di·vi·sive·ness: a tendency to cause disagreement or hostility between people.
I know I promised to discuss my newest novels in this blog—and I will; but having published my first nonfiction book I wanted to explain why I wrote The Indie Writer’s Handbook before bringing out my next novel. I also wanted to post this subject out before the start of the New Year.
It is because of divisiveness. No, not quite the divisiveness currently tearing our country and our world apart; rather the intellectual divisiveness within the publishing industry. Divisiveness is not just a political condition in today’s world, it seeps into all parts of our lives.
As a writer, I find divisiveness in the writing world to be out there in many ways. Such as the fact that integration came slower to the publishing world than to the real world. Think about this: In romance writing, publishers like Harlequin did not publish romances about African American men and women until the 90s. Men writing romance — with rare exceptions — were not welcomed into romance until recently, unless they hid behind a pseudonym. Early science fiction and fantasy writers did the same thing, but in reverse: women wrote under male names. Women writing mysteries often used only their first initial or both first and middle initials with their last name to keep their gender off the book cover. Possibly the earliest form of Gender Neutrality)
As a Hybrid author (a Traditionally and an Independently published author) I find that there are many levels of divisiveness within the traditional publishing world that poisons (disrupts) the atmosphere for Independent writers who publish outside the traditional sphere.
As Indie writers, we are looked down upon and labeled vanity authors … authors who are not good enough for the traditional publishing world, a concept that is continually pushed by the traditional publishers and authors.
Independent writers are also called self-published writers. While this is true in the most basic meaning of the phrase, self-published is a misnomer. It is a misleading term as Independent writers do much more than self-publish; they create their own publishing companies to publish in the same way as do traditional publishers, complete with professional editors, cover designers, and formatters. This is not vanity press publishing; this is Independent publishing at its finest.
I can name you dozens upon dozens of Indie authors whose works are more professional and presented with more competence than many of the professionals who walk amidst the best seller lists.
While divisiveness is wrong no matter where it occurs, there is not much that can be done, except to push through the discordant rhetoric with the goal of having readers pick up our novels and our nonfiction books and learn Indie writers are no different than traditional writers.
And if traditional writers would look at their own history, and the notable writers who published Independently at various times in their careers, they just might pause for a moment and re-examine how they view Independently published writers. L. Frank Baum, Edger Allen Poe, Mark Twain, and even William Strunk, Jr. self-published during their lives as writers. Even writers like Stephen King, Joe Konrath, and Barry Eisler have Indie published.
I will however admit, one of the biggest problems Indie writers face is pushing through the bad press of both the Vanity Press issues, and the early and amateurish attempts at self-publishing that occurred early in eBook history. The readers themselves have taught us that poorly conceived books are not purchased just because they are inexpensive.
Readers are looking for and requiring the books they purchase, even for as little as 99 cents, be published as any book should be, with a good story; a sharp and well-designed cover; and professional editing and proofreading. Without those three basic standards, a book should not be put into the marketplace.
I started to Independently publish in 2008. My first novel was my 29th published novel, and I loved every minute of writing it and then publishing it. Since then I’ve produced 12 more, each of which I am very proud.
I wrote my newest book, my first nonfiction, as a response to the way Traditional publishers and authors act and refer to Independent authors. My intent for The Indie Writer’s Handbook is to give those writers entering the Independent publishing arena a step by step guide for publishing their books.
My handbook takes a new Indie writer from their final draft to the launch of their book. It is not a book to teach anyone how to write; it is an aide to guide the writer into producing a professionally crafted book, be it a novel or a work of nonfiction.
My hope is that this book will inspire other writers to bring you many more novels and books for your enjoyment!
Oh, I forgot to mention I’m halfway through the fifth book of Tales of Nevaeh.
Copyright 2019 by David Wind