I am almost constantly listening to music. I don’t like empty silence. It feels too loud to me. If things are silent, I need to through on a little background music to help me relax. Since my wife likes silence, this means I am often wearing headphones.
Of course, it doesn’t always need to be music. It can be a tv show or movie. Or it can be something informative, like the news, or even a good podcast.
In fact, just the other day I was listening to a little show about the ukulele, something I want to be better at, but first I need to be better at finding more time. But is was listening to this show talking about all these great players and working musicians. It kept referring to them as inpendent musicians and how avoiding the company system was a trade off, but it gave them more control and freedom to explore the music they wanted.
And something clicked.
Why aren’t independent writers as accepted as independent musicians? When someone suggests a band to me, I never ask who they are signed with. I don’t care. At all. Well, that isn’t true, if I find out a band is independent and I like them, it makes me want to support them more. As long as I can easily find their material. I am kind of lazy after all.
Why is it as an independent author, there need to be all these extra hoops to prove ourselves? I’ve seen the looks of interest on hearing I’m a novelist give over to eye rolling on hearing it is “just” self published.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand a novel is more of a time investment than a song. To get an idea of whether or not I like a band takes a few minutes, if I’m in a rush. Deciding on an author is an investment. On average it takes a few hours. I’ve read at least four John Grisham books and still am not sure if I like his work.
But there has to be more than that. There has to be a reason why being an indie musician is regarded as kind of cool, while being an indie author is often met with speculation of not being good enough to be a “real” author.
But you know what? I am straight up rock and roll. I’m well on my way to my 10,000 hours if I’m not there yet. I chose to self publish to hold on to my control.
Yes, there is a trade off. Big publishers know their jobs and they have a lot of talent as writers, writers and marketers. They could make me a better writer. But I’ve read too many stories from writers that made me worried a Big Publisher wouldn’t make me the best Me, but rather a diluted me that perhaps gets better market share.
I want to write how I want to write. I want to tell my silly stories of kids chasing dragons and women making friends with lions. I want my heroes to be likable but to screw things up. I want my villains to to have goals that make sense. I want final say in my cover art.
I’m an indie author.
I’m an author.