Monday, April 8, 2013

Why You Should be Reading Indy Authors

There is a debate among some book reviewers. This debate is over the reviewing of independent/small press authors. There is a huge boom in authors forgoing the old fashioned route of publishing. More and more are moving to self-publishing. In the past there was the thought that those who self published did so because their writing wasn't good enough. The strange thing is though that when one looks at indy bands or say indy movies it is different. They are treated with a level of respect and seen as true artists.  I'm glad that the negative thinking on indy authors is changing. As more and more of them become successful the respect for them increases.

Courtesy of Annie Mole on flickr
I was shocked when I first heard that some bloggers outright reject requests for reviews from indy authors. I can understand if you read a synopsis of the book and it doesn't catch your interest. But some have a very clear policy that they will only accept from major publishing companies. I'm fairly open  in what I'll accept or not accept. I'm a slow reader though so I may have to reject on a basis of time. Also I want to be able to not just read books that I've promised but ones I already have on my TBR Shelf (to be read shelf). But no where do I have the outright policy that I wont read books from indy authors or wont read books from major publishers. Like most people I'll read what catches my fancy.

Here are the reasons you should be reading indy.

Courtsesy of Wiertz Sebastien on flickr
1. Free books- You heard me books. Indy authors are often desperate for word to get out about their books. The best way to get word out? To have people read and review their books. Even if you are not a book blogger many times indy authors will happily give you a copy in exchange for a review posted on sites like goodreads/amazon/b&n etc. If you are a brand new blogger most publishing companies wont look your way till you have at least 1,000-10,000 followers (yep you saw those numbers right). Whereas most indy authors will not only happily let you read their book for free they often will often do interviews/guest post or sponsor a giveaway of their book on your blog. I can tell you one of the best way to get new followers is to host giveaways. New followers means more exposure for both you and the indy author. I can guarantee you that Stephen King is not going to do an interview for you blog but an indy author will!

2. Diamond in the Rough- One of the arguments of those who refuse to read indy is that there is a lot of garbage out there since literally anyone can self publish for little to no money. Well, we've all experienced buying books by major publishers to only sit there scratching our heads as to how it even made it to print. Yes you might read a few books that are craptastic. But then you'll come across that one that was sooo good that you want to tell everyone you know about it. Especially since most people will have not heard of it yet. If you do get stuck reading a book that is subpar I always suggest using the teacher tactic of saying something nice about the book before you say where it went wrong. I know that snarky meme filled reviews are the rage right now. But honestly they don't help the author at all. Authors want to hear where they went wrong so that they can improve. If it was a matter of pacing then let them know that in chapter two it slowed down. If the book is beyond bad then you can always contact the author and offer to NOT post your review. The key is politeness. Some of the best and highest rated books on my old blog were the ones I got from indies.

3. Cheap Reads- Ok so I know up above I posted about free reads but honestly most indy authors put their books online for only a few dollars. Meaning that for the price of one ebook published through a major publisher you can buy  2-3 indy books (lets face it sometimes even more). Indy authors have more freedom than those stuck with a publishing house. They also make more of a profit on their books. Instead of the publishing house making most of the profits the indy author makes the majority of the profit.

4. Genre Crossing- Some books just don't fall under a genre or they even cross a number of them. With traditional publishing houses they want your book to neatly fall into one. Whereas there is more freedom with self publishing. I recently came across a synopsis for an indy book that was dystopian erotica/romance between a witch and an werewolf who travel through time. Don't ask me the name though because I forgot it since I don't read erotica. My point is that you will find some out their books that sound so out there you JUST have to read it.

Ok so those are the points I can think of right now. Sorry that this may have been a bit long and scattered all over the place. Do you read indy books? Why or why not?


  1. Just stopping by from the A-Z Challenge list to say "Hi" :)

    Hear Hear! :)

    Good luck with the rest of the challenge!


  2. It strikes me a bit like the battle between MD's and DO's, and or Chiropractors. It's a control and a money thing. And fear of competition perhaps.

    what a fun bright colored background you have on your blog

  3. I'm just as fascinated by the smaller publishing companies that take the risks of publishing these indy authors! Loved rubbing 'virtual' elbows with so many of these authors and hunting out their books on the real shelves, even though I bought the e-book. One day, I'll hit the publish button on my book and send you copy!

  4. Great post! I totally agree with all of your reasons. :)