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Why you need to give indie authors a second chance.

My mom was a prolific artist. Paintings from her travels cover the walls of our family living rooms and dens. From landscapes of castles in Wales to shabby run down New England barns that dot the roadside along the way to my parent's summer home near the Lakes Region in NH. Both my sister and I are lucky enough to have stunning architectural studies of our houses that visitors compliment, wanting to know where they can get one of their own. When we moved to NC and I began hanging pictures, a small study of a wine glass my mom composed went up near my desk. It was an early piece she finished while apprenticing. If you put it next to anything she painted before her death you’d never realize it was the same artist. That’s the measure of growth within a few year’s time span. The indie book world is the same. Unlike traditionally published authors, we release several books annually. Our first endeavors are rough. They’re learning experiences, both in writing and marketing. As we add more titles to our repertoire, these become the easily discounted, hook titles that we hope to garner attention in a flooded market. While readers often see little value in the stories they are one-clicking for their Kindles or providing their e-mail to on Instafreebie, these early endeavors actually have it in abundance for one simple reason: They show a writer’s potential. Let’s take this from the opposite perspective. There’s a romantic suspense writer with a series I {insert heart emoji here} love. While following her on social media I saw a promotion for a different set of books she’d written. I can’t remember if it was free or 99 cents. However, because I knew her writing style there was no hesitation to download it. About half-way through the story, I switched screens on my iPad, looking for her Amazon author page. Sure enough, it was the she’d ever published. The foundation for dramatic sequences in her other, more popular series were there, but the descriptions, character development, chemistry, and plot nuances were not what I’d come to expect. This book was the equivalent of her wine glass painting. If I hadn’t known the possibilities of what would come after she honed her skills I would have, well, written her off. I get it. I’m a reader. Some books just aren’t for you. You only read historical fiction or novels with long haired tatted men on the cover. Maybe you aren’t a big reader to begin with and it’s the first book that you’ve picked up in years and the plot didn't do it for you. Perhaps, no matter how well the author writes characters with communication issues, you absolutely can’t stand leads that can’t get their act together. My own personal “no thanks” is 30-year-old virgins in contemporary romance. I read bad books by good authors. I read horrible books by best-selling authors. I read amazing books by struggling authors. I’ve become a sucker for particularly miserable books by well-marketed authors in order to analyze what they are doing to convince people to download again. Aside from the fact that I read a lot, I read many of the same names over and over again. Nearly every one of my go-to authors for entertainment started out on my e-reader as a complimentary story. I now give these authors the courtesy of searching out something on their list that’s interesting to me, buying it and—more often than not—being happy with my purchases. And occasionally I read with a glass of wine in my hand. If you opt to do that too, more power to you.

Happy Reading!

*originally published 07/10/2017

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