Indie publishing – a brave new world?


I’m intrigued to note the increasing trend for the term ‘Indie Publishing’ to replace the often denigrated ‘Self Publishing’.

Seems a conscious effort is being made to shed the stigma of the bad old days of what used to be known as ‘vanity publishing’ now that good money can be made ‘rolling your own’, especially via ebooks and online marketing.

It’s also becoming more and more obvious that such publishing, while still not a guarantee of success, has nonetheless become a worthwhile business and effectively a global ‘cottage industry’ – if you have the talent for writing and the skills for editing, production and marketing.

Even the big cheeses of mainstream publishing are beginning to wake up to this. Heads are being pulled from the sand. But will those companies be left behind by an expanding and fragmented market which moves ever forward instead of always looking to the past?

A particular departure from past publishing stand-offishness is the organic development of online communities directly supporting independent authors and the close interaction between authors and fans via such communities – a symbiotic relationship.

All this is made possible and most importantly affordable to such authors and new media publishers by social media and blogging tools including sites such as WordPress, Twitter, Facebook and increasingly Google+

Granted that blockbuster authors like JK Rowling and Terry Pratchett are unlikely to hang out on Twitter interacting closely with a million followers, that still leaves the rest of us well placed to build effective, productive and profitable relationships and fan followings at little cost apart from our time – which is very well spent.

To be sure, as writers, readers and ‘indie publishers’ alike, we live in interesting times.

It’s a brave new world out there…

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