I know most of you are guessing the answer is: When people ask who your publisher is.
Nope. Although, I always think that’s funny because how many people can name the publisher of the last ten books they’ve read? Right.
No. Lately I’ve been embarrassed to be an Indie because of all the anger and arguing.
I really don’t care who has what opinion about each topic. Personally, I like to look at things from every angle and make my own decision. Do I need an editor? (Yes) Will I have someone do my covers? (Yes…and your welcome (I have no talent)) Do I have an agent? (Yes) Will I only write full length novels? (No) Will I only write in one genre to build a niche audience? (No) Do I think self-publishing is the only/fastest/best way to be successful? (No) etc.
There are tons of questions that get bounced around the indie world. I work hard by researching, asking people I trust, using my own business consulting background, and thinking long-term to make each decision… FOR ME.
Maybe I should bold those last two words too.
The amazing thing I’m seeing in the Indie world right now is how right everyone wants –needs– to be. Or needs their Celebrity Indie Author of Choice to be.
I’m betting this is because there’s so much going-it-alone in the business (if you haven’t found a safe haven of other writers), but this isn’t really what embarrasses me either.
It’s how people handle it. On twitter, review comments, forums, loops, articles, comments….anywhere you can have a voice. Indies seem to be responding with loud, aggressive, trash-talking, emotional attacks. No. Not all indies. There’s a ton of writers handling difficult conversations with grace (or not getting involved) but just like any thing, the loudest, most embarrassing replies always get retweeted (or the equivalent) until they’re seen as the norm.
Just ask anyone of any faith in this country how quickly one or two crazies who claim their faith as their own has the entire country thinking they’re all nuts… That, my friends, is how I’ve been feeling about being Indie of late.
Here’s one place where I don’t think there’s a lot of give: If you wanted to be treated like a professional, you must act like a professional.
That goes beyond how you produce your books and pay your taxes. That goes right on through to how you behave in public, represent your brand, and treat others.
So, to everyone who is judging Indies as unprofessional based on some of the brouhahas you might have seen lately… look deeper. There’s some talented people who know the best way to “win” is to not engage and go work on their next book.
Peas and carrots, out.