Questions 3: Traditional and Indie Authors Edition

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This could be a can of worms that I don’t want to open, but I’m doing it anyway.  I’ve seen some nastiness appear on this topic before, so just play nice.  If you feel your answers are too big for comments then please feel free to write a post and respectfully link back to this post.

  1. What kind of relationship do you think traditional, self-published, and independently published authors will have in the future?
  2. How do you think all three will adapt and/or shape the industry?
  3. If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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53 Responses to Questions 3: Traditional and Indie Authors Edition

  1. estyree says:

    1) I HOPE that we will all have a very mutually respectful and at least civil relationship with each other. It takes a lot to be an author, no matter the path you’ve taken.
    2) I think we will all continue to adapt with technology, creating more and more short online only books, interactive e-books, etc. As for shaping the industry, I believe that the field will slowly continue to become more level, so that traditionally published authors share the public eye a bit more. I hope.
    3) The difficulty to get Indie titles on school lists, AR tests, and/or Scholastic is something that really bothers me. I wrote/write for students..not typically for adults. So I want my work to be available to students, who rarely choose to read without AR points attached (At least in 3rd-5th grades!) I believe that the companies/entities choosing books should have a well known way for us to submit our books for their perusal and nod of approval (or rejection) so that books written for that age group can be distributed and used in schools.

    Liked by 6 people

    • L. Marie says:

      Wow. Great response!

      Liked by 1 person

    • 1) Fully agree. All in the shark tank together. 🙂

      2) I hope so too. There are still a lot of stigmas attached to self and indie publishing. Whenever an author shows up to demonstrate those aspects, they seem to get the attention. Interesting that you say ‘short online only books’. What about online novels?

      3) Excellent point. Being more eBook than paperback, I can’t get my stuff into the local library system. They use a 3rd party company that doesn’t touch indies.

      Liked by 2 people

      • estyree says:

        What I meant by short online only books was something along the lines of novellas that are only available online to go along with the novels in a series/by an author that are available in both print and online. However, it is not beyond the realm of belief that the lengths of novels will begin to be cut down by generations of people who have gotten more and more used to instant gratification.

        Like

      • Yeah. That will pose a problem for anyone with longer stories and series. I face that issue now.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m reminded of those times at school, when you raise your hand, but the teacher asks someone else. They then ask you, and you’re all like, “nah, she nailed it. Nothing to add here” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue Vincent says:

    For starters, I love the meme….:)
    There is still a bit of prejudice where self-pub is concerned. I’ve done both and I have to say I prefer the self pub route, even if it is more work… there is also more freedom. I have a feeling more and more will choose to self publish what might have been left as a memoir or diary… and the writer still tearing their hair out after multiple rejections will be a thing of the past. Or rather, they’ll only be tearing it out in response to the challenges of becoming an Indie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. VarVau says:

    To answer all three, the self-publishing portion of the publishing industry suddenly inflated into this ‘thing’ over the last 15 years due to the internet’s development. The publishing industry itself has been around for awhile, but because self-publishing is the new and scary thing (proponents of which deem traditional the big, scary thing), it polarizes people. That polarization comes to arguments and fights when both parties likely don’t understand anything about publishing’s intricate nature at all. Thus, the entire Traditional vs. Self-Pub is essentially the industry becoming adolescent, having an identity crises while it obsesses over broken, manicured nails and social the social of ‘nobody likes me’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder how widespread that adolescent fighting is. The reason I wonder is because most authors I run into have respect for both sides. Every time I find someone who thinks it’s a battle, it ends up being a very aggressive indie. Yet I only see ‘proof’ of their ideas when the media grabs at a dramatic event. What I’m saying is that I wonder if the aggressive battle that many think is going on is nothing more than an illusion caused by a society that is drawn more to spectacles than the more commonly found ‘good’ behavior.

      Like

      • VarVau says:

        Either it is an illustration, or it is carried out by what I call the 80/20 Theory – that only 20% (or less) of people engage in these fights while the remaining 80% is perfectly fine.

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      • I’m guessing that’s the case. Seems to happen in a lot of arenas too. You have that handful of people that make the rest of the group look bad.

        Like

  4. L. Marie says:

    1. What kind of relationship do you think traditional, self-published, and independently published authors will have in the future?
    I think with so many authors taking different routes to publication, authors will continue to coexist. I’d like to see the stigma about nontraditional avenues go away completely. Many traditionally published authors also are indie pubbed. Many indie pubbed authors wind up traditionally published. Some publishers don’t pay a ton in advances or royalties. Also, sometimes publishers elect not to publish a book in a series. In order to get that book out to fans, authors do what they have to do.
    2. How do you think all three will adapt and/or shape the industry?
    Each will continue to evolve. Traditional publishing seems to be narrowing its focus while other avenues are widening. Everyone is competing for readers, thanks to videogames, YouTube, and other distractions.
    3. If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
    The narrow focus on trends. Whatever happened to “a good story will always be accepted”?

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1) It would be nice to see the stigmas disappear too. I do keep wondering if the indie author area will be where future generations of trad authors come from. I’ve called it a talent pool before, which is what I’d like to see. Kind of brings more legitimacy to that side of the road.

      2) Curious how video games fit into things. Are there a lot of those based on books?

      3) Trends drive me nuts. One story gets big and everyone dives on the thing until it’s drained.

      Liked by 2 people

      • L. Marie says:

        I mentioned video games because I know some readers who stopped reading and now play video games in their increasingly limited leisure time. The only books that drove them back to reading were the Hunger Games series and The Maze Runner. I mentioned YouTube because some teens on that channel mentioned how little they read. They just watch YouTube videos as their entertainment (when they’re not playing video games).

        Like

      • I know a few people like that, but they still would read when a book got popular. There’s a belief that video games are the new storytelling medium and are ‘better’ because they’re interactive. Some people simply can’t handle more than one entertainment medium, I guess.

        I’ve seen the ‘I never read’ declaration and it baffles me how that’s something to be proud of.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. gipsika says:

    As long as kids continue to want to read, I see no problem for any of us…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. jjspina says:

    I love this discussion. Charles, you are definitely a brave soul! Ha!
    1. I think there will always been some separation between the indies and the traditional authors. Why, because the traditional are a selective club that prides themselves on just that, being selective. They feel they are chosen. Don’t mean anything bad by this. It just is that way. It is like a fraternity or sorority. I don’t think indies feel that way about things though. We all want to be part of a community of authors sharing, caring and assisting one another. I have found fellow indie author to be lovely people. Therefore, I guess you could say I am proud to be an indie author.
    2. All kinds of authors are contributing equaling to the book market and will continue to do so. There is nothing like variety. It spices up life. I think all authors will continue to change the thinking of the publishing industry as the powers above see the quality increase in all authors. I believe there will be more indie authors than traditional over time ceasing the separation of the masses.
    3. I would like to see equal opportunity for all authors In providing access for their books to schools, libraries and other venues, more then there are now. As an indie author I write in different genres, children, middle-grade, YA and adult. I would love to be able to have a book signing in a book store like Barnes & Noble. They only use traditional authors with a distributor who will accept returned books. B&N buys large quantities of books and keeps them for a month on shelves. If they do not sell they send them back to the distributor. As indie authors do not have a distributor which to return them to we are left out in the cold. In this way we are not treated fairly.

    I spoke with an order rep from B&N and this is what he told me. He said he would accept my books only if I got registered with a distributor. I checked into it but it was not feasible for me.
    I just want to see children reading more and playing less video games and viewing less TV and movies. As my motto says: Reading Gives You Wings to Fly!
    Blessings and thanks, Charles, for letting me vent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1) Here’s the thing with ‘the chosen’ idea. Is it the authors or the publishers that make it feel that way? I say feel because there has to be some way in there or you’d never get new authors into the bookstores and libraries. I have met some indie authors who want to make the indie path more exclusive, so it could just be a personal mentality thing.

      2) Honestly, I think trad publishers are already seeing the effects. They see strong indie authors coming out with success and professionalism. The only tough thing now is how to bridge the gap.

      3) An indie author has to show up with all of their own books. At least I’ve been told that about a few places. B&N is a tough one and that’s all I have near me.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Being new to the whole writing / publishing world can someone tell me what is the difference between self publisher and Indie publisher please?

    Like

    • I’m a little unsure of it myself, but I’ve recently heard there’s a difference. For some reason, some people say self-published is when you go with a Pay-On-Demand service or a small press where you do a lot of the legwork. Indie publishing is when you do everything including the distribution and production. Honestly, I’m thinking they’re really the same thing and some people are trying to make a new category.

      Liked by 1 person

    • VarVau says:

      The answer to this question can vary. Some say there is no difference, but others say what Charles said, and some say the reverse of what Charles said.

      In addition, there’s also vanity publishing. 99% of the time when you see this one mentioned, the reaction is negative. There are some legitimate vanity presses out there, but a lot of vanity presses today have a horrible reputation, thus leading to the knee-jerk reaction.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. gipsika says:

    It is the same thing. A serious self-publishing author tries all the options, including POD, and local print runs. There is a class of publisher however that is classed as a vanity press: The kind of press that derives its major income from selling services to authors instead of from marketing books. Don’t condemn the author who stepped into that trap; it was sold to him as “superior” to sourcing his own team, while it is not.

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are several POD’s that are vanity presses in disguise too. I fell into that trap. They make a good case at times and if you stumble onto an author who did have success with them then it’s harder to see the fangs coming for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gipsika says:

        Some of them are very persuasive. Then again, if one is seriously investigating all options, one can be forgiven for trying them for believing them their sales yak that they can actually market your book for you. Agree, worse if you know someone for whom this actually worked. Does that happen?

        Like

      • It can happen and it kind of happened with me. One doesn’t quite realize when there are other factors. For example, someone may have a fanbase from something else that helps them succeed. They don’t always bring attention to it either, so it dawns on you when nothing sells for you. Probably rare though. I’ve wondered about those authors who get quoted on the site too. Never thought about looking them up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gipsika says:

        Good point, they may have a previous following.

        Like

  9. I would play, but no time. We’re just on a lunch break.

    Like

  10. 1) What kind of relationship do you think traditional, self-published, and independently published authors will have in the future?
    I would love to see the rich and famous offer more support and encouragement to new writers whose work they enjoy. Raise each other up instead of shooting each other down.

    2) How do you think all three will adapt and/or shape the industry?
    I’d suspect the moneyed part of the industry will continue trying to put the genie back in the bottle, but those intrepid authors will continue exploring new opportunities.

    3) If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
    Writers would stop giving their work away for free, because that encourages readers to expect us to work without pay.

    Like

    • 1) That would be nice to see. Wonder if indies turn up on a lot of the top tier authors’ radar.

      2) I could see that happening. Thing is that I think it’s way too late. 🙂

      3) I haven’t seen many giveaways lately. Maybe the trend has cooled off since Amazon is tougher on reviews that aren’t from purchased items.

      Like

  11. M T McGuire says:

    I think the issue getting into difficult places is them not us. They can’t be arsed to read the books they list so have to have some kind of guarantee. Publishers, who reject 90% or more of the manuscripts they receive, give them that security that a book has been read and vetted by another industry professional so they don’t have to. My local library encourages me to donate my stuff. It’s not on the list they buy them from but they’d like to stock my books so I donate them. They have told me all libraries love to receive donations so I have given my books to another one recently and they were pleased too.

    The other concern I have is visibility. Every now and again a new marketing trend appears and I manage to shift decent numbers for a while, until other folks catch on and start doing them better than me. I’m also beginning to think that it would be easier to get a big four trad deal than get bookbub to list my permafree title. 35,000 downloads would do me very nicely. Hell, 3,000 would be good. There is supposed to be a huge market for funny fantasy and sci fi. I just wish to sod I knew where to find them. 🙂

    Cheers

    MTM

    Like

    • Wish they would have a donation option for those of us who have better eBooks. My paperbacks never had a binding title and they never sell, so putting money on a bunch of those seems pointless.

      Visibility is definitely tough, especially when you have many authors jumping on the same bandwagon. A new tactic will appear, show promise, and then you get a flood of people using it. So the promo loses it’s uniqueness really quickly and readers no longer pay as much attention to it. Same goes for genres when one gets really popular. Nature of the indie beasts right now.

      Like

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