Monday, July 2, 2012

Why people hate Indie authors!

Indie authors are like the redheaded step-child of publishing. 

But it’s their own fault! 

Mean? Yes, Cruel? Yes, True? Yes!

"Aaron, come on, we all know you like to hit the touchy issues, but why so hatful?" I'll tell you my friends and stalkers. I have been involved in writing and publishing for only three years now but in that time I have seen and done many things. I have watched the Indie publishers and authors grow and I consider myself an Indie as well. But we are at that point where we need to put on our suit, brush our teeth and come to the party looking good. Right now we look like we spent the last year under a bridge. 

Now before you write me off—lol small writing joke there—take a moment t consider what I am about to tell you. I also understand that some Indie authors do not fit this bill, guys like Joshua Graham and CJ Lyons are what to shoot for, doing it right and all that. But the bulk of Indies will fit my title rant perfectly. 

I like to sum up here is a list that about nails the Indie:


If you are still with me, Gratz! You have thick skin or you just want to see what is wrong with me. =)

What, you mean I have to market? I don't want to do a blog tour! Aaron, can't you just do it for me? I can't count the times I see an author work like mad to get their book published and once it is out they fall off the face of the earth. They see that this is a business and takes work. Don't be lazy, don't cut corners and hire your neighbor to do your cover. You are in the race with New York and big money, if you cannot put out a book that at least looks the part, than keep your day job. Yes, it is a ton of work; yes you will put in hours and not see a return right away. But the difference between a successful author and one who is not, is one put in the work and the other one gave up. Don't be lazy. 

Don't get me started! Educate yourself! Take classes, webinars, learn all you can about the business you are in. Would you take a job and expect to do well if you have no clue what you are doing? Don't know how to use Facebook, learn. Twitter? Learn. You should know that you don't auto tweet someone your book link, or email your FB friends your book info. No one cares about your book; if they want to buy it they will find you. Social media is SOCIAL! The hard part about this point is most ignorant people don't even know that they are ignorant. Everyone is looking around wondering who I am talking about...good chance it is you. 

Big sign that you are ignorant. 
You hound people on social media. 
You have to beg for people to interact on your blog or FB wall.
You never have someone say how amazing your cover is... without you asking.
You can't understand why your sales are not higher, cuz you market all the time!
You don't know what a blog tour, auto tweet, metadata, author central, keyword, tag, SEO, or the difference between Mobi and ePub.
You are not selling on Apple because it is hard and requires an ISBN number.
You think this list is me just being a jerk.

I really want to help you, because helping you means helping me. I am in the same campground as other Indies and I want us all to rock, not suck!

What can you do? Imagine you were going to school to be a doctor. Spend 4-6 years teaching yourself everything there is to know about publishing and what is going on with eBooks. This is your job, if you ever want it to being in enough money to be your job that is...

Fill in the blank. You get mad when another author does well, you may even leave them a bad review. You worry about what everyone else is doing and forget about your own house. Stress out over someone pirating your book and spend hours hunting them down only to make yourself look bad and miss the point. Come on guys, we are adults. We are in business. Do you think Trump stresses over what people think about his hair? He is working, making deals and pushing forward. He does not have time to worry about petty things. Look at the big picture, does it really matter? Where are you going, will this (Whatever is getting to you) get you there? Again, I see this all the time. We worry about things that just don't matter, but I covered this in another post, the one about chilling out. 

Be happy for others who make it. And if someone does not do it like you do it, don't worry. Learn all you can and see what bestsellers do, some of it may work for you and some of it won't. But this "We 4 and no more" attitude is just lame. There is enough room at the top for all of us. People buy books, it is not like a car where they only but Ford or Chevy. Help each other out, share links to other books, don't fall into the trap that if you help out another author that that will hurt your own sales, if anything, it will help. 

Pretend that you are 3 years old, and your mom tells you to share! Share!

We all want the lazy way out. The silver bullet. Face it, we just want it to be easy, buy that lottery ticket and cash it in. But life does not work that way. So what do we do? We jump on that site that offers a tweet for our book link, oh, they are going to market me for free and they care about women or pets or whatever! Think about it, what’s in it for them? 

I know of one site that is a Mecca for this crap. They claim to be there just to help and all they do is get ignorant Indie authors into their tagging chain or tweet list. They will tweet their own books back to you like 10X a day and just use you the ignorant author to ride their way to bigger sales. We all think that if we hang out with authors that do well that we will start selling. Think people! They just want to build a list, and if you watch they will start offering stuff for sale. 

Want an award? Here is the cost...oh but it is special. 
Want more tweets from is the fee. 

Now some sites like Pixel of Ink are good, they are up front, they market books and some plans they charge and some are free. But the point is, they just tell you. There is no bait and switch, no "I am here to help Indie authors cuz my heart is just so big and juicy!" Cross these guys and they will rip your head off...believe me I know. 

You might wonder how this falls in with what we are doing over at StoneHouse University. Yes, there is a fee for classes but that is only there to pay the speakers and the administrator, so she can make her house payment. Look out for scams; don't think you are going to get something for nothing. There is always a catch even if it is to get you to buy a book so they can ride off your back up the bestseller list. 

Because I believe in being real and up front I am gonna tell you my evil little plan. You ready?

I wand to build a list of 50-100 books by the time I am 65 and take over after James Patterson dies. I know, mean. I would love to see StoneHouse Ink grow to have 100 authors and over 60% of them hit bestseller status. I want to teach and help other indie authors because it helps the little guy and I really want to see the big 6 go down. If I can take away a few of the big guys and make some waves I will giggle. I want authors to GET PAID! So many for so many years have been getting raped. Everyone should be making 50%, not just Indies. So, you see... I just want to take over the world. Is that bad? lol 

Oh, and have fun. If you know me you know that I love my job, love writing and publishing and love marketing! It is fun! Join me and some will see us coming and cringe and others will smile. 


  1. That was a great blog, and the first I've read by you, Aaron. Thank you for the insight. I think the main one I'm guilty of is not marketing more. I purposely didn't market until I had a finished trilogy published. While sales did jump practically right away after I finished it, now there is no excuse. At least I only suffer from one of those issues. :P


  2. Great post! I agree 100%. Being Indie myself, I was definitely guilty of many of those, but I'm getting my act together and getting to work on my business side now. Thanks for the great insight!

  3. Love this post!
    Genuine and blunt, and straight to the point.

    I'm not in the position to speak about indie authors, but I've come to sniff the miasma of amateur writers who've become bitter or stale ahead of time, and there's nothing more draining than a bunch of otherwise smart people whining and yelping and crying over the unfairness of the world, and doing nothing.

    So I get it. And you nailed it damn well. :)

  4. Add need professional editors: ISNB -> ISBN :)

  5. I have been guilty of some of this. I really appreciate the wake up call.

  6. There is one in every party...Scott, lol. ISBN...yes, darn auto correct thinks it knows what I should say. I'll get it changed.

  7. Great post, from an author who loves auto-tweet nonetheless! Guilty of reading reviews and wanting to smack negative reviewers. But learning, and not gracefully I might add, that maybe those jerk bad reviewers have a point. Never been guilty of not helping others or feeling ticked when a friend author does good. I want mt friends to sell like hotcakes, I hope in some minute way my little efforts help someone else.

    $400 for a book edited isn't sounding like highway robbery these days, sounds like a way to not deal with reviews asking you if you graduated high school lol! Let's face it, on a great day you're typing away like a crazy woman/man and you're going to get mixed up. Going over your manuscript with a fine tooth comb it's still easy to miss things by seeing what you want to see.

  8. E-publishing will splinter the market. That's what the big six do not want. They had a lock on it and all books were for 'everybody' who read the genre. Pick your niche and carve yourself off a piece. I'm 65. I've got that 50-100 and I spent six years getting from two Fan-Qs for the first two stories I wrote, to what I considered pro level. I recently went back and did rewrites of all my older work. I do not write for 'everybody.' I have a target market and I'm currently the only one writing specifically for that market. That results in sales of ten or more of my titles at once, frequently.

    Laziness: If you don't know the rules well enough to make breaking them a decision and do it the same way every time, it's error, not style. You must view it as both an art and a craft. A well-crafted story is a work of art.

    Nice blog post.

  9. P.S. Covers are my downfall. I had request to make the books available. I'm replacing them one by one.

  10. I had to Google James Patterson. I guess that puts me into Ignorant category :P

  11. :) Great post. Petty and jealous really struck home for me. I've seen a few Indie authors go bitch-slap happy on each other because of one thing or another.

    Jealousy's a mean monster. It's rare that I see it but the few incidences I have seen are forever ingrained in my memory - an online gripe or rant about so-and-so who accomplished this-and-that is usually followed by something-or-other about how lousy the book was. I'm not online all the time to congratulate authors who publish or sign a new contract, but I make it a point to say "Yay!" and happy dance for them when I do find out.

    And, yeah, to help them celebrate I'll host them on my blog with an interview or a guest post or a book spotlight. Whatever. It's good exposure. Plus, I know you so why wouldn't I want to join in on your celebration and help out when and where I can?

  12. Great read, some good points there... Still, I don't think his business and sales can help Trump not to get stressed over his hair;)

  13. Great post! About pettey authors, this is why I surround myself with like-minded authors. For the most part I don't have too much trouble. Though I am just starting out. I try pick author friends who I know I can count on, or come across as friends I can count on down the road. And I don't ask for anything unless I'm ready to back it up with a favor to them in return. Though some of my friends usually don't expect it.

    Make good connections, that is very important. Being an author is about building good relationships.

    This is the first I've heard about StoneHouse Ink,I will have to check it out.

  14. This was a great post. I have realized just how much work goes into marketing as I am attempting to create a blog on my own...eeek!!! I'm certainly learning as I go while being frustrated at the same time.