by Joelle Charbonneau
Okay. I’m confused. I’m hoping some of you can help me out. This week, I saw a moniker for the first time that made me blink. Maybe it’s been out there for a while and I’m lagging behind the pack. With the impending release, I tend to be less plugged in. (Who am I kidding – I’m always lagging behind, but the release gives me a great excuse so I’m using it.) Anyway, this week, several self-published authors have begun using the term “independently published” to describe their publishing path.
Up front, let me say that I am not against self-publishing. I think every author has to decide what is right for his or her own career and make a choice as to how best to pursue it. Self-publishing has and always will be a viable option. Some argue that the rise of the e-book has made it a better option than traditional publishing. Hey – it might be. It gives authors total control of their books (which freaks me out – because I am not certain I should ever have total control of anything) and the right to set pricing. It also gives authors a way to connect with readers without going through a middleman. If this option feels right to an author, I say go for it.
But the thing I don’t get is the new “indie published” label. Saying a book is indie published doesn’t change that it has been self-published. It’s kind of like saying a duck isn’t a duck if I call it a goose. Changing the name doesn’t change the content. So why do it at all?
I’ve also noticed that some of the authors using this new label are very aggressive in pushing back when someone questions it. They are offended if someone calls them self-published. Why? If you act as your own publisher, you have self-published a book. Why would someone be offended by that term?
The only thing I can come up with is that these authors think that changing “self-published” to “independently published” is going to make people take their work more seriously. Personally, I think the content will do that more than the label. If a book is well-written, well-edited and entertaining, I don't care what you call it. Do you?
So, help me out here. What is the logic that I’m missing behind saying you are independently published versus self-published? What am I missing?