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You Say It Like It's a Bad Thing

I’m not a person who likes labels. I use them at times. I just don’t like them. So, I’m wondering when the word “independent” turned into a bad thing. The dictionary says the word means true or liberated, so why do so many book review sites refuse to give books by independent authors a read?

Before you go any further, in case you don’t know, I write books involving women who love women—also known as lesbian fiction. So, not only am I an independent writer, I also write in a genre shunned by many reviewers. I understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I get that, but broadening one’s horizon is just that—isn’t it? And as if that wasn’t enough, to add insult to injury, heaven forbid you only write eBooks. (That’s me, at least for now.)

Now, I know that there are many who want to hold a book in their hand. I own books. Real books with real pages and glossy jackets crinkled and ripped—who doesn’t, but times they are a-changing. People can now carry a library in their briefcase, backpack or handbag. They don’t have to squint if the writing is too small or run to the neighborhood pharmacy for a pair of cheaters, all they have to do is to adjust the display. That’s not a bad thing, and neither is being an independent author.

The other day I read a very interesting and entertaining article in the Wall Street Journal about Hugh Howey, author of Wool. He has sold a half-million eBooks, signed a movie deal, and now has a “print-rights-only” contract with Simon & Schuster...and he did it his way. He’s independent in the truest sense of the word. I won’t go into details, but Mr. Howey stuck to his guns. He didn’t give in. He didn’t crumble at the feet of publishing houses with decades of experience. He stood up. He said no. He’s a millionaire. Wow.

Of course, he didn’t write lesbian fiction...but I do. :)

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