Friday, November 25, 2011

Why should I read an Indie Book?

     Why should I read an indie book?  Well, I can think of several reasons, but here are just a few to get you started:
     First of all, why shouldn’t you read an indie book?  Yes, it’s true that anybody with a computer, word processing program and an internet connection can self-publish, but is it not also true that anyone with a webcam can become the next best internet sensation overnight?  And there are plenty of videos out there that were created with a simple click of a mouse followed by a few wacky dance moves that have proved to be entertaining.  Heck, how many of those videos simply involve pets portraying their every day, normal behavior?
     So, what’s my point exactly?  Just because an author has gone the non-traditional route (they haven’t found an agent or publishing company to mass produce their book) doesn’t mean they are not talented.  In fact, I have read several traditionally published, main-stream books that haven’t met my expectations.  Yes, some of them just weren’t the right genre for me but some of them were simply awful.  Will you stumble upon some indie books that make you feel the same way?  Yes, you will, and I have as well.  However, for every indie book you cast to the wayside because it just wasn’t your cup of tea, you’ll more than likely find one that makes you stand up and shout, “Eureka!”  Some of my newest favorite authors are independent writers.  But now that I’ve found them, will I completely shun the traditional authors I once loved so well?  Nonsense!  Of course I’ll eagerly await their next novels and pay the more expensive price, but now I have great reading material coming from another source as well.
     That brings me to the next reason why you should give indie books a try: the price!  Who isn’t looking for lower costs on luxury items these days?  Yes, books are a luxury (in my case, a necessity), and independent authors tend to charge far less than the big publishing companies (at least when it comes to ebooks), and often times they host giveaways and offer coupons for free books. 
     The best places to find these ebook deals is on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and smashwords.com.  Smashwords has the added bonus in that when you purchase an ebook you have several formats to choose from, so if you don’t have a Kindle or a Nook you can still download your new book onto your ereading device.  Before I got my Kindle, I was reading ebooks on my laptop.
     Finally, one more wonderful thing about independent books is the editing.  No, I’m not saying they are all flawlessly edited (I’ve caught typos in text books before, as well as indie books), what I mean is that by publishing independently, authors have the freedom to write the story exactly how they want to write it.  I don’t know how many times I’ve finished a traditional book and thought to myself, “Wow, that plot had real potential but it never really left the ground . . .”  Has this ever happened to you?  You finish a book but feel the plot was predictable or the characters were flat?  You realize that it would have been a whole lot better if only more of the details would have been left in. 
     Fortunately, indie authors have that option; they decide whether or not if Character A needs to have that extra conversation with Character B.  Maybe it seems a little excessive, but I personally enjoy more meat to my stories.  Too often the heart of a book is sacrificed in order to create an end product that will be more marketable.  It reminds me of movie previews that make me say, “That looks like a really good movie!” only to be terribly disappointed when, after I’ve seen the movie, I realize all the worthwhile scenes were portrayed in the preview.
     So, hopefully as ebooks and ereaders become more and more accessible in this age of advancing technology, you’ll take a chance and give an independent author a try.  You never know, you may end up discovering the next best book to add to your collection.

3 comments:

  1. Very good points. Also, publishers seem to follow/feed trends. I can't even count how many times I've seen one book with an unusual premise sale really well only to find the next time I'm in the book store that suddenly there are many books on those end caps and displays with a similar premise. Many end up falling flat. Publishers seem to spend their resources jumping on a trend that has already gained momentum as opposed allocating more resources to bring about new trends.

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  2. You tell 'em. ;)

    It's cool how many people are actually seeking out indie books these days, because they want to read fresh stories and support the little guys. Even two years ago, everyone seemed to look down upon self-published books.

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  3. Hi Jenna,

    Good point. I know from experience that the traditional publishers look for material that with appeal to a wide base of readers, but oftentimes when a writer dilutes their story to get published it is their edge that they need to dull. Indie writers can be brilliant writers and they never need to compromise their intended message. I prefer to read small label authors, even if they aren't always as 'good' as the big house writers.

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