First up, for those who don’t know me I should mention that my views on this matter are biased because I’m an indie author. But we’re not here to talk about writing today…
I almost exclusively read indie books right now. This hasn’t been a conscious choice, and there are many traditionally published works on my TBR pile right now, but here are a few reasons that I continue to find myself drawn to the indie titles on my iPad/iPhone when looking for something to read:
- Reading indie is more exciting
I feel like a bit of a reading pioneer when I set out to explore the choices in the Kindle store. Sure, I enjoy me some Malazan. We all like Malazan. I can chat to my pals about Malazan and they discovered it well before I mentioned it. However, I’m the only one out of our group who has read (and even heard of) Intisar Khanani, Phil Tucker or Matthew Stott (actually, sometimes I think I’m the only person in the WORLD who has read Matthew Stott- y’all are missing out!).
I’ve not read anything by Mark Lawrence yet (sorry Mark), but I know I will because I keep hearing from everyone else how good his stuff is. But it gives me a bit of a thrill to be one of the first to discover a new author, to be able to be one of the first few pushing their works to the wider world.
- Reading indie is cheaper
I feel cheap myself for mentioning this, but for many of us this is a big factor. Indie books – especially for authors who have yet to attract a large audience – are often sinfully cheap, if not totally free. Many authors have free reading material (sometimes even entire books) to give away to those who sign up to their newsletters. These cheaper prices help to offset the risk of paying for something that might not live up to the promises on the Amazon product page.
- Indie books are more diverse.
And I don’t necessarily mean diverse representation (although many indie titles have that in spades) – by this I simply mean that indie authors can get away with publishing the types of stories that publishing houses wouldn’t touch. Fancy a fantasy tale about a man losing his wife on honeymoon and then having to explore a surreal tower of madness to find her? Hello, Senlin Ascends. Or maybe you’re up for vampires in space? Check out Michael Anderle’s novels.
- Indie authors like to chat.
The thrill of finishing a book that blew me away, sending off a quick email to the author, and then actually getting a reply is difficult to match. What makes this an even more cherished experience is that (from experience) this is also one of the highlights of the whole publishing gig for the authors, so two backs are getting scratched at once.
I’m sure as soon as I hit publish on this article I’ll come up with half a dozen more reasons to read indie, but I’d rather let you have a say. What should be added to this list? Enquiring minds want to know…