Is the Indie world headed for a literary Armageddon?

war hammerThere are titans vying for control and Indie authors are like the David’s of our time. The titans don’t go by the names of HarperCollins or Penguin Random House. Those folks are still in shock that we dared to, with the help of Amazon and Smashwords, come forth like a dark horse and break every fence that exists with the e-book phenomena, but they may have the last laugh. Anything that builds too fast can have weak legs and the sheer weight may bring it tumbling down.

Thousands of writers have been walking in the desert for years with no home for their novels. Finally, they had a mechanism to shareglorious their hard work that had been shunned by the old guard. Even insightful authors who wrote for big houses saw the opportunity. They took their backlists and tried again in the new frontier. Their fans followed. No more waiting two years for a book to be presented into the hands of their readers, and the authors earned most of the marbles. 

In September, I attended a conference where Mark Coker, the creator of Smashwords, presented an eye-opening speech. Sitting amongst many authors, I listened to an ominous warning: only the best will survive. The Moses (Mark) of the E-publishing world had a few commandments to share, but he also said something far more daunting. The signs are already evident. The time is coming when there will be more books than readers. Only the hum of the air conditioner broke the hush in the room.

Like the Gold Rush, the first who jumped onboard had a greater chance of success than those scrambling to get their suspenders up and catch the last train. The number of books, good, bad and downright horrendous, flooded Amazon’s storage drives. The Big Six, at the time, laughed at the little people. Guys like Mark and Jeff Bezos strode into the marketplace and turned it upside down. “Follow us,” they said. The Pied Piper had nothing on them.

That was only a few short years ago, but where are we now? All mushroomstructures need a solid foundation, but there were no boundaries. The thunderous trample of authors uploading their manuscripts created a tremendous mushroom effect. Guess what happens after an atomic bomb goes off? There’s a blast effect and it knocks everyone on their behinds. Who walks out of the destruction? Not everyone, that’s for sure. Authors will fall. Why? Only the most innovative and creative will stay the course. How do you walk out of the ashes of burning pages and battle weary writers? Determination. Excellence and creativity.

See you soon as we research the revelations you should consider during what could be challenging days ahead.

Love, hope & faith


3 comments to Is the Indie world headed for a literary Armageddon?

  • While last year wasn’t as good as the previous year (2013, the year most of us indies did our best sales), I for one am not going anywhere. Even a bad year at indie publishing is better than any day job I’ve ever had. (I make my former annual salary in 2-4 months now.) And I have too many characters in need of healing and happy endings. I’ll be writing until they pry my cold, dead hands off the keyboard.

    Survival of the fittest is always the rule. Those who know how to juggle all the balls (none of them deflated!) will make it through. We also need to adapt to the new world order. For me, I interpret that to mean I need to write shorter books and publish more than once a year. I know I’m probably the only successful indie publishing a book a year, but that’s what I did in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and I made six figures all three years.

    Bottom line is–if you write a compelling, page-turner, people are going to talk about your books to their friends. Word of mouth is the best advertising.

    I was lucky to get in on this gig in 2011, too, and do believe those of us who established ourselves in the indie marketplace have an advantage simply because those were the days when people downloaded free books and actually READ them. Now it’s a contest to see how many you can stockpile on your e-reader.

    Again, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I can go back to living frugally if the bottom falls out of indie publishing, but I believe cream rises to the top and that anyone putting out high-quality (BETTER than New York’s!) books will survive.

    Kallypso Masters, USA Today Bestselling Author

  • To say I’m not apprehensive would be foolish. I’ve published through a small ePub house and I’ve self published. Neither has been easy.

    Your reflection on what has been, and that which is yet to be, is thought provoking. Navigating the treacherous waters in a storm that’s just begun will take more than education. As you said, grit and determination will lend a hand in the outcome of an author’s success.

    I look forward to the rest of your blog series.

  • Janna Shay

    Insightful and terrific post. I have no doubt you will be among the victorious. You’re on the fast track to the top.

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