Why Read Indie Books: 5 Ways You Win

By: David Maxwell | April 6, 2018

Don’t write for the market, write for your readers. It’s not about writing a best-seller, it’s about sharing something that can touch hearts and shift minds.” – Bryana Beecham, Indie Author

A prevailing misconception among readers is that traditionally published books are inherently better reads than indie books (those by self-published authors). This erroneous perception may in large part be due to the mass influx of indie books published in recent years. The general consensus seems to be that many of those books should never have hit the virtual shelves, but the same can be said for many traditionally published books.

Here are five ways you win by looking past the fallacious negative stereotypes surrounding self-published authors and mix some indie books into your reading list.

1. Share in the discovery. Playing a part in, or sharing the experience of, the discovery of new talent evokes an array of rewarding emotions. Think of all the reality shows that take advantage of this concept – America’s Got Talent, American Idol, The Voice, and many others. Their popularity centers around our sharing in someone’s rise to stardom and immersing ourselves in their experience.

Exposing yourself to indie authors can have the same effect. The Martian by Andy Weir, Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown, Eragon by Christopher Paolini, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, all of which became blockbuster movies, were self-published books. Incredible opportunity awaits for you to join indie authors on their journeys to success.

2. Experience raw authenticity. Remember those wonderful stories your mother or grandfather shared with you as a child? Their struggles, achievements and ruminations were shared without filter or constraint and are likely a cherished part of your memory. Likewise, indie authors write without restriction. Their stories are not limited by the obligations or influences of a publishing house. There is no pressure to conform to what someone else sees as the norm. This creates a raw authenticity in their storytelling, their vision unabridged.

3. Broaden your exposure. Limiting yourself to traditionally published books is like never listening to a local band or never exposing yourself to local art. Many of the painters who market their works in the Piazza Navona of Rome are featured in no gallery, but their artistry is stunning and uniquely special. Reading indie books would broaden your exposure to the written word just as a stroll through the Piazza Navona would broaden your exposure to art.

4. Make a real difference. Helping someone to achieve their dreams is an intrinsically rewarding endeavor; and, with respect to indie authors, you can do just that. A traditionally published book’s success is largely dependent upon the budget and advertising campaign its publisher provides. Indie authors typically cannot afford an extravagant digital billboard in Times Square or eye-catching adverts in popular magazines. Rather, they most often rely on the interest, word of mouth, and social media sharing of their readers.

By purchasing an indie book (even if it is free), you directly increase the author’s chances of joining the ranks of best-sellers. For example, an indie book that breaks into Amazon’s Top 100 gains huge momentum in exposure and interest. Those select few indie books that are able to hold #1 in Amazon top sellers for their genre are likely to attract the interest of both traditional publishers and filmmakers. So, simply by buying an indie book and recommending it to your friends, you can have a monumental impact on making that author’s dreams come true while exposing yourself to something truly special. If you enjoy the book and take the time to leave a thoughtful review, or share your opinion on social media, then you really have made a difference.

5. Reduce your reading budget. A traditionally published ebook may cost $7.99 or more; whereas, self-published books are often priced at $2.99 or less. In fact, many fantastic indie reads are just 99 cents. If you keep an eye out for special promotions, you may even get them for free. So, besides being a way to discover something new and wonderful, mixing indie books into your personal library even makes good financial sense.


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