I have been very active researching and learning about the Indie movement, and always keep my eye out for new trends and developments. A development that I have noticed in the past few years is capitalizing on trends. I view it as selling your soul, but that is just my opinion. The traditional publishing industry has played this game for some time now, and it is only one of the reasons why the independent publishing movement started. Indie writers who wanted to become published authors but were rejected by the traditional model because their books were not “what we are looking for now” took matters into their own hands and thanks to companies like Amazon, were able to share their works with readers. This is part of the story, but what puzzles me is the conversion by Indie authors to the traditional model, that is, in the sense of publishing independently but trying to capitalize on the current genre trends, despite if what they are writing is not the book in their heart and soul. I have heard advice about going with the wind current and writing what sells. Isn’t that mirroring the traditional model? It has become a frenzy, a free for all that I am hoping will not hurt the movement in the long run due to careless and irresponsible self-publishing that aims to make a quick buck with disregard to the movement or to readers. This is where the fine line becomes strong, separating indies from self-publishers-a-million, and hopefully, strengthens the movement by separating the grain from the husk, and therefore, not risking the publishing balance; because let’s face it, if the indie movement is viewed as a portal for disgraced publishing, eventually the balance of power will flip back to the traditional model. Again, my opinion, not necessarily an omen.
If we care about what we do, as writers and indies, let’s honor the story by presenting it to readers in the best light, and with the best intentions. That is where true independence in publishing exists.