I like to watch what's happening like an eagle, perched above the indie landscape, watching authors and readers stroll past, observing patterns and collecting data. But there are some things an eagle sees that cannot be documented, but rather, known, like a natural instinct.
One of my instincts is telling me that this indie publishing thing is going to grow stronger. And one of the patterns that gives me that impression is the increase in success that I am seeing by the "lesser published" as the trad publishers see us… like plebeians in Rome.
Looking at the current Amazon TOP 100 in the paid (5-4-12), there are many indie authors who are living the dream.
#11. On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves. Tracey is self-published and this is her first book. At the #8 position she is selling hundreds of copies a day, if not thousands.
#31. Bad Doctor by John Locke. I think you all know who he is and what he's about.
#63. The Plan by Bernard Jacobs. This is Bernard's first fiction.
#84 Turn to Me by Tiffany Snow. Tiffany is selling many books.
There have been other successful indie title like Cheryl Kaye Tardiff's Children of The Fog, Scott Nicholson's Fear Series, Hunter by Robert Bidinotto, Brain Rush, Big Lake, Reunion, and on, and on, and on. It seems that 2011 was definitely the year of the indie author and I think 2012 will be as well.
But there is more to publishing success than hitting Amazon's Top 100. There are other opportunities.
Some authors like James J. Kaufman, author of the Amazon bestseller, The Collectibles, has not only sold nearly 100,000 copies on Amazon, but it has also garnered the attention of Barnes and Noble. They are now ordering boxes of his book at a time, and he is receiving many speaking engagements as a result of his success.
Indie authors like Scott Nicholson, and Lia Fairchild have been picked up by Amazon's Encore imprint. There are others who have been sought after by publishers and agents alike. Some authors like Melissa Foster have had their books optioned for movie deals.
So if you are new to indie publishing, or considering joining the troops, know this; although nothing is certain or guaranteed, indie publishing may become the means to the end, rather than a detour in your writing career. This is where the action is. Indie authorship is where you create your platform…yes that dreaded word that you tired so easily of when writing all of those queries. This is where you prove your salt, earn your stripes, and find your audience.
The lack of these publishing "badges" is probably what kept many of us from getting deals before indie was popular. Funny how independence brings out the best in us!
As an indie author, I would like to maintain my independence and sell over seas, snag an agent, or publish in multiple languages. These are all possible and happening to independent authors every day. And with a little luck, and plenty of hard work, who knows what doors will open next. So I nest up here in the pines, watching, calling, eying my prey. And the more I see readers scurrying below, collecting their books on the cheap, I am beginning to think anything is possible for indie authors like you and I.
Jeff Bennington is the best-selling author of Reunion, Twisted Vengeance, and The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe. If you'd like to hire me, see my Author Services Page.