I might be playing with fire here, but I think it needs to be said.
Things I’ve heard (and so much more):
Indie isn’t ‘real’ publishing. They didn’t go the grueling avenue of querying an agent, waiting on submission, practically having a meltdown wondering if any major house will buy their book. They didn’t put in the blood, sweat, and tears. Indie is a waste of book space that could be filled by a ‘real’ author.
Devil’s advocate here…
What makes you think that an indie author sheds any less blood, sweat, and tears than a traditionally published author? I mean, seriously. Do you think they wear confidence like clothes? Do you honestly think that they don’t get nervous about their books too? Wondering if anyone will buy them and read them and FALL IN LOVE with their stories? They spent time writing. If they have their ducks in a row, then they probably had an editor, maybe went through rewrites/revisions. They probably had beta readers. They actually, chances are, had to do more work than a trad author in the way of contacting reviewers/bloggers/cover reveal people. They most likely waited anxiously for feedback from readers.
Sounds like a 'real' author to me.
Flip side. I’ve heard:
Traditionally published authors are spoiled. All they do is write a query and a book. Then BAM, all other work is done for them. They think they’re better than self published authors because they have fancy agents.
Voice of reason here…
Traditionally published authors don’t just write a query. And anyway, a query is HARD to write. Have you tried it and made it out alive? If so, you know what I mean. A query makes an author take a 300+ page book and summarize it in one paragraph that has to hook an agent by the throat and never let them go. Shit is extremely difficult. Furthermore, querying is just the first step. Traditionally published authors have their books shredded by editors. They have to make deadlines set for them by the publisher. They do a ton of their own work. It’s not just a here-you-go-publisher make-my-book-pretty process. It’s hard. It’s staying up at night wondering if your words are good, if they will make the cut, if your book will ever crawl out of its editing cave to see the light of day. Publishers don’t do all the work for trad authors. Huge misconception. And most agents aren’t fancy, anyway. They're just normal people who believe in a book and want to see it thrive in this tough book world. Agents are people who wake up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, and take the subway into work. They get rejections too. They know the struggles of this novel-writing life.
Indie or Traditional?
I’m wondering, why not both?
Let me just say that I love indie authors.
Some of them make my book world go round. I look forward to their new releases. I might even stalk—I mean watch—their profiles for release dates/blurbs/giveaways/any and everything having to do with their books.
That being said, I also love traditional publishing.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter how the book is published, but more so THAT the book is published and in my hands/kindle. And truth is, the average reader could care less who acquired the book, or if it might have been born of a one click publish button.
Books are books, people.
So long as they’re well written.
X’s and O’s, Lovelies.