From the Introduction of Indie Authors Naked by Amy Edelman:
IndieReader was launched in ‘07, otherwise known as the dark days of self-publishing. Back then, every book was considered a vanity publication, every author a failed writer. Denial ran so high that when the self-pubbed book, Her Last Letter by Nancy C. Johnson hit The New York Times bestseller list, the good folks at the NYT were still saying that they’d never include one! And then there was The Shack, another indie that snuck through the gauntlet to appear on the NYTimes list for an astounding 172 weeks between June 2008 to early 2010 (52 of those weeks at #1).
Flash forward to 2012-2013. With the advent of ebooks, the publishing landscape has completely and irrevocably changed. Bowker, the ISBN people, recently reported that the number of self-published books in 2012 rose 59% over 2011, growing to over 391,000 titles in 2012. That’s a lot of indie.
But it’s not just availability that has changed the notion of what a self-pubbed book can be. Either the whole “vanity” thing was propaganda on the part of trad publishing—after all, Virginia Woolf famously did it with Hogarth Press—or publishing ebooks makes it easier for talented writers to get their work seen. Either way, over the last couple of years—beginning with the high-profile snagging of Amanda Hocking—at least 50 indie authors (many of them interviewed in this very book) have been courted and won by traditional publishers.
Did these authors’ books change from when they were self-pubbed to when they became trads? Or did their appearance on the bonafide bestseller lists (The New York Times, USA Today) just make it easier for the Big 5 to spot them? Not that getting picked up by a traditional publisher is always an indie author’s end-game. In fact, a recent survey conducted by The Bookseller noted that only about one-third of the self-published authors surveyed stated that they would consider a traditional book deal. That’s a lot of authors who aren’t willing to trade the freedom of creation for the chance to have their works packaged by committee.
So whether an author decides to sell their work to a trad publisher or not—it is clear that indies are here to stay. Their books resonate with readers who really couldn’t give a damn if they came through the hallowed halls of a traditional publisher or just via their ereaders. The indie writing community is strong and getting stronger, as are the options for placing their books (been to your local bookstore lately? You may be surprised at the titles you find on the shelves).
Yes, dear readers, this time—thanks to technology and changing perceptions—self-publishing is clearly here to stay. And via interviews and essays, Indie Authors Naked aims to highlight the best of the best.
Comprised of a series of essays and interviews by indie authors, booksellers and publishers, readers will get a look at the many aspects of the indie community, where publishing professionals of all types come together with the simple goal of creating something unique; something that speaks directly to the reader, no middleman necessary.
Contributors include: James Franco, Hugh Howey, McNally Jackson Books, Sarah Gerard, OHWOW Books, Raine Miller, David Vinjamuri, Toby Neal, Rachel Thompson, Eden Baylee, Christoph Paul, Jessica Redmerski, Dan Holloway, Orna Ross and more.
Author Biography (Amy and Loren):
Loren Kleinman is a writer and poet with roots in New Jersey. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Drew University and an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex. Kleinman is a columnist for IndieReader.com (IR) where she interviews New York Times and USA Today bestselling indie authors. Some of those interviews in IR reappeared in USA Today and The Huffington Post.
Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Nimrod, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Paterson Literary Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Writer’s Bloc, Resurgence (UK), HerCircleEzine and Aesthetica Annual. She was the recipient of the Spire Press Poetry Prize (2003), was a 2000 and 2003 Pushcart Prize nominee, and a 2004 Nimrod/Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize finalist. In 2003, Spire Press published her first collection of poetry Flamenco Sketches, which explored the relationship between love and jazz.
Her second collection of poetry, The Dark Cave Between My Ribs, is due to release with Winter Goose Publishing in March 2014. She is currently working on a New Adult romance, This Way to Forever.
Amy Holman Edelman launched IndieReader, the essential consumer guide to self-published books and the people who write them, way back in 2007. Since then, indie authors have stormed the bestseller lists, been courted by trad publishers and (after all that), finally gained a modicum of respect.
Amy self-published her first book, The Fashion Resource Directory, back in the 80s, long before POD and Amazon and e-readers roamed the land. Her second and third books (The Little Black Dress and Manless in Montclair), were traditionally published (by Simon & Schuster and Shaye Areheart Books, an imprint of Crown).
As an author and a publicist with over 20 years’ experience, Amy’s goal for IndieReader is no less than to make indie a respected and desirable category within the publishing world. This book is just one step in that direction.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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