Some of you may wonder why all my books aren’t out through a regular publisher. Actually, I had contract offers from a few small publishers, but after one bad experience, turned the rest down. Those books are the ones you’re now enjoying for a pretty fair bargain, whether free (like the fantasy e-serial LEGEND OF THE WHITE DRAGON and the fantasy novella A TURN OF CURSES) or as cheap ebooks (all of them are available for under $2, except the novel published by the small publisher I did have).
Truth be told, they’re all self-published. I don’t make a big deal out of it, because there’s a stigma attached to admitting it. People automatically think “Oh, she’s not good enough. Her work isn’t worth it.” Is it? What’s it worth to you to be entertained by something that doesn’t fit the current markets determined by bookstores, something that takes you someplace completely new and refreshing? After all, bookstores are the ones deciding what you’re going to buy, so they stock those types of books. THAT is why everything on the bookstore shelves looks like carbon copies of something else.
If you want true creativity and freedom of expression, independent authors have a lot to offer, whether self-published or small press published. Sure, you’ll have to sort through more chaff to get to the wheat, but there are some sweet kernels out there that a big publisher or even an agent passed on because they didn’t think it would sell.
The bad part is that publishers have slots to fill of certain genres and storylines, and they’ll pick a book barely mediocre over a great book just because it fits that slot. So, you have a lot of diamonds being passed up for lumps of coal, just because it suits them better.
That’s where self-publishing comes in, and there’s a real revolution going on right now. With the ease of publishing to ebook, writers are finding it simple to make those gems available. The problem here is that not all writers are careful about editing. All books need editing. It’s a reader’s market out there, but be careful. Read free samples where you can to get a feel for indie authors. As writers, we all have our preferences for the types of stories we like to write and the types of characters we’ll work with, just like big name authors. Get to know author styles before you buy, just as you would if browsing in a bookstore.
Honestly, indie authors have nothing to lose and everything to gain when readers take a chance on something new. Self-published books have gone on to be bestsellers too.