Independent Success

Why is it in the book/publishing business that if you are independent than you aren’t professional?

Independent movies are made all the time. No one frowns on them. They’ve launched many a successful film career.

There are people saying that big house publishers will soon be looking to see if authors have had any independent publishing success before signing them.

That makes sense. So many other places do that.

Independent publishing is not unequal to traditional publishing options ie. signing with a big name publisher and hoping your book sells a few thousand. At least so you can get a little more than your advance.

Independent publishing is better likened to the little sister of traditional publishing. The little sister has to work a little harder to get out of big sister’s shadow. She has to be different. Edgier and more aggressive. She has to try things that big sister wouldn’t have dared. She has to embrace the new wave.

She isn’t her big sister. People make the mistake of calling them the same name. People make the mistake of comparing them. Both of those are wrong.

Independent publishing, especially electronically, is still in it’s infancny. We are the early adopters. We are the pioneers. We are on the forefront of the new success. Traditional success isn’t there yet. Few are making thousands of dollars, almost no one is making a living yet.

As technology moves forward and catches up, little sister will equal or surpass her big sister. Independent publishers and authors will be successful.

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3 Comments

Filed under culture, electronic age, power, publishing, rants, writing

3 responses to “Independent Success

  1. S. C. Green

    I think independent publishing will always carry a stigma. Yes, there are success stories. However, of those success (and I deem success by getting offers from a traditional publishing house), how many authors choose to forgo traditional publishing to continue independently? None that I know of. I, myself, would gladly shuck off the responsibility of distribution and marketing. The trade off of smaller percentage of sales would be made up in lager market availability.

  2. asrais

    The thing is: traditional publisher’s are NOT marketing books unless you the author’s are proven best sellers. Sure you get the national chain disturbution, but walk into a book store- how many of those books are being sold below cost?

    WHen you make a pitch for your book, you are now expected to include a marketing plan.

    Here’s an example of a self-pubbed author who would forgo a traditional contract: http://zoewinters.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/book-awards/
    The last line says “So anyone asking me to leave the path I’m on and freely chose… better have a deal worth giving up what I love.”

    As self-publishing grows fewer and fewer will go to traditional houses. The more I get into self-publishing and what it means for author’s the more I revise what I’d want in my contract (if one were offered) by a big name publisher.

    Now, why do indies carry a stigma? And what can we do to change that?

  3. Pingback: Why independent publishing is working for yourself « Learning to Say Yes

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