Friday, June 10, 2011

Legacy Pub-Indie Pub-Small Pub Hullabaloo

The publishing battle continues.

Recently SF/F author Michael Stackpole tweeted the following
Writers banned from website for spreading truth about digital self-pub: (HT Terry Mixon) Vital stuff folks. RT!
If you follow the link in the tweet, you can find another link to the forum thread that resulted in the ban.

I read the original thread.

Okay--I think it's time to really come up with solid definitions for what we're doing.

Everybody seems to be upset at what we're calling ourselves.

We're borrowing from "indie music," "indie films," "indie comics," and even "indie role-playing games." You know them--guys and gals who decided not to go with the Big Name film, record, comic book companies, and role-playing game publishers and struck out on their own.

We're doing the same. Why can't we call ourselves that? What's wrong with doing so? Where does it say we can't call ourselves that?

Hell, a lot of comic book creators are being told "You want to break into comics? Try self-publishing. Print your own. Create an ashcan. Use that as your sample."

One of the posts on that thread said "indie publishing" referred to "small presses," those companies who aren't one of the gigantic publishing conglomerates and who have "annual sales below a certain level."

How about this: call the small presses "small press" and call ourselves "indie authors."

It can work.



Consider the conversation going like this:
YOU: "I'm an indie author."

THE OTHER GUY: "Oh, you're with a small press? Which one?"

YOU: "No. Not small press."

THE OTHER GUY: "But isn't a small press the same as an indie author?"

YOU: " 'Small press' just means a publisher that's not one of the big name ones. 'Indie' means I did it myself."

THE OTHER GUY: "So you self-published."

YOU: "I prefer the term 'indie author' myself."
Is it spin? Yeah. It is.

But spin doesn't have to be negative. I say make spin work for us.

"Indie author."

Touch it. Love it. Use it.

If you repeat it to people enough times and they'll get it.

Go on.

Give it a try.

(photo: ilco/stock.xchng)

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