Welcome back Thrill-seekers!
This week’s Spectacular Sideshow:
“Surprise! Your biggest revelation about reading Indie?”
At the risk of sounding incredibly redundant, because I touched a little on this in my “Why Indie?” post a few weeks back, but my biggest surprise when I first starting reading Indie was the quality of the work that exists out there in Indie publishing. True, not all Indie books are gems. But I think sometimes it’s easy to generalize about them all together; to see the dollar signs and attach a subconscious, or perhaps conscious, stigma to something. Because it’s not as expensive, perhaps not tangible, we tend to devalue it. Perceived value. We do this all the time, often without even thinking about it.
Take for instance grocery shopping at Wally World. I stand in the pasta aisle silently and obsessively debating for a long while (yes, I really have done this) whether or not I should get the $2.69 spaghetti sauce in the pretty glass jar with the handsome, happy movie star face on the label OR save a buck-sixty and go for the $1.07 spaghetti sauce in the boring tin can sporting the generic image of three red tomatoes on a cutting board. My dilemma is all about quality and essentially taste, and I’m afraid if I decide on the cheaper one, my taste buds and their expectations for super garlic-ky and tomato-ey deliciousness will be disappointed. Because I like to save pennies, after five minutes (4 minutes and 40 seconds longer than it should have taken me) I cross my fingers and grab the tin can. Surprisingly, the cheapo sauce is competitively good… and leaves me the option to get three cans for almost the price of one movie star pasta sauce. Boo. Yah.
Ok….it’s kind of a lame analogy. I’ll admit that. But you can probably see where I’m going with this. Price (and sometimes the packaging) does not always accurately reflect the actual quality of the product….and yeah, that does go both ways. But all that to say, my biggest surprise initially about reading Indie was that there were some pretty amazing self-published works out there to be found. Diamonds really can be found in the rough of the Amazon.com “You may also like” lists.
My second surprise about reading Indie was the friendliness of most of the authors and their willingness to connect with their readers and fans: taking the time to comment on reviews and ratings, thanking them for notes left on their blogs, tweeting with them. These authors are busy people too, a lot of them holding day jobs and writing on the side, and yet the fact that they take the time to connect with their readers is just a nice personal touch. Also surprising as well, was their unfailing support of EACH OTHER. Even though they are technically competition, the Indie authors I’ve been privileged to know promote each other, they encourage one another, they proofread for each other, they critique each other, and they’ve developed friendships with each other. I think it’s awesome the community these authors have built up around their love of writing, their commitment to seeing their own books published and their support of seeing others published too. And it’s kind of cool to see on Twitter if you follow some of the authors from the big houses, that this helpful, friendly attitude is not exclusive to the Indie set. More often than not, it’s a freaking love fest all over for the book community on Twitter. Yay!
So. That’s all I got. To summarize: perceived value can be misleading, after midnight I tend to draw lame analogies involving pasta sauce, and bookish love fests.
Aren’t you glad you stopped by?
Ok….go visit my fellow carnies….they are actually writers, so will probably be more coherent and have cooler analogies than me, and possibly a few rockin’ awesome similes as well:
And GIVEAWAYS! Remember to enter the YA Indie Carnival Ebook Giveaway!
And a chance to win Stacey Kade’s The Ghost and the Goth!