Adan Ramie on Being an Indie Writer

Adan Ramie, author of Maladaptation, andConsuming Darkness is a pal of mine, and I asked her to say a few things about being an indie writer.


Adan-Ramie

Hold Your Head Up, Indies
“I’m only an indie author. It’s no big deal.”

Those are my words, said to an acquaintance who asked about what I had been up to lately. The words bounced off the insides of my skull like an old bucket down a well. They rang empty and false. In an effort to avoid hubris, I chose self-deprecating humility, and it felt all wrong. It sent the wrong message, not only to the listener, but to myself. Is it really no big deal to be an indie author?

The Humble Indie
For a long time, there was this black cloud over indie publishing that said it was something to be avoided. That’s where failed authors went to lick their wounds. Indie publishing was just a vanity, and no one took it seriously.

Then, out of the blue, 2008 brought a storm of indie books. By 2009, over three-quarters of books being published were indie. The clouds started to disperse. Maybe indie publishing wasn’t just for hacks and never-would-bes. Perhaps there was more to eschewing traditional publishing than just avoiding the fearsome editors.

Our Pride
The Oxford Dictionaries says the definition of pride is as follows:

1. a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired;

2. a group of lions forming a social unit.

My first thought was to explore the more common first definition of the word. Indie authors should wear our indie status as a badge of pride, not as a stamp of low quality. Indie publishing has vastly improved since the days of cheap Paint image covers and stream-of-consciousness, edit-less nightmares. The books coming out these days are, more often than not, quality works with marketable plots and well-made book jackets.

But I think it’s worth mentioning that pride comes in other forms. The second definition speaks to nature, to a grouping of creatures with common interest, and I think a useful analogy can be drawn from a lion’s pride to groups of indie authors. We need to be fierce – not just for ourselves, but also for fellow indie authors. We need to stop blushing and mumbling about our indie status. State it loud and proud: “I’m an indie author, and I’ve published…” No, you’re not a big name A-lister, but you’re a professional. Instead of bringing yourself – and the rest of us – down, reach down deep and find that molten core that has pride in your work. Then share that pride with the world.


Thanks, Adan! Here are her links again for you to make with the clickity-click:

Maladaptation
Consuming Darkness
Bleed Onto The Page [blog]
Twitter

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About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degree in Computer Systems and Applications and is currently attending Northern Arizona University. View all posts by Mark Gardner

11 responses to “Adan Ramie on Being an Indie Writer

  • Adan Ramie

    Thanks for having me, Mark!

  • Tricia Drammeh

    Reblogged this on Tricia Drammeh and commented:
    YES to all of this!

  • Jnana Hodson

    Indie, regardless of the label, has long been where the action is. The commercial genres have been too formulaic for my tastes, as a reader or a writer, especially in the face of a shrinking publishing industry. You have far more reason to feel pride for being true to your vision than you would in submersing it in convention.

    • Adan Ramie

      Jnana, this is so true. I was just listening to a podcast yesterday that spoke to the same notion — that indies/self-published authors are the ones willing to take a chance, strike out on our own, and (pardon the cliché) grab the bull by the horns to get what we want. I think it’s what makes “indie” great.

  • Joleene Naylor

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Great post! I actually had someone ask me recently “Why don’t you get your books mainstream published?” As if being on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc. and having been on the Amazon best seller list more than once (both the free and the paid lists) wasn’t “mainstream” enough. I replied that mainstream was obviously a matter of opinion and that what I thought he actually meant was why I was not published with one of the big publishers, and that was because I didn’t want to be. I enjoy the control, I enjoy keeping my rights, and I enjoy the whole process. I’m happy being an indy and you are 100% right – if we’re happy about it, why do we downplay it? I am as guilty of this as anyone – I rarely tell people I write books, though will tout other accomplishments. After discussing a similar topic on another blog I wonder if it has to do with the indy status so much as it does the subject matter of my books that I am “embarrassed” about. Even among fellow indies vampires are often sneered at (I even saw a writing blog award once that specifically said “please do not award this to vampire writers”. Really??). We need to stop sneering at one another – stop trying to label certain genres as legitimate, or certain writing styles, or certain requirements (such as “that cover looks sloppy so they must not be a *real* writer) in an effort to make ourselves feel better about our indy status and start sticking together – like that lion pride Adan mentions.

    (loved that!)

    • Adan Ramie

      Joleene, thanks for the reblog! You know, I think you’re absolutely right about that. As indie authors, we have got to stick together. Just with any minority community, we have enough detractors and bullies from the majority. We don’t need to belittle each other for work we love, work we had the guts to put out, and work that readers enjoy. Keep writing vampire novels, Joleene. You’re good at it, and your readers are all the evidence you need to keep going.

  • Marcy Mason McKay

    Terrific post, Adan. Your honesty speaks loud and clear.

    I’m publishing SkipJack Publishing, but we’re still a band of indie authors. I love it because they offer author autonomy (I make all my own decision regarding my career), as well as mutual support (brainstorming ideas, helping each other leverage our books, etc.). It’s like being part of the cool kids @ school…. :)

    • Adan Ramie

      That’s awesome, Marcy. When we get together, we’re much more powerful, and the work just keeps improving. Traditional publishing as it was originally intended is a dying business. Those of us smart enough to skip all the rigmarole are going to reap the benefits when that elephant falls. Stay with the cool kids, Marcy, and you’ll go a long way. Thanks again for the comment!

      • Marcy Mason McKay

        It’s funny that you said, “skip all the rigmarole…” because that’s exactly why my publisher named themselves SkipJack: “We skip all the jack, and get straight to publishing.” :)

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