Let’s face it. You turn round and say you’re a writer and people’s faces perk up. It’s a cool thing to be. Then you tell them you’re a self-published author. The perkiness goes right out of their skin and bone. They might even smirk or fall into their porridge.
You know the reason why.
I wrote something…no one liked it…I self-published…it’s shite.
And let’s face it, most self-published stuff is unpolished shite. You may be sitting there, feeling proud of your latest work on Smashwords or Kindle but the truth of the matter is that it’s probably a little bit shit, if not a big piece of shit.
The point I’m trying to make is that saying you’re self-published is like telling people you’ve got leprosy…they ain’t going to shake your hand and say well done. And they sure as hell ain’t going to smile.
Let’s go INDIE
Having thought about this over a couple of scotches for all of five minutes, I guess I’ve come up with the master plan. And here it is, hold onto your pantyhose Louise:
You will no longer be a self-published author, you will become an indie, an independent, someone who flicks the V’s in the face of convention and says: I did it my way! Indie sounds edgy, it sounds progressive, it sounds…fuck me, dangerous.
So the next time someone asks, you’re not a self-publisher (think how close that is to self-abuser), you’re an indie author.
How to fake it as an INDIE
You can run solo and tell people you’re an Indie, but sure as hell they’re not really going to believe you. A solo Indie is about as plausible as a ten tonne dolphin wearing mother’s lingerie.
That’s why Indies have to get together in groups. Indies work better in a pack. What you need to do is get together with your writing friends, the ones you want to form an Indie Alliance with, and set up your own label – like record companies ( yes like them).
Call yourselves the Son’s of Darkness or some other absurd name, get yourselves a website and pretend you’re something important. But above all, pretend you’re a collective of like minded individuals, creating something for the greater good.
- Post as a group, become a group, become a force of nature.
- Steam roller the world into submission with your aggressive indie-ness.
- You are the one and only true sons/daughters of the revolution.
You are an Indie, using the latest technology to bring your bright, cutting words to the generally unsuspecting general public. You are born again into a world of idolatrous idiots, who will bow down before you and worship you at the altar of Indie-Word-Writing-Kinda-Thingy.
Okay, so the scotch is beginning to wear off a little.
A word to the INDIE wise
Sounds a good idea,huh? Rebrand yourself? Become an Indie and not a dumb self-publisher? Sounds sweet as cherry pie, boy, and twice as thick.
But ask yourself this question: Who’s going to be an Indie with yah? Huh? Huh!!!
Let’s assume that you know you’re quite good…at least you suspect it, even if you’re not arrogant enough to admit it to the world. INDIE sounds good to you. It sounds like it was meant for you and you want to set up this little Indie group that’s going to wow the face off the writing world.
You have a vision…now you just need some fellow scribes to populate it. You put out a call, INDIE calling! INDIE calling!
And every man. woman and homicidal mouse from here to Denver wants a slice of that cream pie. If you’re serious about being branded as INDIE, then you’re going to have to be serious about who you let into your Indie group.
And that’s where it starts getting complicated. And pretty nasty.
One thing bright writers are not short of is EGO. It’s what keeps them going. If you are a pretty good writer then you have that in abundance. Get a load of writers together and what do you have…
A pretty boring party admittedly. Until they get drunk enough to have a fight. Or start revealing all those dark and terrible things that made them want to write in the first place.
The point I’m making is that you can call yourself Indie and brand yourself that way, but you’ll have to make big choices in who you associate with and that may not be a good thing for you. It’s chock full of hidden dangers. What if the group you form gets taken over by another, more forceful writer? What if you’re not good enough to be in the group you, yourself, created? What if you have to tell friends they can’t be in this clique?
Well that’s the thing about being Indie. There’s a lot of fighting to be done. Still, you do have another choice. You could always wait until everyone starts calling themselves an Indie and then start calling yourself a self-publisher or you could pimp your ride and get a couple of shot guns and a few grenades and just go out there in the world and be a real renegade and blow the fuck out the nearest McDonald’s.
The choice, as always, is yours.
Become a real cult
The next step on from Indie is to become a cult and to have a cult following. Cult followings are generally a group considered risqué or beyond the boundaries that people who have no right believing in a cult (such as middle class accountants and estate agents) tell their friends about in order to appear interesting.
Now the main point about this is that people start talking about you.
Cult status doesn’t last long but it will make you feel good. Because the next stop on is fame and fortune. Because people go: Oh look he/she has cult status, he/she must have something to say.
And there you go, Bob’s your Uncle and Fanny’s your Aunt. You have fame at last!
And that’s where all the misery begins…