I still have my favorite traditionally published authors, the ones with famous names and recognized publishers. But lately, I have been devoting my reading time mainly to indie authors, those of the self-published or small press variety. And here’s why:

1. Accessibility. Indie authors are usually very friendly and happy to exchange messages online with readers and fans. If you are an author as well as a fan, they are some of the most generous and supportive people you will ever meet, often helping you get the word out about your own books and stories.

2. Quality. Indie authors get a bad rap about quality. I’m the first to admit there are some poorly edited books out there, but overall I have been very pleased with my purchases of indie books. (Besides, I’ve spotted quite a few typos in traditionally published books. Mistakes are not exclusive to indies.)

3. Affordability. Many indie books are priced to be affordable. For the same cost as one famous-name author’s work, I can load my Kindle with several well-written books by indie authors. Another benefit of following indie authors is that they are very likely to engage in promotions where their books are free for a limited time. You can’t get a better price than that! And if you like their style, you can go back and buy their other books.

4. A need to know. I have a natural curiosity about others of my ilk and enjoy satisfying this curiosity. I like to see how other indie writers put their sentences together, how they reveal the plot, how they handle dialogue, they way they describe scenes, the way they develop their characters, etc.

5. Creativity. Often, indie writers come up with new ideas on how to handle their storylines. They don’t have to satisfy a publisher and have the freedom to explore non-formulaic treatments of their subject matter. It’s a common opinion that there is nothing new under the sun, and maybe there isn’t. But in reading indie authors, you can discover some new approaches and unique perspectives. Many indies have broken out of the cookie-cutter templates preferred by mainstream publishers, or they’ve not stuffed themselves into the molds in the first place. It’s refreshing.

Since many indies price their e-books at or below $2.99, a reader can load up on five books for less than $15.00, and possibly enjoy a new take on an old theme. Or an old take on a new theme! And if you like the book, the author will most likely be thrilled to get a message from you saying so.

Allow me to summarize: indie authors rock!


Bookshelf image from MS Free Images