Back while I was at the World Science Fiction Convention, I had a conversation with Patrick Nielson Hayden, one of the chief editors at TOR books. I asked him how he felt about the whole "Indie" publishing thing. Well, Mr Hayden went on for some time about his feelings on the eBook revolution, most of which isn't important to this particular blog post. What is important is the definition he gave to publishing. I'm going to paraphrase it, because it's been almost two months, and I don't remember it verbatim.
Publishing is the ability to put books in front of people who will buy them. Just because you have printed a book in either electronic or physical mediums, it does not mean you have published a book
I believe this is an accurate description of the difference between printing and publishing. Just because a writer has taken the time to make his or her book available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, or any other distributor of ebooks, does not make that writer and "Indie" author. It makes them a self-published author.
There are two ways to go from being self-published to indie.
The first way, which happens to be the way the early successes did it, was to self-publish so long and hard, that the work got out and word of mouth spread, generating buzz that the writer couldn't keep up with it. This is how success is made in both traditional publishing and in Indie publishing. A writer cannot become a success without a rabidly loyal and noisy fan base. The self-published writer goes to being the Indie writer when the fan base grows so rabid and noisy that the fan base becomes the center of word of mouth rather than the writer.
The second way, and the route I'm choosing to go, is to join a group of like-minded writers who share the common goal of mutual success. There are a few of these, and I think we'll see more and more of them pop up. I happen to be working with the "Indie Book Collective." I've been working with them for a couple of weeks, and I've already learned a lot from them. You can go check out their web site here: http://www.indiebookcollective.com/
Starting Monday we're undertaking a promotion known as "Blog Tour De Force" and they've kindly asked me to be involved. http://www.blogtourdeforce.com The details in a nutshell: Take twelve Indie writers, have them swap blogs for a week, but not tell who is swapping with who, offer prizes, free books, and a drawing for a free Kindle. Fun for us writers! Fun for the readers! Everyone wins all around!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the beginning of my Indie Publishing career. I'm just getting started.
Remember, just because you've produced a book people can buy, doesn't mean you've published it.
"In these pages many mysteries are hinted at.
What if you come to understand one of them?"
"Words let water from an unseen, infinite ocean
Come into this place as energy for the dying and even the dead."
"Bored onlookers, but with such Light in our eyes!
As we read this book, the jewel-lights intensify."