Before I even get started, let me make a disclaimer. I am an Indie-loving Indie writer who loves Indie books, bands, films… you name it. That being the case, perhaps I am a bit partial toward one side of the question that is the topic for this post. I won’t argue with anyone over that point. However, I do believe that even the most impartial reader, writer, or reviewer can agree that the works of independent artists and creators are here to stay, particularly in the world of self-published authors.
Anyone currently involved in the self-publishing world could make a long list of the benefits of opting for the “do-it-yourself” method. In fact, the long list of benefits has everything to do with why self-pub is growing in popularity and is quickly becoming the publishing path of choice for unknown and well-known authors alike. I believe, though, that if one was to group those benefits into categories, there would be three main ones: control, profitability, and flexibility.
Control, in relation to Indie authors, means having the ultimate “say so” on every aspect of the writing and publishing process. From subject matter to font size to book cover, it is the author who makes the choices and declares them as final decisions. This freedom fosters a perfect environment for creativity to form a boundless union with entrepreneurship, which ultimately leads to the next category: profitability.
It is very easy to understand how cutting out the “middle man” (in this case, a third party publishing house) leaves more money on the table for an author and with retail outlets such as Amazon offering up to 80% royalty pay outs, it’s no surprise that authors are choosing to be the only ones at the publishing table. Even taking into consideration fees for professional services such as editing and promotions, large sales numbers could very easily and most likely equal large pay outs.
Finally, there is flexibility in Indie branding. An author is free to, and is almost expected to explore writing in different genres, in different mediums, through different outlets, etc.. It is very common to find an Indie author who has published books, an active blog, and perhaps a cause that they support that have nothing in common with each other but the author themselves! At the heart of all these things, though, is what I believe to be the desire of all creative people: the need to express freely with no boundaries, no limitations, and no need for approval. This is what being Indie means and why it has never been, and will never be, a fad.