Indie Publishing Deserves More Credit

When you're in your MFA program earning that sacred degree in creative writing, your professors (at least in my experience) preach the perils of self-publishing. Don't do it! they scream. It's your academic and literary demise! You won't be taken seriously! No one will read your work! Not even the library will take your novel!

While the bit about the library is true, (I worked at the local library for a year and saw many indie authors attempt to add their books to the collection), I can't say that I completely agree with my professors. No one will read your book? Tell that to the seven(ish) people who read my book on Kindle Unlimited. A humble number of people (and who knows if they finished the book?) but they found my book in the midst of tens of thousands of books on Kindle, and they read it. Thank you, you seven beautiful souls. You have no idea how excited I got when I saw the page numbers read on my reports.

But what those professors don't know is that indie publishing is really fucking hard. You have to do all of the work on your own. The publicity, seeking out and maintaining a following, editing, graphic design, hosting your own events--so much goes into publishing a book, and I don't think self-published works and indie authors get enough credit. I'm lucky that my husband has a background in graphic design, but I think about my peers who have to either hire a designer or learn the skills of graphic design on their own... Or what about the writers who self-publish, but don't have a background in English, but still give it their best shot anyway, or hire an editor to do that work for them? My hats off to you, all of you, good ladies and gents and they-persons, be it that you do it yourself or if you use funds to find help.

This rambling is mainly due to my realization that indie authors have to seek out reviews, which I've learned is a hell of a lot like the process of querying agents. You put forth your book's best self and hope that someone replies, saying they're interested in reading the rest of your book. It's yet another reason that the Traditional Publishing Is The Only True Publishing Nut Jobs need to shut their trap holes and actually go to the other side of the fence before judging what's over there. You got a whole mother trucking team to help you out, bro. Us? Most of us are doing it on our own, unless we've got the funds to hire a little help. Pat us on the back please.