Why I’m an independent novelist (and not a self-published writer)

Not to split hairs, but in my mind there is a difference between independent (or the less formal indie) publishing and self-publishing.  I made that distinction even before I released my first indie novel, and a year later, I stand behind the indie moniker.  Here’s why…

Self-publishing conjures isolation, and writing is solitary enough already.  Self-publishing is also an enormous misnomer; I do NOT do this all by myself.  From crit partners and cover designers to supportive family and friends; I can’t fathom releasing my novels without the generous and amazing assistance provided by talented writing buds and those who have to live with me.

Independent or indie feels lighter, freer, which it is and has been for years in music, art, and films; why not books?  Indie literature is emerging from the shadows as voices grow louder and minds open to the possibility that a book published outside expected channels has merit.

If this sounds a bit militant, well…  I’m pretty strong in my indie convictions.  I want to create whatever hits me, be it lit fic, sci-fi, romance with a serious edge.  Or a mix of these, or something that sits entirely outside of expected literary parameters.  As an indie novelist, this goal is better explained than as a self-published writer.

Maybe it’s like arguing which came first, the chicken or the egg.  But if I was the chicken, I’d be a little proprietary.  In labeling myself, I want the most accurate description.  Branding is big in the publishing world; I’m a novelist writing about love and death, disabilities and sexuality, religion and baseball.  Independent seems the most astute adjective.  Now, back to the writing…

3 thoughts on “Why I’m an independent novelist (and not a self-published writer)

  1. Brit Darby

    Thanks for sharing your insight on this subject. Love your “lighter, freer” concept! Agreed…indie all the way. It seems the term “self-published” is also equated with poor quality and generally used in a disparaging way. There’s too much negativity hooked to it. ~B


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