I love the Indie but…

You ever noticed that after the “but” it sounds like whatever you previously said is about to be contradicted by what you follow that up with?

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I don’t mean that with this post. In fact, let me gush about why I read and love Indie.

  • Author/Reader Interaction 

One of the coolest things about indie authors and social media is having the opportunity to chat with them! Many interact on a daily basis with their fans and it really cultivates a special kinship between author and reader. Authors listen and are constantly evolving based on what readers want. This can be a good and bad. More on that below…

  • Indies are redefining the genre

Look at the New Adult genre. In many ways, the success and acknowledgment of that can be accredited to authors that started out as indie. Look at Tammara Webber, Colleen Hoover and Cora Carmack. These ladies were the trailblazers in writing about that awkward age between adolescence and adulthood.

  • Taboo topics/unexplored themes

I love a good villain/anti-hero. It comes as no surprise that I am a HUGE fan of darker themed books that blur the lines and push boundaries. Many indie authors have found a home in this community by writing dark, suspenseful and sometimes scary stories that many publishers shy away from.

  • Indie is exciting

Indie authors are taking over the book world and big publishing houses are taking notice. There are so many new authors and new books coming out everyday! It’s an exciting time in the book world and I, for one, cannot wait to see what is next in the indie community.

But….this is where the but comes in. There are some things that as a reader and a blogger that I would like Indie authors and the community as a whole to take note of. Some of these issues are disconcerting and really put indie in a bad light.

  • Bad Grammar/Lack of Editing 

^Now there is a song to help you out!

A few weeks ago I read a post on Facebook from an indie author that was upset about bad reviews because of editing and when they were financial able to, they would hire an editor. I’m sorry if this comes off snotty or rude, but for real? I know editors cost money but this is your book! Have pride and invest in your work! At the very least, find multiple people that are capable of editing your work for free. How do you expect readers to take you seriously when you are setting yourself up for bad reviews?

Look, I’m sure many of you are reading my post and pointing out all of my own grammar mistakes, but I am not charging people to read my blog. I would not expect to go to Starbucks for a coffee and receive Maxwell House because they couldn’t afford the right beans. There are many books that I have DNF’d over the lack of editing. It’s one thing if it’s a typo here or there—published books have them too—but it’s another if the lack of editing takes me away from the story.

  • Preemptive synopsis warnings 

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This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I have no complaints about dark themes that might present triggers but PLEASE don’t tell me if there is a cliffhanger or HEA in your book/series. Many times I go in blind (i.e. glance at the blurb and start reading with no prior knowledge) but knowing beforehand what is going to happen takes away the magic for me.I understand that these warnings come at the demand of readers and to combat bad reviews but this is doing a huge disservice for those that like to be surprised. HEA’s, cliffhangers, and the like are all SPOILERS!

I hate spoilers.

Side note: readers please quit complaining about cliffhangers. They happen in almost EVERY series. That is not a gimmick. It’s a plot device used in order to get people excited/interested in the continuation of a series. If you are that worried about cliffhangers then do us all a favor and wait for the series to be complete before you start demanding authors to include it in the blurb.

  • Bad reviews=bullying

 

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I always have a hard time writing bad reviews. Mainly it’s because of the reaction of authors and fans of them that make me feel as if I just kicked a puppy. I know of quite a few authors that read and take note of bad reviews without offense. Many say that it helps them become aware of how to improve their future writings. But there are a few that take a bad review as a personal attack on them, their work, and their audience.

Critical reviews, especially those not in favor of a book, should not be demonized or exploited for personal benefit. There is an author (she-who-will-not-be-named) that has written post after post about bullying and has used that word in order to gain the sympathy of readers and generate sales.

It’s not that I don’t believe bullying exists in this community. It is been documented with published authors too, even some bullying reviewers (i.e. Emily Griffin), but this is a troubling abuse of a the word.

  • Clique mentality

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I hope this next one doesn’t come off as me disparaging popular reviewers or as a bad case of blogger jealousy (that’s a discussion for a different day), because I promise you that is not the reason for my next point.

As someone that follows authors on social media I find it sad that most of the reviews shared, praised or mentioned are ones from big name bloggers only. I understand that big bloggers + big follower counts=big exposure. I understand that there are literally THOUSANDS of books are released daily and getting the attention of a reviewer with a huge audience is exciting and possibly career changing. But there are plenty of blogs out there with AMAZING content. Blogs that review books in cool, interesting and thoughtful ways. Blogs that spend HOURS featuring up-and-coming books and authors on all their social media accounts. Blogs that have a great amount of followers but maybe haven’t found their audience yet.

For authors and bloggers this is a competitive market and it gets smaller and smaller when people only shed light on the few. It’s not that I think it’s possible to share all the reviews, but sometimes I wish to see one of the many blogs I follow be recognized for the content of their work and not just their follower count.

What changes would you like to see in the indie community?

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Kayla

Comments

  1. Kristin Morris says

    This was a great post. Thank you. I agree completely with you on a LOT of this, but I AM one who complains about cliffhangers. *ducking for cover* I hate them sooo much, but like you said, I almost always wait for series to be completed. :)

  2. Katrina says

    I loved your blog post and agree with you on much of it, but I do have to disagree with you on the cliffhanger part. I DO want to know if there is a cliffhanger. If I can’t tell from the blurb or reviews and I see that it is part of a series, I pass until the whole series is out and I don’t think the author’s want that if the book has no cliffhanger. I do have plenty of other books in my tbr that can satisfy me until the whole series is out, unless it is a book I am reviewing, then I will read that, cliffhanger or not, or it is an author that I know publishes the next book in a timely manner.

    I understand we all have our likes and dislikes and I can respect your opinion, but felt I should also give mine on this one situation. I don’t care about knowing if there is a HEA; that one, the author should leave out of the blurb. But the cliffhanger, I do think it should be mentioned so the reader has a choice as to when to read the book. If all author’s came out with the next book in a timely manner, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal to me, but, sadly they don’t.

    • says

      Katrina,
      I get that! Most of the time cliffhangers don’t bother me. Other times I scream to the heavens with “how can you do this to me?!?!” LOL but I go into most books that have sequels or trilogies preparing for a cliffhanger.

      With indie there is usually such a quick turnaround for the next book, compared to published books that can sometimes make you wait a year or more, that I feel like cliffhangers are more acceptable.

      For the longest time I would read primarily indie with maybe one or two pubbed books and now that I’m trying to read more books in print/published I find that I enjoy reading the synopsis and not seeing the warnings.

      But I do understand where you’re coming from, I just wish those warnings stuck primarily to reviews because I have a choice to not read them and still go into a book without expectations, ya know?
      Kayla @ My Book Muse recently posted…I love the Indie but…My Profile

      • Katrina says

        You do make a point. As long as the books have reviews, we can find out from them if there is a cliffhanger. So a good compromise would be to not have it in the synopsis and we can look it up in the reviews. :) Okay, You win! *sigh*

  3. Erin says

    Great stuff! I agree with it all. Especially the cliffhangers/HEA. I love that we can connect with our favorite author. Just last night I went fan girling all over the place about a author. Lol! Loving your blog posts ;)

    • says

      Thank you, Erin! I agree about the interaction with authors. It’s nice to be able to dish with your favorite author about something. It really does leave a lasting impression <3

      and thank you! I was worried this post would be stepping on toes and would offend, which I didn’t want to achieve, but sometimes you just gotta let it out!

  4. says

    All the good stuff about NA is also the bad stuff for me. Yes, it is awesome to interact with authors…but then it makes it awkward when they’re your friends and you just didn’t like (or hate) their book. I think this is why there are so many 5 star (and 6 star) reviews on indie books. Most people are friends with the author and they are scared to post their honest opinions (or they just kiss ass).

    Indie authors did redefine the NA genre…unfortunately, they redefined it again by turning it into erotica with the same storylines (not everyone)

    I’m all for dark subjects…but I also hates when it becomes a ‘thing’…like when all those captive/sex slaves books were all the rage a few months ago…

    I love when an indie author gets published…but I think publishers need to know when to stop. Abbi Glines/Sea Breeze #38 anyone??? Beautiful Disaster basically being told 4 times from different POV’s??? Start a new series! Give the fans enough faith that we will follow them to their new series!

    ‘PLEASE don’t tell me if there is a cliffhanger or HEA in your book/series.’ I haaaaaaate this! I wanna be surprised. I blame bloggers who always bitch about them constantly…

    If an author is not prepared or able to spend the proper amount of time/money on editing then they should wait until they are ready. And beta readers need to be honest and not just blogger friends who are scared to tell them when something doesn’t work.

    I love indie authors…but I also hate so much about the indie world…like the cliques!

    Awesome post girl!
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Cover Reveal: The Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson!My Profile

    • says

      Nereyda, I think we just became best friends LOL I agree 1000% with the points you brought up. There are some questionable blogger/author relationships, the downfall of New Adult, and the same rehashed and tired stories, that would take more then one blog post to rant about. Thank you for stopping by! I’m glad I’m not the only one that is bothered by some of this stuff.

  5. Paula says

    I totally agree with you. I like to go into a book blind. I never read reviews until after I’ve read the book and sometimes I won’t even read a blurb. I’ll just go by teasers or recommendations from friends. I don’t want to know if it has a HEA or it’s a cliffy.

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