“I’m only an indie author. It’s no big deal.”
Those are my words, said to an acquaintance who asked about what I had been up to lately. The words bounced off the insides of my skull like an old bucket down a well. They rang empty and false. In an effort to avoid hubris, I chose self-deprecating humility, and it felt all wrong. It sent the wrong message, not only to the listener, but to myself. Is it really no big deal to be an indie author?
The Humble Indie
For a long time, there was this black cloud over indie publishing that said it was something to be avoided. That’s where failed authors went to lick their wounds. Indie publishing was just a vanity, and no one took it seriously.
Then, out of the blue, 2008 brought a storm of indie books. By 2009, over three-quarters of books being published were indie. The clouds started to disperse. Maybe indie publishing wasn’t just for hacks and never-would-bes. Perhaps there was more to eschewing traditional publishing than just avoiding the fearsome editors.
The Oxford Dictionaries says the definition of pride is as follows:
1. a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired;
2. a group of lions forming a social unit.
My first thought was to explore the more common first definition of the word. Indie authors should wear our indie status as a badge of pride, not as a stamp of low quality. Indie publishing has vastly improved since the days of cheap Paint image covers and stream-of-consciousness, edit-less nightmares. The books coming out these days are, more often than not, quality works with marketable plots and well-made book jackets.
But I think it’s worth mentioning that pride comes in other forms. The second definition speaks to nature, to a grouping of creatures with common interest, and I think a useful analogy can be drawn from a lion’s pride to groups of indie authors. We need to be fierce – not just for ourselves, but also for fellow indie authors. We need to stop blushing and mumbling about our indie status. State it loud and proud: “I’m an indie author, and I’ve published…” No, you’re not a big name A-lister, but you’re a professional. Instead of bringing yourself – and the rest of us – down, reach down deep and find that molten core that has pride in your work. Then share that pride with the world.
Thanks, Adan! Here are her links again for you to make with the clickity-click: