I have just finished publishing my third novel, "Bloodlines: Brenda's Revenge". This is my third novel as an Indie author in the last 12 months, and I would still call myself a 'newbie' when it comes to being an Indie.
First off, I would like to say that I write because I enjoy writing, and I also enjoy bringing pleasure to others through my stories. I never thought I would sell more than a few books, if I managed to sell any at all. However, I have been lucky enough to have had enough success with my first two novels that I wrote a third in the series, albeit after receiving dozens of requests from my readers to do so.
Sitting down and writing a novel is hard work. Don't get me wrong, I love to write, but when you plan to publish your work for the world to see, it is vastly different from just sitting down and writing for yourself.
My first novel was far from perfect. It had layout issues, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. All of these issues were eventually corrected and for my second novel, a lot of the problems disappeared. It still was not perfect, but it was better. As I found errors in my published work, or if other people brought them to my attention, I made the necessary corrections. Still, it bothered me that the error had gotten past me and my beta readers in the first place.
For my third novel, I spent an inordinate amount of time making changes, ensuring that the grammar was correct (except where it was intentionally incorrect, such as in certain dialogue between characters) and checking spelling and layout umpteen times over. I ran the story through several different grammar and spelling programs (which, by the way, are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination) and finally I was ready to publish. I am sure that there will still be a few mistakes - I am not perfect - but hopefully none so glaring that it sends the Grammar Police my way.
I previously wrote about constructive feedback and maliscious feedback. Constructive feedback most Indie authors welcome, but there are some people out there - in cyber space - who take some sort of demented pleasure from being nasty and trying to derail another human being. This is not unique to the world of the author; you can find these trolls everywhere - at work, on social media, in school, at social gatherings, and even within your own family. These people are toxic and feed on negativity. One has to simply learn to ignore these toxic trolls and push on.
The Amazon Kindle author board has a lot of discussions about these issues and one can take solice in knowing that errors and criticizm happens to everyone, whether a new author or a seasoned author. Indie or professional, we all make mistakes, and not everyone will like our writing. This is true with all art forms: music, dance, acting, painting - you can't please all the people all the time!
What one must remember about a good indie author, one who writes because they love writing, and love telling stories, is that they are bringing a gift to the world. It wasn't long ago that readers could only read books that were approved by large publishing houses. We could only read opinions that were authorized by newspapers. We could only watch and listen to TV news topics from the TV networks. We only heard the music that radio stations played.We were told what to read, what to watch, what to listen to and how to think.
Things have now changed, courtesy of people willing to shake up society, sometimes for the better, other times not, but it has given us many more choices. We can now listen to music that is not recorded on a major label. We can watch webcasts of news and opinions we would not have seen. We can listen to opinions on podcasts. We can read works from authors who otherwise would never have shared their stories.
Being an Indie, whether author, musician, artists, actor or singer means we, the little people, the previously unheard masses, now have a platform. We can use this platform to entertain, inform and change the world.
Indie authors, myself included, are bringing our stories to the world. People may like our stories, or they may not, but at least readers now have a choice. We may not be perfect, and our work may not be as polished, but wouldn't you rather read something with a few errors than never have the chance to have read it at all?