Indie Authors Naked: For the Love of Writing & Indie Publishing
Indie Authors have been splashing the eyes of traditional publishing for at least a year now, and whether or not the Big 5 acknowledge it, that salty spray is starting to sting.
Let’s look at some facts:
* 391,000 titles self-published in the U.S. in 2012— an increase of nearly 60% from the previous year (source: Bowkers)
* Self published authors regularly capture 20-30% of bestseller lists (including The New York Times and USA Today)
* Self-published author Hugh Howey (of “Wool” fame) sold more than half a million copies of his latest e-Book before he sold print (only) rights to Simon & Schuster. He retains e-rights as a self-publisher.
* Sergio De La Pava self-published A Naked Singularity and won the $25,000 PEN / Robert W. Bingham Prize for his sprawling novel about a public defender. It garnered media coverage from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Slate, among others
* IndieReader launched IR In-Store, the first indies-only distribution service that will directly get branded self-published titles in front of book industry professionals, including retailers, reviewers, librarians, and publishers.
And if that’s not enough to prove that the future of self publishing is now, how’s this? My prediction is that in 2014, indie books—taking their cue from other “indie” categories (specifically those of music and film)—will be considered downright sexy and that major publishers will try to make their product look more like ours.
Thinking about going indie? Jump in right now…the water’s fine!
Indie Authors Naked explores and defines the world of independent publishing.
Comprised of a series of essays and interviews by indie authors, booksellers and publishers, readers will get a look at the many aspects of the indie community, where publishing professionals of all types come together with the simple goal of creating something unique; something that speaks directly to the reader, no middleman necessary.
Contributors include: James Franco, Hugh Howey, McNally Jackson Books, Sarah Gerard, OHWOW Books, Raine Miller, David Vinjamuri, Toby Neal, Rachel Thompson, Eden Baylee, Christoph Paul, Jessica Redmerski, and more.
From the foreword written by Orna Ross, founder, ALLi
When I was a teenager, and beginning to dimly perceive how women get written out of history, I asked my great-aunt about her part in the Irish revolution of 1916 to 1923, that had seen her brother shot by his best friend. What had it been like for her in this nationalist armed uprising? “Yerra, you just got on with it,” was her reply. And then, after a moment’s reflection, she nodded her head in self-satisfaction and said, “I did my bit.”
Something about this answer stayed with me, so that a similar scene found its way into my first novel, After The Rising. And the words came again to mind when I was asked to write a foreword to this eclectic collection of interviews with indie authors, which so clearly illustrates that we writers and publishers are in the middle of our own revolution.
Publishing, the elite “gentle[wo]man’s profession,” the business that has harnessed the energy and talents of writers to turn a profit of more than $80 billion dollars in the English language alone, is being democratized. Young writers are already taking it for granted: that a writer can directly reach a reader; that one human imagination can now whisper directly into the mind of another through that box of magic we call the book, no middle-person needed.
For me, having worked in media and publishing for more than twenty years—as writer, editor, author, creative writing lecturer, owner of a writing school and literary agency—it’s a miracle that has saved my writing life.
I am a refugee from trade publishing. The novel that took my great-aunt’s quiet pride and put it into the mouth of a fictional Irish grandmother was first published under a different title back in 2006. Seeing it launched had been a dream come true for me, a dream long-held through a slew of rejection slips. When Penguin, as part of a generous two-book deal, finally purchased it, I thought I’d won the literary lottery.
Alas, where I saw page-turning fiction that educated and inspired and cared about language, the publisher saw chick-lit. Where I wanted to focus on what made my books different—the historical background, the real-life people, the twists and turns of a family murder mystery ricocheting through four generations—they wanted to emphasize the love angle.
In short, where I thought reader, they thought retailer. They were chasing a market and squeezing the book to fit: so I got neon pink on the cover (though anyone who knows me knows I am the Anti-Pink) and a title with “lover” in it. A book that, by the time they were finished with it, I hardly recognized as mine.
Those who are proud of their indie status, and carry a sense of their own worth into their ventures and collaborations, are at the vanguard, leading the way and opening new ground, not just for those who avail of the opportunities, but for all writers. And for all publishers, too.
I know I am blessed to be here, at the heart of this revolution: to be stretching my creative boundaries; to be helping other writers recognize and relish our newly won freedoms and responsibilities. To be, like all the author-publishers interviewed in this book, getting on with it. Doing our bit.
Book Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: IndieReader Publishing
Loren Kleinman is a writer and poet with roots in New Jersey. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Drew University and an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex. Kleinman is a columnist for IndieReader.com (IR) where she interviews New York Times and USA Today bestselling indie authors. Some of those interviews in IR reappeared in USA Today and The Huffington Post.
Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Nimrod, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Paterson Literary Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Writer’s Bloc, Resurgence (UK), HerCircleEzine and Aesthetica Annual. She was the recipient of the Spire Press Poetry Prize (2003), was a 2000 and 2003 Pushcart Prize nominee, and a 2004 Nimrod/Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize finalist. In 2003, Spire Press published her first collection of poetry Flamenco Sketches, which explored the relationship between love and jazz.
Her second collection of poetry, The Dark Cave Between My Ribs, is due to release with Winter Goose Publishing in March 2014. She is currently working on a New Adult romance, This Way to Forever.
Amy Holman Edelman launched IndieReader, the essential consumer guide to self-published books and the people who write them, way back in 2007. Since then, indie authors have stormed the bestseller lists, been courted by trad publishers and (after all that), finally gained a modicum of respect.
Amy self-published her first book, The Fashion Resource Directory, back in the 80s, long before POD and Amazon and e-readers roamed the land. Her second and third books (The Little Black Dress and Manless in Montclair), were traditionally published (by Simon & Schuster and Shaye Areheart Books, an imprint of Crown).
As an author and a publicist with over 20 years’ experience, Amy’s goal for IndieReader is no less than to make indie a respected and desirable category within the publishing world. This book is just one step in that direction.
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Category: Indie It Books