Monday, 27 June 2011

I worry about indie celebrities

A large part of me is delighted at the huge success of indie writers like Amanda Hocking and John Locke.

If it were not for reading about Amanda Hocking I would not have decided to publish on Kindle. And good luck to John, I've bought his book on how he sold a million, enjoyed it and learnt from it.

What worries me, however, is that the indie world is going to get fixated on sales success and the cult of the celebrity. The traditional publishing world has been squeezed enough by this fascination with success. It would be a tragedy if the indie movement were to go even a few steps down this perilous path.

By all means let's celebrate success but let's not worship it. More importantly, let the indie movement celebrate the success of people who write wonderful books, let it celebrate those who have persevered at writing and finally seen their books read by readers, let it celebrate the triumph of the little person over the giant.

What do you think?


  1. What will 'success' look like for you?

  2. A good question. I guess the answer comes in many forms, including huge sales and celebrity!

    I already feel some success that I have published and people are buying my books. The more the better, of course. Reviews are always a good measure. I also feel successful when I know I have written better than I did before. What about other people?

  3. It's nice that some folks have paved the road and become mainstream names (well, insofar as e-publishing goes), since they're lending legitimacy to the self-pub movement. Other than that, I don't really worry about them. :P

    I'd be perfectly happy to be relatively unknown (except amongst my readers!) and make a living at this. And that's exactly what a lot of indies are doing right now. I've interviewed any number of authors who are now making a living thanks to the ebook boom (and the 70% cut doesn't hurt either!).

  4. As you say, Lindsay, the important thing is getting readers and making a living.