My top ten reasons to indie-publish ebooks: #10 and #9

Reason #10. I’m forced to learn new skills.

This is not a bad thing for a woman in her fifties. I’m not a complete stranger to html, but widgets and plugins? Or Twitter? Or simply blogging? Oh my. With the possible exception of now juggling multiple Facebook accounts, managing this web site is the most consistently confounding task I face as an indie author, and I can’t help fearing that some really bored hacker could hijack it all with a flick of a finger. It’s fun in the meantime, though.

Reason #9. Traditional publishing owes me nothing … and vice versa.

My husband has a steady job as a state employee, but that’s a modest living, and I’ve earned nothing but a freelance or adjunct salary for the last eleven years since the last publishing division I worked in was shut down and sold off in pieces by its corporate owner. Today I mostly buy books out of thrift stores, and occasionally Amazon because it’s cheap. More than anything else, I borrow them from the library (and I’m a library trustee, so I walk the walk on that one).

M.J. Rose and other authors can tell me I should always buy other writers’ books, and, yes, I’m sure it’s good karma. However, they don’t have to pay my mortgage, or buy the gas to get there, or find a way to store or somehow redistribute all those physical books. Yes, I do buy books full retail occasionally. It’s either a gift or a rare splurge or the writer is standing right there to be offended if I don’t.

I do feel some loyalty to bookstores, but that’s more nostalgia than anything else. That’s even though I owe a debt of gratitude to the Borders across the river, now shut, and to the Barnes and Noble now, for housing my writing group. I always do buy something, but I’m afraid it’s usually just a latte.

Still, the fundamental truth is that bookstores, like traditional publishers, are businesses … as this is. I’d like to think there’s room for all of us.


(To be continued)