I’ve written on this subject before, but today I want to expand on the subject.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE INDIE MOVEMENT
The Independent Press is sometimes referred to a small press. This is understandable as the Indie Press sprang from the small press. So first, let’s get a handle on small press.
Basically a small press has been categorized as a publisher with annual sales below $50 million dollars in the U.S. In addition they are categorized as publishers publishing an average of fewer than 10 books per year. However that is only an average, some do more.
According to Wikipedia these are “defined as publishers that are not part of large conglomerates or multinational corporations.”
WHAT IS AN INDIE?
What I am referring to, however, is authors becoming independent publishers of their own books! This was the purpose and inspiration for founding T&R Independent Books. We don’t handle any other authors, just ourselves. For this reason I suggest their is a clear line of separation between small presses and indie publishers.
Orna Ross (director of The Alliance of Independent Authors) says, “Being an independent author is an approach to writing and publishing, a matter of self-definition. If you see yourself as the creative director of your books, from concept to completion and beyond, then you’re indie.”
You could take that statement and expand on it. You could say, Being an independent publisher depends on how you see yourself. If you see yourself as a person wanting more control over the creative process (writing) plus the publishing, and marketing processes then you are an indie.
Being indie involves much more than just writing, but the potential rewards are also out there. Think of it this way: If you control most, if not all, aspects of writing, publishing, and marketing, you will also reap most of the profits.
“At ALLi, “independent” is an inclusive description and always relative (everyone needs help to write and publish well). Some of our members are fiercely indie-spirited, as DIY as it’s possible to be. Others are happy to collaborate with a publisher where that seems advantageous, some working with paid publishing services, others with trade publishers.
So what marks out an indie from other authors? The Alliance allows that you are an independent author if:
- You have self-published at least one book.
- You recognize that ‘indie’ does not necessarily mean ‘self-publishing only’ and acknowledge that even the most indie-spirited self-publisher works in collaboration with other publishing professionals (editors, designers, distributors) to produce a good book and reach readers. You are open to mutual beneficial partnerships, including trade publishing deals where appropriate for you, so long as the author’s status as creative director of the book is acknowledged.
- You expect your status in the partnership to be reflected in contracts and terms, not just lip service.
- You recognize that you are central to a revolutionary shift in publishing which is moving from seeing the author as resource (in the new parlance ‘content provider’) to respecting the author as creative director.
- You are proud of your indie status, which you carry into all your ventures, negotiations and collaborations for your own benefit and to the benefit of all writers.”
Well put. If you are an author this is something that you should take a serious look at. But I go one step further. To me you are a business person and need to take a close look at establishing yourself as a legal entity.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
There are quite a few resources out there for authors to use. For example you could join ALLi, but they have an annual fee. There are others that offer you training at various prices, some reaching over $100. Then there are some who will give you some basics for free.
Some of you may be aware that I now offer a free package on the basics of writing. To learn more about the business of writing click Yes, Show Me More and discover our 3 in 1 free package.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that you are more than just a writer. You are a business person!