Guest post by indie Jack Wallen from right here in my hometown. Enjoy!
Or why I decided to be an indie author
Notice I do not say “Or why I decided to self publish”. Why is that? Because “self publishing” carries along with it a stigma that implies a lesser product. That is not the case with “indie author”, because we are many, we are mighty, and our “products” are outstanding.
That being said…let me bend your ear a bit about the choice to go “indie”.
When I started writing, over two decades ago, I had no idea what I was really doing. Mostly I was writing stage plays that would wind up getting some production. But mostly my writing was serving a very simple purpose – cheap therapy for yours truly. But eventually the writing would take over and I would come to realize the words not only held a powerful sway over me, but others as well. People would “accidentally” read some of my work and beg for more. Short stories started turning into much longer stories and eventually books that would never see the light of day.
Those were the early days where writing a story with a meandering plot and dimension-less characters was okay so long as the emotional connection and conviction was there. And it was – oh how it was. Even though there was much missing in those earlier works, they served as a powerful outlet for the creative monster that lived inside of me. That creative monster would eventually dictate the only path for me that held any sort of truth…indie publishing.
I am not a control freak. Far from it actually. I know the only thing I can control is my reaction to an external stimulus. Outside of that I fully understand we are all just swimming in the chaotic pool of entropy known as life. However….
Thanks to my going the indie route, there is one thing that I can control and that is who has the last say in my work…me. To the core, I am an artist. I love to create. Creativity is the main course in my soul’s daily meal and if I neglect to feed that beast, it gets rather irritable. But still, that doesn’t fully answer the question – or does it?
Being an indie author gives me license to:
- Mingle genres.
- Break rules generally not broken.
- Create my own covers.
- Freely market my books.
- Use my content in ways that might not be allowed otherwise.
- Draw outside the lines.
- Make my own deadlines.
I like those options. But most of all, I like that those options allow me to flex my creative muscles in ways traditional publishing would never allow. How can any creative type pass that up? But that’s not all…
When I was an actor I saw the writing on the wall early on. The economy of the country was about to drop the hammer on the arts, which would, in turn, negatively affect small theatres across the land. So, before I wound up becoming a statistic in the dying of the arts, I decided to call it a career. I think a similar death knell is being sounded for traditional publishing. Not that I think, in any way, traditional publishing will go away. It won’t. The consuming public still likes their hard back and paper back books. But traditional publishing, as we know it now, is on the outs. The model is broken and must be fixed. What that fix is, I do not know. I strongly believe traditional publishers are somewhat lost as to what to do. The indie author picked up a baton in the book marathon and bolted out of the gate like Usain Bolt chasing after yet another record. Those of us fortunate to jump into the race early won’t have to worry about playing catch up or learning the rules…because we are making the rules and that, my dear, feels really good.
We, indie authors, have assumed control and that is a powerful feeling. My creative monster is thrilled by my choice of being an indie author…and so am I. Because of this I now have the following published works:
I Zombie I
A Blade Away
Soon, the following titles will be added to the mix:
- Shero (super hero satire) Late July, 2011
- My Zombie My (second in the “I Zombie” trilogy) August 4, 2011.
- Die Zombie Die (third in the “I Zombie” trilogy) Late October, 2011.
- Endgame (working title) Late fall 2011.
I also plan on creating a new post-apocalyptic series, based on the “I Zombie” trilogy, which will hopefully see the light of publication early 2012.
For more information on me and/or how to contact me, take a look at these sites:
- Get Jack’d: http://www.monkeypantz.net
- Twitter: jlwallen
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jlwallen