Friday, May 25, 2012

FMFB- Debating the 'Indie' Label

Good Morning everybody and welcome to Friday Morning Follower’s Bloffee! The coffee is hot (or iced, depending on where you live). The weather in France is a blissful and sunny 27° Celsius. (I’m too lazy to see what this is in Fahrenheit, but I’m sure one of my smart commenters will clue me in:)

All you have to do to participate in bloffee is:

1. Comment. 2. Tell us what you’ve brought for breakfast. (Today I’m in the mood for eggs-over-easy, fresh baguette and some juicy grapes)  3. Find someone in the comments section you don’t recognize and check out their blog. Voila! An instant friend and potential follower connection has been made.

SO, like I usually do on these fair Friday brunches – I’ve chosen a topic from one of the various blogs I visited this week that has me thinking.

I came across an agent blog that asked self-published authors to stop using the term ‘indie’. Truth is, before reading the request, I’d never thought much about it.

 I’ve heard ‘indie’ used for both small press and self-published books in the past.  But the recent trend, as I’ve seen it, is that the term is being used more and more to describe self-published authors. This doesn’t really bother me one way or another but I was wondering how other authors (whether unpublished, traditional published or self published) felt about it?

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

*CQG*

31 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

I've been following that conversation at Writing on the Ether and I really liked the one comment one person made. And that is that times are changing and the the term indie does now include self published authors. It's gotten too big and spread too far to change even if everyone doesn't accept it.

That being said, I understand their issues and for newbies all it takes is a little bit of research to understand.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm bringing coffee for sure and fruit. I read Shelli Johannes comment about the definition of Indie and don't see why they can't use Indie. But the agent obviously disagrees. But it doesn't bother me personally.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm with a small, independent press but the term doesn't bother me.
Too early for Hot Tamales?

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm on antibiotics and can't eat for another 30 minutes. I'm starving!!!!

The term doesn't bother me. I always thought it meant independent. That sounds more like self publishing to me.

I wish it were 27C here. It's 4C and high will be only 12. :(

Em-Musing said...

Hmm? Dark Sumatra coffee, Greek yogurt with homemade granola, and fresh local papaya. I agree with the agent. Indie is an actual press, while self pub'd is just you, yourself and well, you.

DL Hammons said...

A Snickers coffee (double shot) and a breakfast bar for me this morning. I knew that Indie Publishing is not the same as self-published, and If I were an Indie Publisher I guess I might be bothered by the comparison.

Looking forward to the long weekend. Might actually get some writing done. :)

Sandra Almazan said...

It's hot here, so fresh berries sound good this morning.

One of the commenters on the Passive Voice blog, Dan DeWitt, said in response to this: "I’m still trying to figure out how someone who publishes through another entity is “independent,” especially when contrasted with an author who does everything by his or her self." Makes sense to me.

LD Masterson said...

No coffee, thanks. Got my mug of tea.

As near as I can figure it out, "indie" is probably a more realistic term for self pubs but the small "Indie" publishers are mifted because they were using the term first. Makes no difference to me.

Old Kitty said...

I'm bringing ice cream! And strawberries!

I still get lost with the self-pub/indie thing. Nevermind! It's the end result that matters, no?

Take care
x

KatieO said...

Coffee and fresh banana bread with lots of chocolate chips...

I hadn't thought about this term for self-pubbed authors, but I guess you could call them "independent" since they do it on their own... I thought indie referred to independent bookstores and booksellers, and small presses, not authors themselves.

T. Z. Wallace said...

I am going with vegan bread (made without eggs or milk--it's a food allergy thing), and vegan butter, and to balance out all those carbs, some grape Crystal Light energy drink.

As far as the Indie thing, I guess I prefer the term "Indie" Author better than a "Self-Published" Author, because I am old enough to remember the stigma associated with self-publication...as if the work was somehow not good enough.

Of course that is not always the case, but that was the common perception when I was younger, and the impressions you grow up with can be hard to shake.

Sigh.

mshatch said...

I've got coffee and if I knew how to cook I'd bring some of my mom's Danish (the most flaky buttery pastries topped with almonds and a thin sweet glaze - and yes, they do practically melt in your mouth).

I agree that Indie brings to a mind small publisher, like when a musician is with an Indie Label. They've got someone backing them but whoever it is isn't huge.

And I can see why an agent would want the terms differentiated because it does make a difference - imo.

JEM said...

It's the Friday morning after a Thursday night out, so I'll stick to copious amounts of coffee :).

Inneresting debate about indie vs. self-published. I think the bigger conversation here is what happens when the industry shakes all of this indie/ebook/self-pubbed business out.

Laura Marcella said...

At my door this morning was the new belgian waffle maker I ordered, so I'm bringing homemade chocolate chip waffles YUM!!

I hadn't really thought about the indie/self-published terms. Indie is short for independent, right? So it makes okay sense to me that self-published authors be called indie authors... I think if I was one, I wouldn't mind!

Ranae Rose said...

After eating a bowl of cheerios, I feel really boring! LOL I'm jealous of your guys' breakfasts.

As for the term 'indie', at first its double meaning confused me, but now I find myself using the word 'indie' without a second thought to refer to self-publishers. I think the meaning of the word has evolved to include self-publishers, and there's nothing that can realistically be done about it. And it makes sense. After all, 'indie' is short for independent, and it doesn't get much more independent than self-publishing.

Marta Szemik said...

Coffee, vanilla yogurt and oreo cookie ice cream (yes, that really is my breakfast).

The whole thing is just silly to me, but I do agree with Sandra's comment above.

In the end, all that matters to me if I'm meeting my own goals of writing, publishing, selling and supporting my family. Don't really care if you call me an indie or a self-pubbed author, so long as I'm happy and my goals are met:)

Botanist said...

Fresh-baked olive bread, for those with a savory tooth.

I've not followed the debate, but if anyone said "indie" to me I would think of a small independent publisher. I wouldn't think of self-published. The term has been used that way for a long time and in other industries (e.g. music).

I don't suppose we can turn back the tide, but this saddens me because it means the term has been devalued and has lost its usefulness as a way of describing a distinct and vital part of the industry.

Johanna Garth said...

I'll bring Vanilla lattes for everyone.

I think the term Indie just sounds better than self-published, which is why people like it...more street cred but it implies there is a publisher behind them so I can understand the agent's objection.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I had coffee and a scone. What's wrong with using the term "indie"? That's just very strange. I guess that some people get uptight about categories and labels.

Tony Van Helsing said...

I always link indie with small record labels producing local bands rather than writing. I've brought porridge with a banana and some blueberries and golden linseeds in it because I am a middle class jessie.

Hart Johnson said...

I've brought self-peeling mangos. Because everybody loves mangos. except peeling them...

As for Indies-I think the horse is out of the barn. Self-published people feel strongly about it and will continue and I just don't think there is a way to stem the tide. I was annoyed when they started, as indie SHOULD mean small, independent press, but i don't think there is anything that can be done about it now.

Lisa Shafer said...

As a self-published author, at first I felt strongly that the term "indie" should only be applied to those published by smaller, independent publishers. But I keep getting called an Indie author, getting grouped with Indie authors, etc. So, I've just given up and begun answering to the term "indie."
It's kind of like how the real meaning of the term "ground zero" is the area immediately under a nuclear explosion, but after 2001, everyone began referring to the destroyed area of the World Trade Towers as "ground zero," even though the destruction there had nothing nuclear about it. The term was misused so long that it changed meaning.
I think that the term "indie" has now changed meaning, and, although I'm unlikely to start ranting and raving that I'm "indie" instead of self-published, it's much easier for me just to "go with the flow" and answer to that label.

Elana Johnson said...

Bacon! Of course.

And I haven't followed any of this, but I'm going to have to look into it.

Lorelei said...

I had Post cerial and peach slices--yum (no corn syrup in either)

Indie? Hmmm, I wish these know-it-alls would get a life and quit trying to make us all conform to what they think we should do/speak/write/ etc. *crossing eyes*

There. I really feel better now! Thanks. (^;

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I had a protein shake with blueberries and strawberries.

I need to think about the indie vs self and who has dibs. I haven't thought about it that much yet.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I think it's confusing. Seems to me the small press folks have first dibs. :)

Chris said...

Hi Katie, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

Carissa Taylor said...

Interesting, I'd never heard those who self-publish refer to themselves as "indie" .. though I can totally see that it makes sense. They are, in fact, publishing independently!

Elizabeth Reinhardt said...

I'm super late to the party! I am bringing orange juice...cause no one wants to eat anything I cook ;)!

I self-publish. I also employ editors, formatters, cover designers, web service providers, and pay for promotional services. I make a livable income from writing and am setting up an LLC to make sure that taxes and business expenses are documented correctly. Several of my friends have worked with lawyers or agents on restricted rights, like foreign contracts or film deals. What we do is so far from 'me, myself, and I' that "self-published" is actually quite misleading.

The term "indie" has changed. As to whether or not indie writers are 'shooting themselves in the foot'...as far as the circle of my contemporaries is concerned, we're creating an entirely new niche that doesn't engage much with the traditionally published world. It doesn't cross my mind to worry if what I call myself offends any agent, since I have very little dealings with them. Nor do I deal much with any arm of traditional publishing. I don't mind what they call me or what they don't call me. We (and this goes for myself and all my close colleagues who are indie) focus all our time, energy, and resources on making the art we're passionate about and connecting with readers. Period. Second period (it's grammatically iffy, but that's how serious we are ;)!).

The professional indie authors aren't demanding anything from traditional publishing or warring with anyone. We're sharing our stories with readers, writing what we love, and learning the ropes on our own.

I am indie. I'm very proud of what I do and how I do it, and I plan to keep doing it for the long haul, leaning new things as I go, and enjoying every damn second of this awesome journey! And I'm certainly not asking anyone permission to call myself 'indie' while I do it ;)!

Botanist said...

BTW...I just sent you the Kreativ Blogger award over on my blog. You deserve it.

unikorna said...

Congrats on the Creative award Katie, you have a very joyful place here not to mention intellectually stimulating :).

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