Friday, 16 January 2015

Why I Want to Draw a Distinction between Self publishing and Indie Publishing

The term indie publishing appears to have been hijacked by the loose fitting collective that is self publishing. So where does that leave true indie publishers like Caffeine Nights and a host of other small but passionate publishers striving to make a difference and an impact in this industry?

If you use the term indie publisher these days many people often think you mean self-published, and like it or not along with that comes the baggage of the old days including vanity publishing. There is a growing consensus of opinion that there are some excellent beginners and professionals out there who are self-publishing very successfully. Sadly that also leaves around 95% of the self published market which is still happy to churn out unedited, unproofed drivel for pennies or free and congest an already swamped market. 

Whatever way they wish to look at it and indeed even some parts of the industry has started labelling these successful writing entrepreneurs as indie authors, they are and always will remain self-published authors and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just please don’t hijack the term indie

In this rush to embrace self published authors I think the true indie publisher has had to endure a difficult time in the market. On the one hand trying to compete with the big boys and on the other seeing what market forces brought about by the gold rush of everyone has a book in them has done to the hard fought for ground established by true indie publishers. Seeing that ground eroded by readers keen to devour or download every free or cheap self-published ebook available has made it an exciting but also frustrating time. 

Personally I don’t think many of those free books ever get read, but what they do is skewer the market affecting sales rankings and damaging sales. Readers need to be able to distinguish good from bad and by diluting or confusing terms such as indie publishing it becomes harder for readers to make informed choices especially with eBook purchases until they actually start reading what they have downloaded. 

Indie publishers provide that stepping stone between unpublished obscurity and often the next step for many authors in their career. Small enough to care big enough to produce lovely crafted books and occasionally win a small battle, gain a victory, garner a national review, persuade a buyer to take a book on in their stores, win an award or being short listed. 

Indie publishers deserve to keep their moniker and not have it stolen by an equally worthy set of self –published authors albeit a significantly small proportion of self-published authors who are doing the right thing in the right way.

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