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Indie Author Logic: Why the Future Means Indie Author Success

Posted by Viral Cat on May 12, 2011 at 9:18 AM

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I talked to an older man the other day. He had just finished reading "Jeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls," Viral Cat's first published book. He liked it and especially enjoyed the character Lyrna. He told me in private that he rarely reads new authors because he has thirty or so "tried and true" authors whose works are published year round. Why take the risk of purchasing a book by an unknown author when he's guarenteed a decent read by one of his thirty established authors?

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As an independent press, we take on first time authors and compete with big publishing houses. But we know that indie publishing is the future. The big publishing houses are crumbling, downsizing is a nicer way to put it. Why? Because people like the older man I talked to aren't expanding their repitoire.

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The ebook market is soaring. Big publishing houses want their ebooks to cost $14.99. Indie authors and publishers are charging $2.99. When pressed on the issue, the older man mentioned above insisted that he'd still buy the $14.99 ebook that he knows he'd enjoy rather than buy the $2.99 ebook he might not like. But what about the twenty year old reader? The thirteen year old reader? They are the future, and I'm pretty sure they'd purchase the $2.99 ebook.

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And the big publishing houses? Well, they know their loyal clientele won't spend $14.99 on an unknown author, so they just keep publishing established authors. New authors? Well, sure, they publish celebrities with a built-in market. "Lauren Conrad? Well-known reality TV star? Sure! We'll publish your book!" says HarperCollins.

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As established authors, er, die off, and their loyal readers enter retirement homes, indie authors will have developed a following all their own and the mystique of being published by a big publishing house will be revealed as illusory.

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Quality control will still exist because social media will help great stories go viral. Word of mouth has always been a publisher's best tool. That will never change.

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So my message for you, indie authors, indie publishers, is to embrace self-publishing and small press publishing, have faith in social media, and don't fret rejection letters from major publishers; in fact, don't even send them your queries. The publishing world is rapidly changing and indie author success stories are on the rise. You want to ride this wave rather than get caught in the currents. Master social media. Develop a personal connection with your readership.  Understand publishing technologies. These are the tools of the new generation of authors.

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