Thursday, May 17, 2012

Defining Indie Books

As a newbie to book publishing, a few terms can be pretty confusing. One of those terms I hear tossed around a lot is “indie” books. Now depending on who you speak to you may find a completely different definition of what constitutes an indie novel.

Indie books can be defined as novels that have been published outside of the major publishing houses. It may be small to mid-sized presses or publishers that work exclusively with ebooks. Smaller houses mean smaller budgets which mean it can be challenging building readership.

I also hear the term indie applied to independent authors who decided to self-publish their novels. With the rise of ebooks and print on demand services, more and more independent authors are dusting off their manuscripts and getting their books out there.

Whether the novel is published by the author or a small press, it looks as though more and more readers are giving indie books a shot. Reasons indie novels seem to be succeeding:

  • They are topping bestseller lists. Look at the most popular book out now. Fifty Shades of Grey went from fan fiction to publication though a small Australian indie press to a reported seven figure deal through Vintage Books.

  • Indie books do not have to be edited to appeal to a mainstream audience. Do you get sick of reading about the same typical heroines and heroes? Indie books can explore more taboo areas and feature characters from all walks of life.

  • The price tag! Call me a broke ass if you may, but it sort of kills me to hand over more than ten bucks for a digital copy of a book. For instance, I’ve been dying to read the Mortal Instruments series and was all set to download City of Bones onto my Kindle. Current price for the ebook on Amazon: $10.99! For a book published three years ago? It’s kind of hard to swallow the price when I can probably download five indie books for the same price.

  • Blog love. More and more blogs are accepting review requests for indie novels. There are also high traffic blogs that specifically only review indie books.
How would you define an indie book? Do you buy indie novels? Or do you prefer to stick with the majors when deciding on your reading list?

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