Support the indie author

Friday, November 23, 2012

When I started this process I really never gave much thought to what I would do when I finally finished my book. After a few months of work, I began to research literary agents and query letters. But I also had heard some musings about self publishing.

I started by researching literary agents. The online description was relatively simple. Write a book, type a query letter (This is a letter you send to agents describing your book and all its fabulousness), send said letter off to agents, land a wonderful agent, in turn landing you a big-time publishing contract and write for the rest of your life, while the big bucks roll in.

But the more I researched this the more I found that this process wasn't as easy as it sounded. There was never a guarantee that a literary agent would pick you up, let alone ever read your query letter. If you were lucky enough to find an agent to read your letter, you'd probably get more rejection letters than hopeful ones. The economy hit everything hard, including the publishing industry. Scaling back was something every business needed to do to keep thriving. So, agents took on less writers, and publishing companies, big and small signed less authors.

The self publishing world became a wonderful way for indie authors to be heard. With Amazon Direct Publishing, B&N's PubIt, Smashwords and CreateSpace available and fairly simple to use, a shift took place. Indie authors could now get their work to the masses that might have otherwise gone unread in the past. 

Now, I know that everything written by self published authors aren't always the next New York Times Bestseller, but at least they now had an outlet to share their work.

This is why sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Good Reads exist. 

This brings me to reviews, which are a great way to support an indie author. If you liked a book, write a review. If you LOVED a book, write a review, brag about it on Good Reads, post it on Facebook, tell everyone you know. Word of mouth for a self published author is the best free publicity ever! If you didn't like a book, write a review, too. Maybe you didn't like the story line, the characters or maybe the book was too long for your liking. Those are all personal opinions and it might not have appealed to you, so write about it. A negative review might also be warranted if the author did not take the time to use an editor and their book contained multiple grammatical errors, misspelled words and plot holes. Reviews are a great way to tell the author how you feel. My only advise is, tread lightly when it comes to negative reviews. Remember this is someone's labor of love.

Because I have a ton of respect and admiration for self published authors, I have decided to add an area to my blog where I will review books I have read by indie authors. I hope someday, when my book is finally published, someone will do the same for me. 

Please take the time to read my upcoming review of the book, Flat Out Love by Jessica Park.

On a side note...I respect all authors, the ones with big-time publishing contracts, the ones who chose to sign with small agencies and those stand alone indie authors. Every last one of them stomped the pavement, worked late hours and groveled to get their books out to the public. Each path is honorable and requires a ton of hard work. Much love to all of them! 

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