This is for my Indie / Self Pubbed friends out there. For the record, do we have a distinction if you’re Indie or Self Pubbed? I mean we throw around the Indie term like crazy but then, Indie technically means Independent Publisher, ie, not one of the Big 6, which I refer to as “Small Press”
So really, what does being an Indie Author mean to you?
For me . . . the best things about being Indie are:
I get to pick my cover artist and my cover model, and have a say in the cover design. I think this is a super important component to any publishing process. We do judge books by their covers, and a beautiful cover will get people excited much more than a drab or badly done one.
Characters / Plot
I had to ask Jennifer Laughran about it this morning, but with the traditional houses, sometimes they buy books and then they tear them apart, restructure them and they come out looking like they had plastic surgery. Sure, they’re more pretty than they were before, but they’re no longer all natural. Often character names change, plot elements change (mostly endings), etc. etc. Doing it myself means less chance of someone else changing it to suit their needs or to suit the market.
This is probably one of the things that gets changed the most. Writers call it a working title for a reason because a team of specialists will often change it around and come up with something else. Whether it works is really up to the team. I had to work my titles too, but I didn’t do it with a team of professionals. I like what I came up with and I can’t see the books being called anything else.
We’re always hearing traditionally pubbed authors talk about how a scene was too hot for a book, or too violent, or too graphic or too political or something. You name it, for some reason we’re allowed to see teenagers getting it on in movies, but when it comes to YA fiction, the sex scenes, the violence scenes or scenes that may raise concern get cut or rewritten. Censorship in books is actually more strict than it is for television shows and movies. Again, as an Indie, I can make my scenes as steamy, violent or sexy as I want. Of course, I need to adhere to some guidelines, but generally speaking, I can get away with more.
Admittedly, most are on their own for this anyway, but if other people are used in them and they’re not officially contracted that can be bad for the publishing house. So sometimes the book trailers that are allowed are all scenery, or animation, or just words on a screen. No full cast productions and the ones we do get to see (Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini) are few and far between. It does allow for a lot of fan made trailers though.
And that’s it for me, what about you Indie Authors? What’s the best thing about being Indie?