Author Topic: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?  (Read 5541 times)  

Offline philstern

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Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
« on: January 03, 2014, 07:02:29 am »
Indie was new and different even last year. Now, with the prices of trad published books going down and covers/editing for indies improving in quality, there isn't much obvious difference between them, at least to the casual read.

No one talks about "indie" music anymore, and the people doing videos on YouTube present themselves as "producers" just as if they were with a big studio in Hollywood.

I think to many readers, "indie" will soon come to mean "beginner," which many of us are not anymore. 


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    Offline Gee Greenslade

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 07:13:57 am »
    I think you are absolutely right. I was talking to this with a group of game developers recently who were saying that with big studios producing little games and the success of some of the bigger indie titles the lines were truly blurring.

    Id personally love to see the tag dropped, no more indie, just awesomeness!!

    Offline philstern

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 07:29:40 am »
    I think you are absolutely right. I was talking to this with a group of game developers recently who were saying that with big studios producing little games and the success of some of the bigger indie titles the lines were truly blurring.

    Id personally love to see the tag dropped, no more indie, just awesomeness!!

    Blurring is the perfect way to put it.


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    Offline jackz4000

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 07:40:09 am »
    I think you are right Phil. "Indie" was OK for back then...now? Not so much.


    Now it is more like getting your veges directly from the farm where they were grown instead of passing through distributors before they end up at Shop-Rite. Are Shop-Rite veges better than getting them right from the farm? Less expensive too.

    Offline zzzzzzz

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 07:45:03 am »
    I dunno, I think the adjective still carries a positive market force.

    Offline MrPLD

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 07:45:47 am »
    I always felt that "Indie" was a label that the existing trad-pubs used to 'mark' those not in the traditional system.  I for one never went with the indie idea, as the OP says, just writers, authors, publishers.

    Offline CLStone

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 07:47:24 am »
    I always felt funny saying "indie" or self published only because I wasn't the only one involved. I've got editors and so many other people that it was like managing a small publishing company except I was the one doing the writing. Right now, I've basically got three or four employees and then a couple who filter in as I need them. If I say I'm self published, it feels I'm taking some of the credit from their work.

    Saying I'm an author with my own team works better for me. :) A lot of people truly didn't know I was self published because I carry the Arcato Publishing label. They didn't know I owed it.

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    Offline Dee Ernst

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 07:50:53 am »
    But there is also a certain positive association with Indie - in the music and film scene, it means different and more personal, and I think that carries over to Indie writers as well.  An indie author is NOT James Patterson, and that's a good thing, right?

    Dee Ernst

    Offline Justawriter

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 07:54:00 am »
    I think it depends on your audience. Sometimes it may be to your advantage to point out that you are an Indie and support other Indie authors. The majority of the time though, it might be better to just focus on the work and let it stand for itself rather than drawing attention to how it's published.

    Offline Joe_Nobody

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 07:54:59 am »
    I'm cool either way. Call me what you will.

    These days, with small presses, hybrid deals, many writers forming LLCs (or whatever structure), and the multitude of tiers between "self-published indie" and the big NY houses, it's all getting blurred anyway.


    Offline Hugh Howey

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 07:57:00 am »
    Heh. I'm still bragging about being "self-published."
     
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    Offline Book Master

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 08:14:28 am »
    Either way you view it, those dollars remain dollars from book sales via Indie, Pro, Beginner, or Seasoned.
     :P
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    Offline Rachel Aukes

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #12 on: January 03, 2014, 08:14:41 am »
    When I go to buy a song, I'm not searching for songs released by independent musicians any more than I'm searching for songs released by traditionally-released musicians. I'm searching for a song that sounds good. It's as simple as that. I believe it's the same way for readers. They don't care.

    Folks can label themselves any way they like, and spend all kinds of energy shouting to the world, "Support me because I'm an independent writer!" But I don't get why should our customers care. We're trying to convince the world that the process of getting books out there is as important as the result (i.e. the book).

    So, I try not to care. Yes, I'm an author who also performs the role of publisher (and proud of it). But, it's the result that matters: Am I making the best book I can and making it as accessible as possible to my readers? For one book, publishing independently may be the answer. For another book, publishing traditionally may be the answer. So, I don't want to be labeled that how I publish is as important as what I produce. I'm an author, first and foremost, always and forever. Amen.

    Offline Kathy Clark, Author

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 08:35:38 am »
    Funny no one brought this up a whole lot earlier.

    For me having 23 novels traditionally published and my last seven "indie published" really got me thinking.  I am 76.6% non-indie published so why do I hang on to the term indie published?

    A different analogy is that there are 1,696 active players on the 32 NFL teams and last count I found was that 28 of them didn't play in college!  You don't see these 28 players walking around claiming to be indie players do you?  Of course not.

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    Offline Amanda Brice

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 09:59:36 am »
    I think it depends on your audience. Sometimes it may be to your advantage to point out that you are an Indie and support other Indie authors. The majority of the time though, it might be better to just focus on the work and let it stand for itself rather than drawing attention to how it's published.

    This. The only time I ever use the indie label is around other authors, mostly because I want to engage in a discussion of self-publishing best practices. When it comes to marketing myself to readers, I never discuss how the book is published. They don't care, nor why would they?
     
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    Offline Caddy

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 10:24:41 am »
    I have mixed emotions about this, which makes sense because I am both an indie and have a series with a publisher. I don't look for songs by indies, but I DO definitely search out indie films. Why? They are quirky, no holds barred, odd themes, different,refreshing, and you can't ever know how they will end. I love that about them. I don't like being force-fed what the big studios decide to serve me.

    So, I'm cool with being an indie, but I'm also cool with having a series with a publishing company. Although, if the publishing company wasn't owned by an author who is an indie then I wouldn't be there because no other treats authors as fair. 

    So, I guess I just answered it. Indie, hybrid indie, and proud of both.
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    Offline Rykymus

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 10:26:40 am »
    Labels are what others attach to me for their own purposes. They matter not to me.

    I call myself a writer. Or just Ryk.

    Offline 31842

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 10:33:24 am »
    I identify myself as indie because... well... that's what I am.  I have some titles which are published (and being published) by a fabulous traditional publisher whom I love and adore, but when I am speaking publicly and promoting my work, I am speaking on behalf of myself and my own independent empire.  I am not a corporation.  I am an independent producer of content.  And (I feel) my work is best described as what you might find in the indie culture.  It is a little more gritty, a little more experimental, my books might not have the mass appeal that would appeal to a studio accountant.  I proud that my self-published titles are the garage band in a beer soaked dive bar rather than the Pop 40.  My freebies are my bootleg cassettes.  Yes, YouTube producers have dropped the "indie" title, but (having been on the inside of that culture for a long time) that is because they are creating mainstream content in the hopes of being picked up by advertisers or studios.  Indie producers are the ones creating the films you would find in an art house,  not an AMC.  I am indie.  I am to misbehave.

    Offline Terrence OBrien

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #18 on: January 03, 2014, 10:50:48 am »
    Where do consumers see the label?
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    Offline Caddy

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #19 on: January 03, 2014, 11:04:29 am »
    Quote
    I identify myself as indie because... well... that's what I am.  I have some titles which are published (and being published) by a fabulous traditional publisher whom I love and adore, but when I am speaking publicly and promoting my work, I am speaking on behalf of myself and my own independent empire.  I am not a corporation.  I am an independent producer of content.  And (I feel) my work is best described as what you might find in the indie culture.  It is a little more gritty, a little more experimental, my books might not have the mass appeal that would appeal to a studio accountant.  I proud that my self-published titles are the garage band in a beer soaked dive bar rather than the Pop 40.  My freebies are my bootleg cassettes.  Yes, YouTube producers have dropped the "indie" title, but (having been on the inside of that culture for a long time) that is because they are creating mainstream content in the hopes of being picked up by advertisers or studios.  Indie producers are the ones creating the films you would find in an art house,  not an AMC.  I am indie.  I am to misbehave.

    Well said.
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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #20 on: January 03, 2014, 11:05:04 am »
    The only time I ever use the indie label is around other authors, mostly because I want to engage in a discussion of self-publishing best practices. When it comes to marketing myself to readers, I never discuss how the book is published. 

    What Amanda said. I've never underscored the indie thing unless I'm discussing it with other writers. I don't expect the average reader to know or care how my books get out there.

    Offline Cherise

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #21 on: January 03, 2014, 11:12:03 am »
    What Amanda said. I've never underscored the indie thing unless I'm discussing it with other writers. I don't expect the average reader to know or care how my books get out there.

    +3
    « Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 11:14:22 am by Cherise Kelley »

    Offline redacted

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #22 on: January 03, 2014, 11:13:16 am »
    I was never a big fan of the label.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but when someone says they're an "Indie" writer, I feel like they're trying to make excuses why their book isn't as great as it should be. It could just be that in my other job, when an "indie" filmmaker emails me and asks me to look at his movie, it's invariably followed up with, "I only had $5,000 and 3 friends to help me make this movie, so please cut me a break!" 9 times out of 10 I don't bother looking at the movie, because the filmmaker is already making excuses.


    Offline Alan Petersen

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #23 on: January 03, 2014, 11:35:34 am »
    I don't worry too much about labels, everyone has their own opinions of things, but I'm proud to be an indie author.
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    Offline 31842

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    Re: Is it time to get rid of the "Indie" label and just be authors?
    « Reply #24 on: January 03, 2014, 11:45:10 am »
    Please don't take this the wrong way, but when someone says they're an "Indie" writer, I feel like they're trying to make excuses why their book isn't as great as it should be. It could just be that in my other job, when an "indie" filmmaker emails me and asks me to look at his movie, it's invariably followed up with, "I only had $5,000 and 3 friends to help me make this movie, so please cut me a break!" 9 times out of 10 I don't bother looking at the movie, because the filmmaker is already making excuses.

    This is actually a great point and one that, I think, is important.  These were (and "are") the connotations associated with the word "self-publishing", one that a lot of folks here have worked very hard to shift perceptions of.  The term "indie publishing" became the bridge when folks couldn't wrap their minds around the idea that vanity publishing and self-publishing were two different concepts.  We hooked 'em with indie and then revealed the dirty secret that it means the same thing as "self-publishing", and that it can be very, very lucrative with no need to sell books out of the trunk of your car.  *horrified gasp*

    Terms like "self-publishing" and "indie publishing" probably don't mean much to average readers, but they come in very handy when you're talking about your journey in front of a room full of people.  I have done a fair amount of appearances and talks on the comic convention circuit and I don't know a more succinct way to describe what I do.  I am not a publisher.  I don't publish other people's works.  I don't want anyone to submit their manuscript to me.  I independently publish my own works, and my favorite thing to talk about is how everyone else can do it, too.

    Is there a better, more concise word?  I'm all ears!  Imagine yourself in front of 200 people describing self-publishing.  What two or three word phrase should we be using instead?

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