About year-and-a-half ago, after all the buzz surrounding Amanda Hocking and the changing way readers and publishers were looking at self-published books, authors began taking the leap one by one.
Some of them surveyed the murky Amazonian waters- full of anacondas and piranhas, and took note of everything they’d need to stay afloat. Then they jumped in and splashed gleefully around before yelling back to the others: ‘Come on in! The water’s fine!’
And so they did – Authors tumbling one after another- some after careful consideration and others with a crazed, reckless abandon- arms flailing and eyes going googley (although I imagine many of the latter got swept away by a flying, open-mouthed anaconda à la 'Deep Blue Sea' before their feet even left the ground) into the hazy water until the whole thing seemed a little crowded.
But it’s not enough to have more and more authors splashing around in the Amazon– scaring off snakes and sharp-toothed animals so they only pray on the weak or those who stray too far from the pack.
Without readers, there is no pool.
And while authors took a chance jumping in, so did the readers who decided they would give self-published books a shot. And it took more than one girl making millions off her self-published titles. Not everyone likes urban fantasy or paranormal.
The success of self-publishing is pushed forward by those who take the same time and care with their product that any traditional publisher would have. And, of course, write an awesome story. All it takes is one self-published book to change the way readers view them, good or bad. A poorly-executed book might not stop them from reading others, but it might change the price they’re willing to pay –just like a book whose prose and book cover gleam might convince them to make exceptions.
I count myself lucky that the first self-published book I ever ordered and read on my kindle was Susan Kaye Quinn’s OPEN MINDS – a story about a world where everyone can share thoughts telepathically and those who can’t are looked upon with fear and distain.
When I finished reading this book, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t traditionally published. It wasn’t just one of the best-executed ‘indie’ books I’d ever read. It was one of the best YA books, in general, that I read last year and it completely changed the way I saw self-publishing.
Today, the second installment of the Mindjack Trilogy, CLOSED HEARTS is being released and I can’t wait to read it!
Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.
Congrats Susan! - and THANK YOU for the time and care you’ve taken with your story and your books. Not only have you done them justice, but you’ve made a difference in my (own, personal) view of all that is possible.
What was the first self-published book you ever read and how did it affect your view of that avenue?