover. It will be interesting.

4. What is your current project?

I’m focusing on my author services site The Book Khaleesi. I’ll be adding a pre-made book cover section soon. Aside from that, I’m editing 3 books simultaneously…. and formatting… and doing covers… busy busy.

5. Now about you… Very generally speaking, where do you call home?

Home is The Philippines, happily living in the suburbs with my husband, dog and turtles.

6. As a reader… What genre do you most often read? What is your all-time favorite book, and why?

Supernatural/Fantasy are my favorite genres. But my all-time fave book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This book shaped my personality. I love the idea that life is not about suffering or sacrifice. It’s about exaltation and doing your best and expecting only what you deserve. About love as a look-up and not a falling down… It’s a wonderful story about how all the thinkers and doers pulled back from society and left the leeches and incompetents to run it.It’s also a love story that is so raw and real, it’s unique. Read it some time. 🙂

7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing or reading?

Just being with my husband. Doing whatever… sometimes we get so busy with other things, you know….

8. We all have guilty pleasures. I enjoy boy bands. There, I said it. What is your guilty pleasure?

Getting a massage. When I’m sad, go to the spa. Happy? Celebrate at the spa. So many excuses to feel pampered and cared for.

9. What superpower would you choose, and why?

At the top of my head I’d say, Read Minds. But on second thought, maybe that wouldn’t be half as fun as I imagine. So, I’d go for…. time travel. So I don’t have to be trapped in situations. I could go back and forth where I’m happiest. That would be cool.

10. If you could live anywhere, you’d choose…

A beach house anywhere. I like living in The Philippines. I don’t dream of living abroad.

11. I wish _________________ would read my book.

OPRAH

12. In the airport, you overhear a heated argument between a husband and wife. You:

politely ignore it.
stop what you’re doing and watch with rapt attention.

mention it to airport personnel.

tuck it away for use in a future book.

Other :

You can check out books by Eeva Lancaster on her Amazon Author Page.  You can also find her on Google+.