Saturday, February 2, 2013

I Heart Indie Authors


Valentine's Day is the time to share the love and I do love my fellow indie authors. They are a dedicated bunch and many of my favorites gather at The Indie Exchange. I was the first featured author at the exchange and, in tribute, I'd like to give you ten reasons to love indie authors.

10 Things Readers May Not Know About Indie Authors
by Todd R. Tystad

Modern media has given birth to independent musicians and independent filmmakers and now to independent authors, more popularly known as indie authors.  In the spirit of the indie musicians and filmmakers that came before them, indie authors are now blazing their own trails outside the publishing establishment.  With this new category of artist, readers may be unfamiliar with what defines an indie author.  So, let’s get to know the indie author and why the breed is so rare.  This list certainly doesn’t define every indie author, just as no list could ever define every indie musician or filmmaker.  Every indie author is different from the next and that’s one of the many reasons they’re deemed independent.  Here’s a list of ten things you may not know about indie authors:

  1. The indie author is a dedicated reader, just like you.  She loves books and what she earns from her work is often put back into buying books, often from other indie authors.  She can’t help it because she fell in love with language and the printed word at an early age.  Creating stories and sharing ideas through her writing is second nature and a life without books is unimaginable.  Reading and writing is just another necessary behavior, like breathing, eating, and sleeping.
  2. The indie author is a regular guy who goes to work, comes home, takes out the trash, feeds the kids, and walks the dog.  The difference is that when the day job and the chores are done, he summons up the creative energy needed to spin all sorts of tales with the hope of entertaining his readers.  It takes Herculean strength to create characters, build cities, and poetically describe feelings of passion just minutes after cleaning out the litter box, but the indie author can do all that and more.  He’s really quite remarkable.
  3. The indie author believes that books are a medium that will never grow old.  Storytelling will always be a part of the human experience and books will always be a way that we share our stories.  The form that books take has been changing, but the value of reading a well-written story never will.
  4. The indie author dreams that her main character will overcome every obstacle, slay every dragon, and fall in love in a way that has never happened before.  She has faith that true love will prevail and she knows that if you believe, anything can happen.  All she wants is for you to join her on her journey.
  5. The indie author is a renegade, a rebel, and a force to be reckoned with.  In quiet ways and armed only with language and some carefully laid-out ideas, he will not rest until he has delivered his story to his readers.  He sits for hours composing what he has dreamed of sharing and rejects the traditional publishing rules that tell him it must be done in a certain way.
  6. The indie author is the author you’ll be hearing about in the future.  She’s a rising star.  She knows that even if she becomes successful enough that the next computer will be newer or the paper more plentiful, she’ll still write with the same zeal that she had when she wrote her first book.  Read that first book now so you can say you knew her back when she first got started.
  7. The indie author is not a franchise figurehead leading a creative staff and an editorial team producing books by committee.  The indie author is an individual writer, toiling away in the early morning or late at night creating stories that emerge organically and are handcrafted with the love a parent has for a child.
  8. The indie author is inspired to be a writer, but is usually not inspired to be a marketer.  Since the task of promoting an indie book falls entirely onto the shoulders of the indie author, he must become an independent businessperson (by default and usually not by choice).  Treat him kindly when he visits your doorstep selling his wares.
  9. The indie author is technologically proficient (also by default and also usually not by choice).  Indie publishing requires that he be expert in managing data, formatting, uploading, creating cover art, and interacting with various indie publishing websites.  If not, he must scrounge up the money to pay someone else to do it for him and that can often be a significant obstacle.  He sometimes wishes technology could be set aside so that all of the time he spends on technological proficiency could be used for writing.
  10. Most of all, the indie author is, in her heart, the defender of the independent spirit and the keeper of the faith.  As fresh ideas become more difficult to find, the indie author becomes more determined.  She has refused to be bound by the shackles of the establishment and she has no intention of backing down.  The indie author writes and publishes independently and, through her work, she helps to keep us thinking independently too.