I'm author and editor Holly M. Kothe. Thanks for stopping by my writing and review blog.
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Indie Authors (Are Unscrupulously Cool)





 

I have decided this. I’ve always thought being “indie” sounded badass, underground and hip. But I never quite made the plunge like I’ve recently decided to do. I think maybe the ideal is to join up—to become a cog in a literary agency and find publication through a well-known name that will really get your work out there (and quite possibly even support you financially). But even being backed by an established name like Penguin or Simon & Schuster or Harlequin carries the danger of being swept under the rug, lost in a sea of pro-writers. You have to promote YOU, Indie or no.

In the world of self-publishing, writing is diluted and you have to sift through a lot to get to the good stuff. But I still maintain it offers more advantage than disadvantage, for both readers and writers. You just have to talk about your work. Get a little self-centered. Media-whore yourself a bit and call in favors for people to read and review your stories. Heck, ask people who don’t even owe you favors. If you believe in your writing, and if your a good writer, put it out there. It’s an exciting time for indie-authors!!!

Take indie author Devon Winterson, whom I’ve had the pleasure and luck of meeting through the best critique group on the entire Internet, Writer's Beat: 
 
WritersBeat.com
 
 

I highly recommend you join this forum before self-publishing anything, as it is full of fun, friendly, and most importantly, ACTIVE writers who will read and critique your stuff, as long as you read a bit of theirs first. It's a great system, and I've received a lot of helpful advice there. 
 
Anywho, “Open Your Heart to Chance” has four stories inspired by Winterson's beloved golden retriever.



She’s offering the collection free on her website, Imagination Ether Press at http://caendoria.com/.
 
Winterson uses Smashwords and Goodreads, with the option to donate one dollar to the charitable Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue Foundation. Here Ms. Winterson mixes writing fiction with her heart for philanthropy, which is quite an admirable way to use one’s indie publishing superpowers. She has several novel length works coming soon, including:
 
The Perfect Player
 
 
--a dark fantasy available on Amazon and Goodreads this November, all of which can be found on her website.

My recent research into places like Smashwords, Lulu, Amazon and Goodreads, as well as the reading of many a beautifully written indie works has inspired me to dip my toes into independent publishing. Though finishing my bachelor’s has put the novel on hold, I do plan to release my own collection of shorts—a dark, insane collection about dark, insane women. The stories will be horrific (in genre, but hopefully not in craft), and their characters psychologically deranged. It’s a Poe-esque nod to the woman scorned, with perhaps a touch of warning to our male counterparts? All in good fun, of course! I hope to write more on the topic and share some samples here. I plan on finishing the collection, having them professionally edited, and having cover art created by a good designer. All things I need to look into, all work done by me, for my craft. It’s all within my control, and it’s an extremely gratifying artistic position to be in.  

I've recently run into a snob de littérature (who's screen name shall remain nameless) who gathered up the keyboard courage on a writing forum I visit to scoff at fellow writers who employ free websites to promote their writing...simply because of their being free. To that, I say, HA. And HA again. I'll continue using BlogSpot, and applaud other impoverished writers smart enough to use the tools at their disposal. I'll also use the free publishing services at Amazon, and save what little funds I have to ensure some professional grade editing, and to purchase more great writers' works. I may be the poor man's writer, but that doesn't mean I don't love art. So, keep on with BlogSpot and Wordpress and economic venues of self-publishing. If I haven't made it big yet, at least I can work and get my work out, then see what happens. So, yeah, down with the man and all that. 
 
Thanks for reading! I'll leave you with an image that inspired one of the four shorts to appear in my collection, which involves Paris and prostitutes. Here's the Pont Louis Philippe:
 
 
Gorgeous or what? Happy reading. Write (and publish) hard!

5 comments:

  1. I'll admit, it takes some savvy (and a little luck, and 99% trial and error!) to get things up and running, indie publishing-wise! Lol. :D Always mind-boggles me how still so many people believe "It's so expensive to indie (author) publish!" or "If you indie publish, people will think you're a crap writer."

    Well you know what I've discovered? Gems. And not just a handful of them in a ten-ton pile of rubble, either. Out of all the indie published books I've read thus far over the year, I'd have to say about 75 - 80% of them have been fantastic. Not perfect, mind you; nothing's perfect. But really, really good! Stories that a mainstream publisher probably wouldn't touch because it's not brainwashed "cookie cutter crap" and doesn't fall neatly into one genre or another. These stories are creative, written from the heart, and crafted really, really well.

    As an editor (content, line, and a former acquisitions), poorly written prose snags in my mind so easily and plot holes jump out at me like jackalopes in a frying pan. Yet oftentimes I totally forget that I'm reading an indie published book because the quality of said books have gone way up over the years; authors are starting to not only really learn and absorb how to approach a project with as professional an eye as they're capable or can afford, but also understand that readers can and will discern the amount of time and effort put into a project. A rush job is a rush job, no matter what. Readers will be able to tell. Lol.

    As for it being too expensive? Pfft. Not if you do it right. Enlist friends who have an eye for cover design, or who are good at editing and proofreading; those whom you might be able to either get a discounted rate from or do something in exchange for their services. Oh yes, and word of mouth is always so important; thus, connections through social media -- true, sincere connections, not those stupid fly-by-night supposed "friend connections" that'll boost you and not help the one boosting you -- really do make a difference. The effort spent helping out another author (indie or trad) or just friends in general is gladly reciprocated. :) Not 100% of the time, mind you, but it usually is.

    Wow, but I digress!

    Thanks again, Holly, for mentioning my work. And I'll always be here if/when you need me to help you out with anything. :)

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    1. Yes, Kimberly! Thanks for reading and leaving us wise words from an experienced indie author! I will be contacting you regarding editing/publishing, and I'm looking forward to it! Thanks again (:

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  2. I have to agree with all that. Holly and Kimberly, much inspiring words. Thank you. Being an Indie-film artist I've been kicking around the idea of self-distributing my film "Psycho Killer, but wasn't sure if it was the right way to go. I know now it is. I love Kimberly's comment- "brainwashed, cookie cutter crap." It let me know, it's not just me! Thank you! There is a sh*t ton of that "crap" out there and I'm sick of the mindless dribble. If I sit down to watch a movie, or read a book, I do NOT want to be spoon fed the same old fodder. It's hard to get the "Lame-stream" unoriginal machine to even look at your film, novel, story, vision, or even your idea if it's not mainstream. Thanks again...

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  3. I love your blog! Not only is it intersting, but you actually give advice to writers, too - which is what I look for when I go through a blog. I have a good feeling about this and therefore plan to pay you a visit every now and then. Cheers!

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  4. Thanks, Randy. Of course I think distributing Psycho Killer on your own is a great idea, and you'll really be able to get it out to all those fans you have who have not gotten to see it yet but keep asking to (:

    Ramz, please do continue to pay a visit. My advice is not always expert, but I share what I learn along the bumpy road of things I'm attempting to figure out, as far as this publishing stuff goes. Thanks all!

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