About a week ago I was offered the distinct pleasure of posting one of my rants on the lovely Debra Martin’s site Two Ends of the Pen. Most of my rants I could care less about. I write them, I get whatever it is that is bugging me off of my chest and then I move on, but for some unknown reason this one just keeps coming back to me. So… I decided, what the hey, why not post it on KO as well, for those of you that missed it the first time. I am mouthy as always, so prepare yourselves, and as always… Happy Reading! – Misty
Every Box Has a Lid
A few months ago, (right in the middle of a heated argument about the complexities of Follett versus Creasey) I realized something. We are naive.
Our culture has groomed us to “like” certain things. We are fed the “New York Times” best-seller lists as if it was candy. “Here you go kids…Grade A, teeth rotting literary gold. Dig in!” We scour “Entertainment Weekly” in hopes of being led to cinematic greatness, watch reality TV with journals in our hands, feigning devastation if we fail to compile the latest trends in fashion, and spend $4.00 on a bottle of water, simply because we saw Brad Pitt carrying it, (while at the same time bitching about the cost of gas) We are an impressionable breed of creatures; are we not?
Now, I’m fully aware that what I’m saying to you is a tad hypocritical, that bashing my “own kind” (aka reviewers) is slightly unorthodox, hell… even frowned upon, but sometimes it’s important to cross lines, make waves, say “enough is enough.”
What am I talking about exactly? Indie books. (stop rolling your eyes!)
I am asked on a daily basis why I review indie books, and the answer is very simple. They are books. Yes… yes… I know what some of you are thinking. “What makes you think it’s going to be worth a damn?” And to that I say “What makes you think it’s not?”
When did the words “indie book” start meaning “piece of crap?” There are hundreds of thousands of you out there that don’t feel that way about the words “indie music” so why should you feel that way about a book? The fact of the matter is… we are no longer living in ’40’s where eBooks are a far fetch (if even thought of) idea. Life has changed, the way we operate on a daily basis has changed, so why shouldn’t our frame of mind change?
I have been reading (and reviewing) indie books for almost 2 years now. I have (at the same time) also been reading traditionally published books. Do you want to know what the difference is? Price.
That’s right… the only significant difference I can find between the two is the price I pay when purchasing it.
There are some shit indie books out there, (we all know this) but if we are being honest with ourselves, there are just as many traditionally published pieces of crap. As a matter of fact I just finished one that made me want to hurl it into a sink hole.
Who’s to say, that if Stephen King was offered the chance to self publish “Carrie” way back in the day, that he wouldn’t have jumped at the opportunity to do so? It’s important for us to remember that at one point, EVERY AUTHOR WAS AN INDIE AUTHOR, doing what thousands of others are doing right now… writing the “Next Great American Novel” in their sports equipment, laundry laden basements.
So I issue this challenge, from one avid book reader to another. Step outside of your comfort zone.
Am I insisting you trash on the Big 6 and never buy another book at Barns and Noble? Of course not… that’s completely ridiculous; what I AM asking, (however) is that you don’t lock yourself into societies man made bubble. Make up your OWN mind on what you deem worthy of your time, attention, and money. It is, after all, YOUR time, attention, and money.