The changing world of indie publishing

Indie publishing has been in the news quite a bit lately. With authors like John Locke and Amanda Hocking seizing headlines and Amazon charging for the bigger slice of the pie, there have been numerous debates as to how this will play out.

Should indie publishing be dismissed? There is a scene from Charlie Wilson’s War which best describes this. The Americans have powered the Afghanistan people with weapons, they have beat the Russians and Congressman Charlie Wilson (played by Tom Hanks) is the man of the hour. As he celebrates and gloats, Afghan Task Force chief, Gust Avrakotos who assisted him with the cause tells him this story.

“There's a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse... and everybody in the village says, "how wonderful. The boy got a horse" The Zen master says, "we'll see." Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, "How terrible."

The Zen master says, "We'll see." Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight... except the boy can't cause his legs all messed up. and everybody in the village says, "How wonderful." And the Zen master says, "We'll see." 

Obviously, indie publishing is no war of any kind. But the game is changing. New players are being added, rules are being changed faster than they are being enforced.

I would say don’t dismiss something when you can’t see the end of it. Yes, some writers are in it for the money and couldn’t give a rat’s ass about language, formatting or appearance. But for some of us, indie publishing isn’t how we earn our living, it’s how we live and guess what, we’re here to stay. 

Indie authors will have one consistent thing to deal with in the years to come and this is change, a bit more change and then some more change.

You will have those who have given up because indie publishing failed to make them a few quick bucks and then you will have those who have persevered. Irrelevant of which party you belong to, I doubt the route will get any easier.

But then again, anything worth having isn’t always easy.

To any writer wondering if indie publishing is the way to go, here’s the best advice I can give you from my personal experience - don’t expect overnight success. Rome wasn’t built in a day and people who tell you overnight success is achievable are lying because it just doesn’t exist. 

Set your own trail. Be consistent. Keep away from negativity. And then work even harder.

Guest post By Pandora Poikilos, Author of 'Frequent Traveller'


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