5 Things You Should Never Say to an Indie Author

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This post re-blogged from Sarahbeth Caplin, author.

This post can apply to a variety of people, not just authors. Some of it also applies to traditionally-published authors. Bottom line: ignorance of the publishing industry is a daily reality that drives us crazy at best, and makes us wonder why we bother writing at worst.

5 things you should never say to an indie author:

When are you REALLY going to get published?

Somehow, despite the fact that my book is available on a number of online retail sellers – most notably, Amazon and Barnes & Noble – some people are still under the impression that no agent = not ‘really’ published. If someone’s books are available for purchase and they earn a royalty for each, guess what: that means it’s been published!

On that note…

How much do you make?

This is a rude question to ask anyone, period. If you mean to ask how much royalty I earn, the answer would be 70%. But as for my monthly earnings? Yearly? That’s none of your business.

How’s the writing hobby going?

Any allusion to writing as anything but a career, be it a hobby, a past-time, or something that’s ‘just for fun’ is offensive. It takes time for an author to build a solid platform and readership. We’re working our butts off to try and stand out among the thousands of other authors who churn out a new book every few weeks or so. According to one source, that comes to roughly 10,000 self-published books per year. You may think we’re crazy (and we probably are), but please respect our dedication to what we do.

Why don’t you just get an agent?

There’s no such thing as ‘just’ getting an agent; it’s a lot more complex than that. I haven’t ruled out the possibility of querying someday, but I’m enjoying being my own boss for the time being.

Why don’t you get a real job?

As previously mentioned, building a platform is one of the hardest parts about being a writer: in my opinion, it’s harder than writing the book itself. Very few people enjoy overnight success. Since I’m in this for the long haul, I expect it will take years before I can expect my books to pay the bills. But there’s nothing else in life I’d rather do, so I’m willing to accept disappointments and failures along the way to achieving my goals. There is no shortcut to anything worth doing.

But here are some things you can do to help your favorite indie authors…

helpanindie