When a traditionally published book launches, it has the advertising budget of a powerhouse behind it and it gets prominent placement in bookstores. It’s packaged by professionals, so even if the actual story isn’t that great, the book will sell.
Now, when an Indie book launches, there is no team of people behind it. Marketing budgets are almost non-existent. Great covers are expensive, so not all Indie books will have that perfect cover. And prominent shelf space (either virtual or physical)– is very hard to come by.
An indie book is a completely different animal than its corporate-backed counterpart, and needs to be treated as such. It relies on direct support from readers, instead of the passive support a Trad. pub’d book gets.
The bad news is that an Indie book won’t survive without a little help from it’s friends. The good news is that it’s way easier than you would think to do your part.
I found this great post by Wren Emerson, author of I Wish. She offers some easy, painless ways that you can show Indie Authors some love. One of her suggestions, “Write a review- Reviews are like currency for indie writers.” is so important and most people don’t realize it.
Indies rely on reviews, in some cases more than trad books. Wren is right, for us reviews are like currency. But they are also validation– letting other readers know that a book is worth their time and money. For the most part, we can’t even get featured on the more popular book sites (with high traffic) without a certain level of reviews (both in quantity and average rating). Book sites need assurances that a book isn’t crap, so I get it. And most readers don’t have any idea how important their review is to us, even if brief.
But that’s not all you can do. There are many more, painless, almost effortless things that you can do. See the list by popping on over to Wren’s List.