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That's how I feel, anyway!

I just view it as: you have to play to small crowds, build your image by word of mouth, build your fan-base a person at a time, and practice practice practice!

When I think about it like that it makes it a little easier, given how long it looks like it will all take before I start making regular sales...

Anyone else feel the same / disagree with the metaphor?
 

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As a DJ, former concert promoter, and musician, I had the same thought. It's just harder booking house shows now (book clubs). Though, I did help run a reading series in Chicago, kinda like a small concert series.
 

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Ha! ;D

I agree.

Sometimes there is a full house and other times the place is empty and you are playing for barmaids and bartenders.  :D
 

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Just finished Screamcatcher: Sasquatch Most Monstrous, fourth in series. Agent has it.
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Agreed here. I've played in an indie band and believe me we had a larger customer/fan draw than what I'm seeing with my first self-pubbed book. But this takes time as well. So I'm not going to hash myself into mush because of it. Reason? I've already down that. I'm just moving on and trying to hack out a sequel to one of my more successful trade books. I'm so tired of promotion and social media flogging that I swear I've given myself a petite stroke--like Goldie Hawn blithering unintelligible words in Overboard.
 

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I witnessed the genesis in 1987 of a now-huge indie band called Tempest. http://www.tempestmusic.com/
Lief Sorbye worked The Charles Dickens Christmas Fair with me. He made friends with everyone he met and invited everyone to his band's first gig at The Starry Plow in Berkeley. Very casually and naturally, he got all of our addresses so he could send us his newsletter and let us know about future gigs. (This was before most people had email or cell phones.) He remembered everyone's names and greeted us at the door each time we showed up at one of his gigs. He played at a very popular New Year's Eve party every year and has many other regular gigs. He travels far and wide.

Twenty five years later, we are still Facebook friends and he still remembers how we met. Even though I have not attended a gig in twenty years, I am one of his 1,000 devoted fans. I own every album and post his YouTube videos, comment on his Facebook posts, and tell his story like this whenever the topic comes up in forums.
 

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As someone who's also in an indie band I can say there are definitely similarities. We've had good gigs and bad guys, and sometimes it doesn't matter how good you are, no one wants to listen.

Here's us rocking out at an open air gig back in November in front of three people and a moshing toddler(I'm the one in the middle). We were absolutely storming that day, but there was almost no one there ...!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JWozoUHv9k

(the baby starts to "mosh" at about 2:50...)
 

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I wish I rocked as hard as the toddler in your video. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed anything that much.
 

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C.C. Kelly said:
Authors can't play shows. This is how we got fans (musician here also), playing out as often as humanely possible in as many places as possible. Writers don't have an equivalent venue.
There are plenty of places to "play" out. I helped run one in North Riverside, IL. If you're in a major city it's easier, but if you're in a smaller place then make your own venue. I created a concert series for experimental and new music and a (short lived) staged reading series for screenwriters in Philadelphia. It's a lot of work but it can be done for prose/poetry writers as well.

C.C. Kelly said:
And the cost for writing is practically zero compared to the costs for a band. Priced a tube amp lately? ;D
(Not to mention studio time.)
I don't know about practically zero for writing (ISBNs anyone). But I don't need a tube amp or studio time to make music either. (Though I do like shiny musical gadgets. ;D)
 

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C.C. Kelly said:
My point was it's not all that much work to get gigs, least it used to not be, because there are so many live music venues and opportunities. Book it, show up, play, connect, sell stuff, get paid. I've been to spoken word stuff and poetry slams, but there are far fewer venues for those.

I'm a guitarist. I play lots of styles including metal. I think you get the tube amp reference now and feel free to start up the guitarist jokes. But to record music (for sale) you either need studio time or a really good home recording set up. And +1 for the gadget comment.

How many guitarists does it take to change a light bulb? 5, one to change the light bulb and 4 to sit around and bitch about how they could have done it better. ;D
"Get paid"? Haha, unless you're a decent sized band it's pay-to-play here in Japan. The usual music venue we play in requires us to bring fifteen paying customers otherwise we get charged 1000 yen (roughly $10) per person we don't get. If we get over that we get paid 500yen per person. There's a really cool place in town that gets all the touring punk bands but we can't "afford" to play there because that place requires 30 people. We don't have that many friends ...
 

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Totally agree, the indie band route and indie book route is on the same page.

You have to hustle and grow and learn and try and try and try some more.

Climbing through the ether this way teaches you a lot though, which in the long run is better than the quick success - this is what I keep telling myself anyway :)
 

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Yeah, that and the starving artist selling sketces on DeviantART, or the actress waiting on tables by day, going to auditions by night. We're all in the same boat.
 

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Totally agree with this analogy!  I was a full-time musician for 3 years (my claim to fame was a music video on MTV2.  Sure, it aired at midnight on Headbanger's Ball, but that's still MTV right?)

I think the DIY work ethic of an indie band carries right over to self-pubbing.

In my mind, writing a book equates to writing a record:

1.  Writing an album = writing the rough draft
2.  Mixing & overlaying = initial editing & beta reads
3.  Mastering = "Official" Editing
4.  Artwork for the album cover = Artwork for the book
 

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Cherise Kelley said:
I witnessed the genesis in 1987 of a now-huge indie band called Tempest. http://www.tempestmusic.com/
Lief Sorbye worked The Charles Dickens Christmas Fair with me. He made friends with everyone he met and invited everyone to his band's first gig at The Starry Plow in Berkeley.
Woohoo. Tempest is a great inspiration. Of course I also consider myself a true fan of theirs. Trying to get out at see them every time they come around to the PA or NJ area (although I'm more likely to see them in PA since they hit better venues there.)

Own every album. Buy t-shirts each show we go to. And routinely try and get friends to come with us to shows.

If I wasn't keeping up with their tour dates on their websites, I'd be waiting each year for the post card to come in the mail with the show dates.
 

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TPiperbrook said:
In my mind, writing a book equates to writing a record:

1. Writing an album = writing the rough draft
2. Mixing & overlaying = initial editing & beta reads
3. Mastering = "Official" Editing
4. Artwork for the album cover = Artwork for the book
I was also in indie bands for years before becoming a writer. But I think being an indie author is easier in that you mostly have to rely on yourself to get stuff done. Sometimes it would drive me insane waiting around for other musicians, engineers, producers etc to do their thing. On the plus side, we had some hilariously brilliant nights.
 

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Shalini Boland said:
I was also in indie bands for years before becoming a writer. But I think being an indie author is easier in that you mostly have to rely on yourself to get stuff done. Sometimes it would drive me insane waiting around for other musicians, engineers, producers etc to do their thing. On the plus side, we had some hilariously brilliant nights.
I agree. That is why I quit playing in bands.
 
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