Posted by Peter Kazmaier
What is an Indie Author?
For the purpose of this discussion an independent author (Indie Author) is an author who retains ownership and control of their created work. He may provide a limited licence to a publisher or distributor, but ultimate control of the work remains with the originator. In contrast I use the term “traditional publisher,” as a publisher who acquires exclusive rights to a work before publication. Note: these terms are for discussion purposes only and in no way is this discussion to be taken as legal advice.
Twenty Reasons for Becoming an Indie Author
- Reason number 1 for becoming an Indie author: it gives you the freedom to share your imagination with a worldwide audience.
- Reason number 2 for becoming an Indie author: it enables to spend your time writing your next book rather than dozens of query letters.
- Reason number 3 for becoming an Indie author: you can share your story directly with the people who matter most—your readers.
- Reason number 4 for becoming an Indie author: when your first book comes out and readers begin buying it—YOU ARE AN AUTHOR.
- Reason number 5 for becoming an Indie Author: you may be the one to invent the new genre that readers have been longing for.
- Reason number 6 for becoming an Indie Author: it enables you keep the freedom to write what you believe, in the way you believe it should be written.
- Reason number 7 for becoming an Indie Author: BIG BROTHER abhors voices that can’t be controlled.
- Reason number 8 for becoming an Indie Author: internet sales are easy to scale. If your book goes viral there is no limit to how many books you can sell.
- Reason number 9 for becoming an Indie Author: you decide when you want to follow the dictates of Political Correctness.
- Reason number 10 for becoming an Indie Author: with so many people on the internet, there ought to be 100,000 with tastes in stories similar to yours.
- Reason number 11 for becoming an Indie Author: with low overhead you can sell into niche markets that are unprofitable for large publishers.
- Reason number 12 for becoming an Indie Author: you learn to value and cherish every reader of your book.
- Reason number 13 for becoming an Indie Author: you are able to interact personally with many of your readers since your low overhead lets you thrive with fewer sales.
- Reason number 14 for becoming an Indie Author: for introverts (like me), it’s easy to converse about books when people find out you’re an author.
- Reason number 15 for becoming an Indie Author: researching your novel leads you to study many new subjects.
- Reason number 16 for becoming an Indie Author: you finally write the book you always wanted to read, but no one else bothered to write.
- Reason number 17 for becoming an Indie Author: every one you meet has a bit of knowledge about life and relationships that will make your novel more authentic.
- Reason number 18 for becoming an Indie Author: your book need never go out of print. After all you own it.
- Reason number 19 for becoming an Indie Author: take a step to overcome fear of failure and rejection. Put Theodore Roosevelt’s encouragement “to be in the arena” into practice. Silence your inner critic by writing and publishing your first book.
- Reason number 20 for becoming an Indie Author: in these days of “cancel culture,” if you own your book, your publisher can’t be pressured into burying it.
Posted by Peter Kazmaier
I follow the blogs of Steve Laube and his associates. Steve is a well-established agent and he and his associates represent many christian writers. As a service he and his associates frequently publish posts of interest to the writing community in general.
Last month, Thomas Umstattd, Jr. published a post entitled How to Protect Your Author Platform from Big Tech Censorship [link]. It’s an article well-worth reading and I wanted to talk about it.
Before I talk about big tech censorship, an apology, or perhaps, a disclaimer is necessary. On PeterKazmaier.com, I blog about writing, reading, topics that affect writers, and personal reflections on my own faith journey. I scrupulously avoid politics. The topic today, although it strongly affects writers, gets fairly close to the political line. I do not intend to comment on what makes people take offense at various writing points of view, I merely want to make writers aware of the danger for their own work and the social media platforms they use to publicize it.
So what is shadow-banning? Shadow-banning is the social media practice or condition in which the author of a post on a social media platform posts some information, assuming that it will be faithfully disseminated to the friends, followers, or others who have indicated they want to receive the authors content. However, usually unknown to the author, some kind of a filter has been interposed so the content does not reach some or all who have indicated they want to receive it.
A related problem can occur with free search engines or search commands on social media. One assumes the results are faithful to the search request, but it is possible to eliminate or downgrade priority on certain search results. This kind of search filter has a similar effect to shadow-banning in that search results that directly relate to the search request, are either eliminated or moved to say page 27 in the list of search results.
So what can I do to safe guard myself against this kind of censorship?
For my part, my core content is always located in my WordPress websites. I will refer to them using social media, but I will likely never know when those links are censored or why. Still if the core content is there, interested readers can still find it and often some social media pathways will still stay open.
As a reader, when I want to receive someone’s content, I keep a link to their blog, RSS their podcasts, and/or sign up for an email when new content appears. Several of the sites I follow have had their accounts frozen, deleted or have been shadow-banned. I had to go their website to see the content the social media provider wanted to keep me from seeing.