I’ve come here today to talk to you about Indie Authors. Yes, that’s right, Indie Authors.
I contemplated answering a question about indie authors, until I realized that I’ve gotten the same question over and fucking OVER about the indie market. I figured it deserved its own, shiny little blog post.
So let’s address the main question here: Is the Indie Market really that bad? I mean are they really?
Yes. They really, really are.
Really we are that bad? If so we are really that bad then why are the traditional publishing houses spending so much time and energy trying to shut us down. Why are people like you wasting your time writing drivel like this. The answer is we are not that bad. We are the future. No longer will traditional house dictate to readers what they are allowed to read and what they are not. No longer will agents pile up manuscripts and reject them just because they don’t happen to like that particular storyline. We are the Future!!!! We will not be stopped.
There are exceptions to every rule, and I’ll address that in a minute, but for now let me just say, the Indie Market is shit. It’s a little pile of shit, wrapped up in shit, to make a shit burrito covered in shit sauce.
In the Indie World, you can find the drudges of the literary market. The unedited, untalented, unresearched drivel that has been rejected by every publishing house this side of the universe– and with good reason. But instead of putting the book down, or setting it on fire, the sorry excuse for a writer has turned to the indie market for validation.
So the only thing that you can find to say about us Indies is that we are a pile of Shit in Shit sauce – the drudges of the literary market? As someone who is supposed to be involved in the traditional publishing world that is not very literary. You are writing the very same type of stuff that you accuse us of producing. We are not unedited, untalented or unresearched. I personally spend up to for years doing research on a subject. You have no foundation for this statement except for your own bias. We don’t need to be validated we know we are talented unlike some others including apparently yourself.
The author has taken the 10,945th attempt to write the next Twilight and thrown it to the rabid, uncaring, undiscerning market of women clamoring for their next idiotic, pathetic female, and well-chiseled male, and they don’t care if anything is spelled correctly. They don’t care if there isn’t a coherent plot. They don’t care if the author writing the book has never taken a basic literary course. And somehow, that validates their writing against all of the professional rejection they’ve received.
Now this paragraph is laughable. I am not sure why you chose to write this one as it certainly does not validate your argument against indie authors. IF anything it makes you look more like a male Chauvinist showing that you believe that women don’t have a clue about good writing. “Rabid, uncaring, undiscerning,” is this how you perceive women? Your mother must be proud. I have read many books by men through traditional houses that were not only badly written they were an insult to the industry as a whole. So female bashing is not valid.
On the other side of that you’ll find authors who have never tried the traditional literary market. I’m going to go out on a limb here and pull this percentage out of my ass…
Ahhhhhhh. 96%. I believe about 96% of those who have never tried the traditional market don’t because they know they’re going to get rejected. Their book is nothing but glorified fanfiction, and somehow they’ve decided that indie publishing is the way to go, and have the gall to ask hard-working human beings to pay them for that drivel.
Seriously- And where did you get your numbers? Out of your Ass? That is indeed a very scientific study. I am sure that you will go far in your craft. There is an old saying “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.” In your case- fool is mild. I have to ask a question here, in the Traditional Publishing world have you not seen “glorified fanfiction” I know I have and it is ugly. Once again if this is the basis for your debate you lose.
There is a time and a place for that shit, my dears. And it’s called Livejournal. It’s the place where pathetic, lonely, vampire obsessed writers go to get their fix.
You wanna write about original characters instead? Fine. Start a blog. But if you can’t go about publishing properly, guess what? You shouldn’t get to publish.
I love this paragraph. How do you define “publishing properly”? Traditional houses that dictate the content, the money, cover and word count. Is “publishing properly” defined by people like you who wield the red pen of rejection because you think you hold the power? Those days are long gone. No longer will the reading public be told what to read or when to read. You are a dying breed.
The indie market started out as a great idea. It began as a way for authors to take bigger control over the rights to their own books. It provided a better medium for known authors to release books to the public, having more control over the content, editing process, title, retail price and royalties.
It was a place for writers, who had already earned their dues through traditional publishing, who had already established themselves, who had already learned how to write a book, to find solace from the Big Bad Man.
This paragraph is laughable. First you say that the indie market is a joke and then you back peddle by saying it is a way for authors to take more control of their craft. Then you throw in the thing about known authors. Seriously you cannot have it both ways. Either it is an evil entity or not. We don’t need to find solace from the Big Bad Man we have cut him completely out. Which brings me to another point. We cut your kind out as well. We don’t need you and there in lies the rub.
I work for a publishing house (and no despite your begging, I will not tell you which one, nor will I give you a recommendation, so please stop asking) so I know what it’s like. I’ve seen the disappointment in my authors when they don’t like what I have to say, what I tell them to change. I’ve heard their rants when my boss tells them, tough shit, it’s in your contract tiny mortal, you do as we say!
We don’t want to know what publishing house you work for. You must be a great disappointment to that house. You have not seen disappointment in faces what you have seen the the fact that they are finding out that they have lost control of their book because you and your boss have determined what the public wants to read. Yep that is what contracts do- they screw the author. That is why indies don’t do contracts- it is not in our best interest, it is in yours and your bosses. It is a lose- win. You win they lose.
It’s not fun, and a lot of the time, I feel their pain. Then again, the writers I work with have been, for the most part, writing for a very long time. It wasn’t just some over-night hobby they picked up after reading that piece of shit Fifty Shades of No One Fucking Cares Anymore, and thought to themselves, “I can totally write something like that!”
There is no way in hell you can feel their pain- so don’t even try that one. That is like telling someone who has lost a love one that you know how they feel. That is BS in its purest form. You are not the one who has sat for hours and days on end bringing characters and stories to life to only be told- deal with it- we are going to do what we want to with your story. It is in the contract. So don’t insult them by making that kind of stupid statement. You have no clue.
Indie authors have this very bizarre self-image when it comes to their books. I’ve seen it first hand. They become entrenched in this market that was taken over by the uneducated, untalented masses who just wanted a little piece of that best-selling pie, and they think that because they sat down and crapped out 250,000 words of useless drivel, the world owes them something.
Now this paragraph is just beyond words. “Uneducated, untalented masses,” this is such an insult on so many levels, I can not even begin to start a rebuttal. I for one have a degree in Criminal Justice. I have taken many writing classes and I do not write useless drivel and the world certainly does not owe me anything. If you are going to make a statement like “useless drivel” then you must include yourself and your authors in this statement. This blog is indeed useless drivel. You cannot seem to write anything here without personally attacking indies or their readers. In my experience and education this is a sure sign of low self esteem.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve complained about the price of an indie book an author is begging me to read and their response is, “But I have to charge that much. I have to get some money for my time.”
Oh really you are complaining about the price of an indie book when traditional books run almost 30.00 a pop? Are you kidding me? Are you still pulling stuff out of your ASS?
Oh no, sweetheart. No you don’t. The world doesn’t owe you anything. Your time is worthless until you prove your worth. You can’t ask people to pay more than pocket change on your poorly-worded shit. Trust me, you might be able to find a few people on your overly massive facebook network to crap out the nine or ten bucks for your book, but don’t come crying to me when your sales plateau after a week, and no one gives a shit anymore.
We know the world doesn’t owe us anything. And as far as our time being worthless? How dare you. We have proven our worth over and over again. “Pocket Change” Seriously?! Who do you think you are? Why would anyone bother to come crying to you? You are not that important. We do not need you. Most of us don’t care if we are not on the best seller list- we are not out to make a fortune – We write because we can. So keep your snide little comments in the same place that you pulled out this blog. Face we do not need or want your or your kind. And that is the problem- you can’t stand the fact that we do use social media we have made the internet our friend. We know how to market and it killing you.
The truth is, unless your work is good enough to be accepted by a traditional publisher, it shouldn’t be on the market.
And who made you Judge and Jury? Why shouldn’t it be on the market? Was it because you didn’t get your piece of the pie? Was it because we didn’t come to you begging on our hands and knees to have our work published? Those days are long long gone. Deal with it. It is called free enterprise and we have as much right to be here are the next person.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But General, I’ve read some really, really terrible traditionally published books!”
And you’d be right on that complaint. Some of the biggest publishing houses out there will take the most terrible books on the market, simply because they sell. Simply because there IS a market for really bad crap. The standards for your every day book enthusiast have fallen so low, it’s… well there are no words for how pathetic that is.
No, it isn’t the reader who has fallen so low- it is the traditional publishing houses. They want the money- they are greedy apparently just like you. So they insist that their authors produce so many books a year. No time to research, no time to flesh out the story or the characters. Just get it out there so the name will sell not the story. You can try to wrap this up and sell it but that will not hold water. It is the houses not the readers.
But it doesn’t change the fact that just because you can write a carbon copy of the really bad, traditionally published shit, doesn’t mean it deserves the attention of the public.
Oh this is so true- especially when it comes to worse than bad writing by traditional authors and I have read many of them. I refuse to read Patricia Cornwall anymore because her writing has gotten so bad. It is not her fault. She is pressured to pump out books like they are babies. There is not time to put her heart and soul into it because all of you are standing over her with a whip and a deadline. All you see are dollar signs.
Before you type in the web address to amazon’s way too lenient indie publishing website, submit your work to an agent. Submit it to a few publishing houses, and see what they say.
And here is the crux the of this blog!! The facts now come out. We don’t need you! And that mean you are losing $. Now we know the rest of the story it is all about the money. You all see it drifting away- no longer do you have control of us. We are out own agents.
You’re going to get rejected, believe me. You think that these big named authors became famous overnight? I realize it appears that way, but it’s sadly not true. At all. Most of them have been working their fingers bloody trying to get someone with some sort of influence to notice them. Most of them take at least a decade to take off, and only a handful actually last longer than five years on the best seller list.
What an oxymoron- you tell them in the previous paragraph to waste their time getting an agent and submitting to a house and then you make this statement. No big name authors didn’t become famous overnight anyone with half a brain knows that. But what you are not telling is the fact that they also have to promote themselves and you get the money.
Bear that in mind when your puny brain thinks the moment you hit publish, you’re going to be the next big thing. The appropriate reaction when someone tells you that is to laugh in their face, and then fucking punch them in the mouth.
Now we have “puny little brains” Seriously when you run out of words you still resort to name calling – We have no illusions unlike apparently you do that we will be a best selling author we write because we can. End of story.
Now, there are exceptions to the rule, but they’re not common, and they require a lot of contributing factors. The first being, yes there ARE some authors who DID become overnight successes. Those authors either have A- connections or B- some sort of already-established nerdy, lonely fanbase for their shitty fanfiction they’re now changing the names on and publishing (fifty shades of my vodka flavored vomit, anyone?). But that will not be you. Repeat that to yourself over and over to get it through your head. That will not be you.
Your work is not gold. You’re not going to have some publisher accidentally happen upon your book and think, My God, this is the next Stephen King. It doesn’t work that way. Get the idea out of your head. Especially if you are independently published.
I had to put these two paragraphs together. Again- the logic here escapes me. It almost as if you are angry because “Fifty Shades of Grey” topped the charts. (not one of my personal favorites) but I would be so unprofessional as to talk about it like this. Are you jealous because some other agent/publisher has made a killing off someone who is into writing about domestic abuse?
The second exception is this- sometimes there ARE diamonds in the rough in the indie market. There are authors who have looked at traditional publishing and all the benefits, weighed them against the benefits of indie publishing, and decided indie is the way to go.
But here’s the difference, they don’t use MS spell-check, self-edit and then go to print. These authors, most of whom have been writing for at least two decades, get an editor. I repeat, they get a fucking editor. They edit the book. They have writing groups of total strangers critique their books (they exist online in massive droves of people just waiting to pick your shit apart… it’s brutal, and kind of hot). They beta-test their book to different genre markets. They… wait for it… edit again. They write, and re-write, and they sit on their book for months, go back to it, re-write more, edit more. And then, only then, do they decide to publish.
Once again, I had to put these two paragraphs together. I have been writing for over two decades, more like 5 decades. I have an editor- I do not use writing groups and the reason is it is my story and I don’t want someone else to interject their story- they can write their own . I don’t need nor want anyone to pick my book apart I do it enough on my own.
The sorry truth is, Indie Writing is not for the poor. I realize it’s sort of poetic to be some sort of starving artist who spends their life suffering and misunderstood, only to be discovered as a genius years after death. But 99.999% of you are not misunderstood, and you are not geniuses. You are ordinary and plain.
Again, seriously? You really believe this drivel that you are spouting? We do not believe we are misunderstood or suffering. Nor are we ordinary or plain. Apparently insulting us is your only defense. You leave a lot to be desired as a professional and a person. That you feel you have to castigate indies to make yourself feel better.
If you want to Indie Publish, you’d better damn well make sure you have the money to do it. Editors are not cheap. They don’t have to be rape-your-face expensive, and when I see freelance editors charging up to a grand for manuscripts, I want to burn their computer as a sacrifice to the editing gods, but they do cost money.
And they are necessary.
Let me repeat that because you fucking brainless ass-clowns don’t seem to get this one.
Once again with the name calling. What a sad little person you are.
Editors are necessary.
You cannot self edit. Self-editing is only good for half the mother-fucking job, and if one more person tells me they can self edit I’m just going to… to…
I shit you not, that’s what will happen.
If you choose to self-publish your books, you have to work twice as hard and pay twice as much to provide equal content to the market. Being traditionally published doesn’t mean you’re more talented, it simply means you’re offered more opportunity for a lot less money to make sure your book is in the best condition possible, to ensure people aren’t wasting their money.
We already know this. We don’t need your whip cracking name calling- self-loathing, pious attitude to remind us. You have no clue as to how hard we as a general rule do work.
Being indie published doesn’t mean you’re exempt from handling your book like a goddamn professional. In fact, it makes you more responsible, because you don’t have a lovely team of vodka-and-redbull soaked copy editors, content editors, book cover artists, and book formatters working their fingers to the bone because they’re getting paid a percentage of your royalties, so the shit has to be good.
Nope. As an indie author, that is all up to you. It’s up to you to find an editor who won’t charge you the soul of your first born. It’s up to you to find a cover artist who isn’t going to photo-shop Sims characters and then write the title in Microsoft paint. It’s up to you to find a copy-editor who isn’t running the manuscript through Microsoft spelling and grammar check. It’s up to you to find a formatter who doesn’t hit justify and center and call it done.
That all takes time and money. And a lot of trust in a market where a lot of those people are in it to make a quick buck, reputation be damned.
But that’s not to say it can’t be done. It can. And I’ve read those books. Indie books have made #1 in the amazon best sellers lists consistently, and that’s because those authors follow the goddamn rules of the literary market.
Being an indie author does not make you part of the elite. If this were a caste society, you’d be the untouchable, wallowing away in your own leprosy-covered filth. And those who’ve risen above the dredges, the Aladdin Prince of Thieves amongst them who found the genie in a bottle with their book, are the ones who goddamn tried.
So I don’t want to hear anymore about how I don’t give indie authors a fair shake. This is a job, and indie authors treat this like it’s some dime-store hobby. They want a piece of the literary money pie and they don’t want to work for it. It’s disrespectful and it makes me sick.
It is not the indies who do this, It is the traditional houses that do this. They are the ones who force their authors to pump out four books a year with no soul. This dog just won’t hunt.
If you’re an indie author and you can’t afford to do all those things, you have no right to be publishing. You are what’s wrong with the market. You are why indie authors have a bad name. And you can surround yourself with those in the market who are constantly bullshitting the masses with the idea that indie authors are braver, and more special, and taking their work into their own hands, because we all know it’s a load of shit.
And one day, when you’re sitting around with your 27-book series you wrote in 15 months, making $10 a quarter, wondering why no one gives a shit, maybe you’ll reflect back on this article and what I’ve had to say. Maybe you’ll realize that shitting out five books in five months was not producing quality work. Maybe you’ll realize that those who were telling you that you’re doing it wrong were goddamn on to something.
The traditionally published, generally speaking, are better than you. Because they have the resources to be. Because the traditionally published decided to pay their goddamn dues by going about things the right way. They independently published their books when they earned the right to do so. When their royalties afforded them the money to pay the editors, cover artists and book formatters they needed to produce quality work.
Again why do you keep repeating yourself. Traditional authors are not better. Most of them cannot get out of their own way. The reason is simple people like you are standing in their way. They are the ones spitting out five books in five months because of the contract they sign. That is not quality work, in fact it sucks. Same story, different city, no imagination at all.
So complain all you want. Rail about how wrong I am, but I’m going to be sitting here in my little self-righteous world just waiting for the day when I can say I told you so. Because I fucking have. Repeatedly. And you’re still stupid enough to think I’m wrong.
Boy, you are a legend in your own mind aren’t you. This is probably the most factual paragraph in the entire blog. You certainly are self – righteous and apparently self serving and you are wrong so wrong on so many levels. We are here to stay and we are not going anywhere.
A few minutes ago my cover designer Debi DeSantis posted a status on her facebook, it went like this:
“I was honored to receive a very unique opportunity yesterday to design a book cover for actor Bruno Amoto and his cause Wounded Worriers Project. This is very exciting and I will keep you all posted as to how things are going…there are a lot of very important people involved and I will share as the reveal gets closer!”
I sent her a comment letting her know how proud I was for her. She in turn posted this on my facebook page:
“Hey mama, he saw your cover Pennies from Heaven and that is how he found me. So thank you my friend. hugs, Debi”
Now some of you might say “So?”
Well let me just tell you the “So”. In this business we as indies including cover artist have to not only claw our way to the top of the heap we have to fight those in the traditional industry as well. They think we are stealing their readers. That conversation is for another blog- however, the bottom line is we have lived and worked and published in the dark for a long long time. For someone like Bruno Amoto to think that the cover Debi did for Pennies from Heaven was good enough for the Wounded Warriors Project is a compliment to all of us in the industry. She is being recognized for the talented artist that she is. That makes me one proud and happy person.
Debi and I have had a relationship for many years. She has done and redone everyone of my covers for all of my books. That is the first thing people notice when they see my books- my covers. That is what is supposed to happen. The cover is supposed to grab a potential reader. She never ceases to astound me with her creations – All I have to do is give her a small synopsis and let her do her thing. She never fails me. This new venture is a testament to her talent and craft.
I believe that everything in our life happens for a reason. There was more than one reason why I felt compelled to write Pennies from Heaven- maybe this was one of them. It appears that Pennies from Heaven is helping more than those who are grieving- it is helping another part of mankind in a different way.
Check out her website (she is also an author) http://debidesantis.com/
her book covers: http://www.debidesantis.com/book_covers.html
make friends with her on facebook: Author Debi DeSantis Author Debi DeSantis (Book Cover-Designer)
Trust me when I say that when one pays it forward good things always happen.
This is the cover that Mr. Amoto saw and decided to choose Debi for his project.
I am proud that she is not only my friend but also my partner in Crime so to speak- Way to go Debi
The Last Rites
Welcome to Your Nighmare
The Pink Canary
When Fates Collide
When Fates Collide Mardi Gras Bound
When Fates Collide Mardi Gras Bound
When Fates Collide Arm Candy
Voice From the Grave
Voice from the Grave Kindle Edition
Voice From the Grave MP3
Dream Catcher Failure Was Never an Option
Dream Catcher Failure Was Never an Option
Dream Catcher Failure Was Never an Option Audio CD
Pennies From Heaven
DreamCatcher Failure Was Never an Option
Halloween IV Special Edition
Genesis Book One of the Kingdom Come Series
Whispers in the Cries
The Price of Fear
Shadows in the Dark
The Wicked Haze
The Order of the Blood
Rusty Nails Broken Glass
Shocker II Original Treatment
Read Us or Die
Pray, Serpents Prey
Red Wet Dirt
Meat City and other tales
The Return of Spring Heeled Jack
In The Beginning
Magick and Misery
The Beast and The Walking Dead
In the Absence of Sun