Saturday, September 03, 2011

Indie- or self-pub?

There's some confusion over these terms. Indie publishing sounds cool, whereas self-pub has a stigma going back years. It's no surprise many self-pubbed authors are calling themselves indie published.

I resisted at first because self-pub is what I've always called it. You're publishing your own work. Nobody else is doing it for you.

Then I saw a post which brough up a good point: is it self-pub when you pay for cover art, editing, proofing and layout? Those people are doing a professional job, and it seems a bit odd for the author to claim their work under the 'self-pub' banner.

There's another point of view as well. If you set up your own imprint, purchase a block of ISBNs and go into business, this entity is still technically a publisher even if it only exists to publish your own work. Bowker and Lightning Source certainly think I am.

That's the stage I'm at now: I have my own imprint and I hired pros to get my book ready. I should probably stop calling it 'self-published' and start calling it 'indie-published' instead.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


Unknown said...

There's no such thing as self-published music; it's always Indie. so why not be consistent? ;o)

Simon Haynes said...

The main problem is that 'indie-publishing' was originally reserved for authors published by 'independent publishers' - ie. not owned by the so-called 'Big Six'

E.g. Fremantle Press bills itself as an indie. They've been around for 30+ years and have over 400 titles on their books.

When self-pub authors started using 'indie', true indie-published authors got annoyed. However, I think most people now use the term 'trade published' for anything released by a larger publishing house. That is, with several staff, distribution agreements, and not a business with all their titles written by the same author.