A Writer’s List of Thankfulness

Our indie cup runeth over

Our indie cup runeth over

This being thanksgiving, we decided it was appropriate for me (Sarah) to make a list of things indie writers have to be thankful for.

Having thought long and deeply, only one thing came up: I’m thankful that the chance to indie-publish has allowed me to take charge of my own career.

It used to be that writers only had control of how well they wrote their book and when they delivered it. After that, all of it was out of their control: cover, publicity, whether the book came out in a format or the other.  Of course all those things affected how the book sold, but the writers’ role was only in the writing.

If everything went well – and sometimes it did, such as when Baen published Darkship Thieves – the writer was left grateful and humbled by how much work was put in on behalf of her book.

But if things didn’t go well – and they often didn’t – the writer was left with the feeling he’d handed in his baby to be killed by a cruel stranger.

Worse, the writer, having spent a year or ten writing his book, was left to hope that a publisher would buy it, so that it could – eventually – see the light of day in more tangible form and so that other people could – eventually – read it.

This meant that if the writer wrote a book, no matter how close to the writer’s heart, no matter how beautifully executed, no matter how important, if it didn’t catch the eye – or fit the publishing schedule – of one of six publishing houses, there was a good chance no one would ever know it existed.  Self publication was not really an option for wide distribution. Sure, it happened now and then, but most of the time self-publication only allowed maybe a hundred people to read it.

All of this might seem not that different from today – and yet, what a difference there is.

By putting an ebook out with Amazon – and Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords, and Kobo and ibooks, and all the others – you’re putting your book in the same marketplace accessed by the big six. You stand as good a chance of being discovered.

Better still, you are in control of how your book appears as it goes before readers.

Oh, sure, if you can have a good relationship with a traditional publisher – such as mine with Baen – it is still preferable to doing all the work yourself. But that book that doesn’t quite fit your traditional publisher’s taste?  The sudden, wild fling with police procedural or YA?  You can do it.  And people will read it.  The old back-list that was doing nothing?  You can put it out and this time give it the look you want.

Even if it didn’t bring much money, the limitless possibilities of indie publishing would be worth it.  But there is money too – at least for me – in the form of a steadily growing trickle.

And for this I’m very thankful.

I’m also thankful for the many books out there which I’d otherwise never get to read.  And below are some indie books that you might like to read.


Sugar Coated Pill Theory
By C. M. Moore

This book of poetry has silly rhymes, some questing questions and even a reference to Monty Python, but only one because more would be silly. Come enjoy a hunter dance towards his prey, insanity brought on by certainty, and the love of nature, a wife, and a little dragon statue.


A Blue Frog Occasion (The East Thumb Chronicles)
By Robert D Rose

Great Ward is now crumbling, after 3,000 years of peace,. Two unstoppable enemies prepare to invade…and blue frog magic is almost gone.

Now comes the death of a very uncommon acolyte, revealing centuries of secrets when the wizard Vorin investigates why she died…reopening an ageless war between himself and the ever-grasping Order she joined.

If he fails, his magic will be gone forever and East Thumb Peninsula will be lost. If he wins, an entire society must change.


From Piers to Eternity
By Hazel Preller

Old ladies standing with their feet in the sea are the unlikely stars of Hazel Preller’s unique debut book – these old ladies are in fact those quintessentially British seaside piers, and all becomes clear when you start reading this delightful tale of how Hazel and Jay Preller met and fell in love on Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier and then endeavoured to have a kiss on the end of every pier in the UK. The pier kissing odyssey saw the couple travel over 7000 miles, visiting long, short, old and new piers, debunking a few myths and falling in love with piers too. They ended their journey, as only pier kissers can, with a wedding on Brighton Pier in 2010.

This fascinating and beautifully descriptive story with 30 black and white photographs taken by the author tells of the history and vital statistics of each of the sixty piers that they visited and is told with a delicious sense of humour. A wonderful history, mini tourist guide and love story all in one book will compel you to visit your nearest seaside status symbol and see it in an entirely new light!


The Naked President
By Jabulani Nzilane

The book is about a South African President and leader of the Azanian National Convention who has fallen out of favour with his political party and is about to be recalled from parliament.

In order to consolidate his grip on power, he employs the help of an African vampire called an Asasabonsam and strikes fear at the heart of his enemies and detractors.

The ebook is not for sale to persons under the age of 18 as it contains explicit scenes.