Indie literature. There’s an undeniable stigma that comes with the label—many readers find indie books to be poorly written or littered with errors in editing. However, when you scrape away the “muck” that comes along with the concept that anybody who wants to write a book and publish it can, and for free to boot, we find something magical.
Traditional publishing has led us to a place that exists nearly entirely on fads. For example, if you read 10 random young adult contemporary novels, it may be the case that the plots and characters begin to melt together as time goes on. Why? This is the goal of traditional publishing, in a sense: uniformity. The pursuit is profit, and that means publishing something with the knowledge that it will sell—read: something that’s already had success. Something that’s been done before. And while there’s still a great deal of voice and individuality to be found in traditional publishing, it may be difficult to sort through the pieces of coal to find the diamonds.
This, however, is where independent publishing comes into play. Ideas that were too unique for the traditional publishing industry find their home in a market that allows literally anything. If you want to publish a story about a time-traveling gorilla that’s also the princess of a sand castle in Prague, well, there you go. If a book’s plot or characters aren’t uniform with what’s currently “selling,” it doesn’t matter. Independent markets may not thrive off of being “counter-culture,” but they certainly thrive off of their unique product offering.
If authors like J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, and Stephen King had access to the independent e-book markets at the time when their first works were being overwhelmingly rejected, I believe they may have become independent authors.
There’s a plethora of undiscovered mastery that lies in wait for you on Amazon—look for it. Find it. Support a movement that goes against the grain, a movement that focuses on art and not profit, a movement that has changed the world and will continue to do so.
Please: support independent authors. You’ll never know if the next bestseller is a click away unless you give that book a chance.