Saturday, January 07, 2012

Definition: Indie Author

What is an Indie Author?

This Blog defines an Indie Author as an Independent Writer who chooses to be an Indie Author.  

Choice and Independence are characterized by...
  • controlling the Content of the author's work
  • controlling the Cover Design
  • assigning the Title of the work
  • controlling the Copyright of the work
  • controlling the work's Release Date
  • determining the Sales Price (...or even give the work away for free)
  • controlling the Typesetting and Design of the work
  • hiring (and firing) Editor, Cover Designer, Printer
  • selecting the Sales and Distribution Channels
  • controlling the Marketing for the work

Indie Author = Self-Publishing?

The author who wants to control and manage their work from A-Z has (if not a "big name author") only the choice of Self-Publishing or a Small Press Publisher. Mainstream Publishers will take over your work as soon as they accept your manuscript.

Indie Author = Newbie-Writer?

A newbie writer might start out as an Indie Author for the reasons of Choice and Independence but not all Indie Authors are newbie writers. In fact, many traditionally published authors go the Indie way of writing and publishing for one or more reasons listed above. They might also reflecting to a higher margin of their sales (per book), and therefore looking forward to a higher income when going Indie instead of the traditional publisher route.

Indie Author = Bad Writer?

"Every Indie Author is an author who cannot find a publisher," is the association the Big Publishing Houses want to sell to their readers. Numerous Indie Authors have proven that this is not the case for them, and have received excellent reviews from readers and professional reviewers. Sales numbers at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. are showing also that readers do like the Indie-Author-Books.


Indie Author = Cheap Book?


Unfortunately, Indie-Author-Books are associated with low price books. Most Indie Authors, who have not yet made a name for themselves in the writing world, are trying to jump the market with the "99-cent-eBook." The development of  "(sales)price-pride" has not started yet and numerous Indie Authors are missing out on higher sales and/or income for their books.
I am confident that the time and the market (or Amazon) will regulate the "fair price" for an Indie-Author-Book.

Indie Author Book = No-Quality Control?

Big Publishers like this association, too. This one is partly true. Right now (2012) you can publish everything, which has a title and some words in it at Amazon, Lulu or other print and sales channels. Readers, reviewers, and marketing people are criticizing this and the calls for regulation and quality control are getting louder. The criticism is less about the content (Who wants to define "bad" content anyway?) but rather about bad or no typesetting, no editing, bad printing (like pages missing or pages upside-down), bad or no research for non-fiction books, etc.
Book Sellers and Websites will earlier or later regulate the Quality Control better for their customers, although today (at the start of the eBook revolution) the sales figures seem to count more than customer's satisfaction.
Until then, Indie Authors need hope and trust that other Indie Authors are publishing and releasing their works with a "code of honor" pertaining to the Quality Control.

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