September 11, 2013

Different Standards Apply: Indie Life & ROW80

It's hump day, and my first time posting as part of Indie Life.

What is Indie Life?
How: Sign up on the Linky at the bottom of this page
When: Post on the second Wednesday of the month (starting 1/9/2013)
What: Write anything indie related: something that will inspire or help a fellow indie; something that celebrates a release or a milestone; something that talks about the ups and downs, joys and heartaches of Being Indie.
Grab: The banner to include in your posts!

First, I am so proud to be an indie author. There are so many advantages to independent publishing: control, speed, quality, and community to name just a few.

People's perceptions of indie publishing have greatly improved in the last few years, especially with some big indie names making it to the New York Times bestseller lists. 

Still, I find many readers hold indie books to a higher standard. For instance, if an indie book has a few grammatical or punctuation errors, reviewers will often take them to task for poor editing. But, I find a few mistakes in most traditionally published books and reviewers rarely make note of them.

Lesson: Have your book professionally edited. 

Indie book covers are expected to have a wow factor these days, and at the very least should look professional. Yet, I find more and more traditionally published books are low-key--think the Beautiful Creatures series, the Hunger Games series, and the Twilight series before those.

Lesson: Do some research on your genre and book covers and take the time to produce a quality, and eye-catching, cover.

These are just the first two examples that popped into my brain. As indies, we have to put out a high quality product o build reader confidence. Since we don't have a publishing house behind us, we need to be behind each other... constantly building readers' trust in the indie industry.

One of the best parts of being an indie is the amazing writing community out there. Build your network and support other indies. You should never feel alone. Again, the more we do to support each other, the more we build faith in indie authors and their products.

And if you need further proof that indies rock, please check out the Indie-Credible event going on all month long. Visit my post for dates and author visits. Oh, and to see indies actually rocking out, check out the Indie-Credible video here.

Check out other Indie Life posts here.


Wednesdays are also A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) check-in days.

My goal for the rest of the round is to stick to a writing first schedule. I hope to have this so firmly in place that I can set a daily word count goal for Round 4 which starts October 7. I'm also focusing on research. Finally caught up with my sponsor duties. Planning to visit and comment on at least 15 blogs before the next check-in and to visit twice that many Indie Life blogs from today.


Hart Johnson said...

Popping in from Indie Life, and ABSOLUTELY! The editing, especially. I mean I know the importance of a cover for getting that first look, but even more so, I'd hate someone who actually READ to be disappointed.

nissa_loves_cats said...

Great post. Since I am a low-income writer I am working on creating a cover of my own for my current WIP. I have a mock-up that I made on my computer that at least isn't too cheesy.

I'm a little wary of 'professional' editing. I think a writer needs to know how to self-edit, rather than hoping for some hired gun to do a good job setting things right. Because there is no guarantee that an editor you hire will catch the things that need correcting, or that he won't 'correct' the originality out of your work. You need to be able to discern what is right for your own book.

Anyway, I was glad to 'meet' your blog on the Indie Life blog hop.

Kimberly said...

Over from Indie life. I love book covers and seeing what publishers/ authors are doing with them. There are some really fabulous ones out there.

Shah Wharton said...

Hey Tia - I'm reading a best seller at the moment and it is riddled with passive voice and ly words and sentences beginning with ing words, redundancies and contradicting sentences, like "In a word, he had had enough." Isn't that four words? If he'd been indie, he'd have been ridiculed, but since the New York Times has given it five stars and oodles of praise, it can get away with it. And the cover is very plain too. But in it's defence I'm thoroughly enjoying the story and the characters, in spite of the irritating grammar. Great post! X

Jo Michaels said...

Amen on the cover design and editing comment. We all need fresh eyes on our work by someone who knows and follows a style guide. I can't wait to unveil the new covers for the Mystic series :) I'd never heard of Indie Life. Off to check it out. Thanks for sharing, Tia! WRITE ON!

krystal jane said...

You are so right about the cover being important. I see so many making this mistake, picking a cover for a paranormal book that of an ocean at sunset, with a font and colors that all say it's a contemporary romance.

And people totally take indies out to pastures for little mistakes bigger publishing houses make, too. It's something people have to learn to have a keen eye out for.

Tia Bach said...

I still have SO many Indie Life posts to get to, but get to them I will!

Hart - Welcome and great point.

Nissa - Absolutely an author should self-edit and put out the best first draft possible. But I do think many sets of eyes should see the ms to find what we could never find when we are close to a piece. But an editor should never change an author's originality. Even if they try, the author should stand their ground.

Kimberly - I agree. I love covers.

Shah - Yes, that is most definitely 4 words. ;-) And it is frustrating.

Jo - I'm loving your sneak peeks of the Mystic girls. Can't wait to read all of them!

Krystal - I think it makes us Indies stronger, especially if we take the steps necessary to differentiate our work.