Independent Authors. The small businesses of the writing world. While I can't speak for every indie author, and every reader's opinion, here are some key points I've found while researching independently published books on Kindle. Like me, you'll probably be surprised by what you are missing. I encourage you to explore this rapidly growing sub-culture of books.
10. Hidden Gems
Make your hipster friends jealous by being the first among them to discover an amazing book! Bring something new to the conversation by reading something not everyone else has read. Not only will you be able to enjoy the book yourself but you will feel good knowing you introduced something fun to other people.
9. Indie Authors Are More Approachable
I believe it's safe to say it's much easier to get a response from an indie author than say, George R.R. Martin. Just about every author has a Facebook or Twitter account, but so many of them are run by marketers or creative directors that you don't know who is actually reading or responding to your post. Since indie authors do everything themselves, they might actually respond! I've gone straight to Facebook and messaged several indie authors, letting them know I did a review of their book, or asking them a question. I've always gotten a reply within minutes, or at least that same day.
You may have to wait hours in line to get a quick scribble in your book at a J.K. Rowling signing. But since indie authors have a fraction of the turn out, they are happy chat with you and answer any questions, in person! (Not that all authors aren't ecstatic to have you there. Some just have less time for each individual fan.)
8. Indie Books Get In Your Hands Faster
Cutting out an agent, busy publishing supervisors, and a team of marketers also cuts out a lot of time. Typically, an indie author will finish the manuscript, wait for peer responses, revise, then send it to a copy editor. Since they don't have to wait for anyone to give them the green light, you most likely won't have to wait a year to find out what happens next in your new favorite series.
7. They Do Everything Themselves
Since there is no big publisher to back them, all the work falls to the author. Especially marketing and sales. On top of editing, cover design, interior design, and formatting, they are constantly promoting and working to get their books on shelves. Word of mouth is the best kind of promotion, so your support is greatly appreciated.
6. More Opportunities For Freelance Workers
Every author wants their book to be as polished as possible, inside and out. That's why a lot of indie authors will hire freelance copy editors, graphic designers, and reviewers to help. By purchasing an indie book, you are actually supporting several people.
5. Story Is Exactly As It Was Intended
Publishing companies are looking to fill very specific niches. When they buy the rights of a story, they can make whatever changes they want to plot or characters to fit the mold of a specific market. But when you read from an indie author, there are no unwanted influenced or puppet masters. Think of it as an organic reading experience.
4. Just Because It Was Published Independently, Doesn't Mean It Wasn't Good Enough To Get Published Traditionally.
Do I think Onyx Moon is good enough to get published traditionally? Absolutely. So why isn't it? That's a whole other cup of cocoa. But the bottom line is, publishers have limited resources and time. A book has to float in a treacherous sea of analytical financial charts and graphs before it is even considered for publication. This is how thousands of amazing stories each year slip through the cracks. With indie authors, you can be the judge.
3. You Can't Argue With Free
It's common for Indie Authors to release the first Ebook in a series for free in hopes you will be snared in and buy the rest of the books. But watch out --- it works!
2. They Are Not In It For The Money
I can't speak for everyone. But I can say the best part of this is holding your book in your ands and seeing it on your shelf, or even better, someone else's. Some Indie Authors make a considerable amount if money. Most don't. But you can bet they love what they do, and that is the key ingredient in a good book.
1. They Need Your Support
Starting out --- No marketing team. No top rate expensive promo plans. No fan base. It's you that helps them get ahead of the game. It's you that makes their dreams come true. So don't just read an indie author, support them! Like their book? Review it on a blog. Post it on facebook. Rate it on Amazon. Reviews and rates on amazon are like tips for indie authors, and their business depends on it.