16 September 2012 - The Struggle of IndiePENdent Authors

Quote of the day:

"Ninety per cent of the art of living

is the ability to get along with people you don’t like."

The Struggle of

IndiePENdent Authors

G'day guys,

Today I present an issue that has been close to my mind and soul for some time - Independent Authors, often called 'Indies'. I guess, when many of you enter a book shop, you take for granted that all that is available will be there for you, or at least be obtainable. Wrong! More than ever, writers are self-publishing, probably out of frustration. However, sadly, the main players - book shops, distributors, publishers and book contests dislike self-published authors. Sure, they will give you reasons that will sound logical, but logic is a bit like common sense - not all that common. I am in the process of writing a double-blog about Australian book awards. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are some details about the efforts made by two people who have been fighting the good cause for and on behalf of independent authors like me - Jasha Levi and Julia Petrakis. I have been in contact with them for some time and I support their efforts. Why, because you, the general public, teachers, librarians, parents and grandparents, deserve to choose the best books that are available - not just the books that are allowed to slip through the 'publishing gate-keepers' hands. You are not! Here is what Julia and Jasha recently wrote to the New York Times.


With an increasing frequency lately, The New York Times has been printing  articles dealing with the technology, economics and marketing of self published books. The latest was about the newly sprung shady business of "review mills." Literature is being treated as a commodity and it will continue to be until independent authors accept that it is in their common interest to speak with a common voice and, as an Australian member of the organization suggested, "go on strike". They should start to speak as individuals to their radio stations and to their local press against marketplace pressures which keep their work in fact discriminated against, censored and hidden from the public. The writers are not marketers; and the readers are not sheep who can't be trusted to make a choice of books for themselves. As founders of The indiePENdents.org, Julia Petrakis and I have sent the paper the following op-ed article which they have not acknowledged nor printed.

Readers aren’t given the choice


"As your Sunday, August 26 article, "The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy" describes, some self-published authors are purchasing literary reviews as if they were car dealers purchasing advertising for Summer Clearance Events.  Forced to become marketers of their own work, their books now treated not as literature but as commodities, many authors have resorted to asking other authors to write favorable reviews on Amazon or to “like” them on Facebook or even, according to the article, to paying as much as $499 for 20 reviews, $999 for 50 reviews.

In today's literary world, independent authors are denied access to the market of ideas simply because libraries and bookstores will not display and sell books that are not produced by “legitimate” publishers. These publishing houses have shrunk from being talent scouts and have been absorbed into multinational conglomerates.  Shy of introducing unproven new authors, they opt for celebrity writers and proven moneymakers, such as respectable porn like 50 Shades of Grey.Independent authors, finding the gates to mainstream publishing closed to them, are now enabled by technology to readily self publish, resulting in a flood of titles in print and an equal number of writers seeking ways to make readers aware of their existence. However, the playing field isn’t simply uneven; it is closed to these writers and to their potential readers, who are not given the opportunity to choose for themselves which books to buy.

This is why the two of us, separated by 2914 miles on opposite sides of the country but close by in cyber-discussions among lovers of literature, decided last December to start The indiePENdents.org in order to stop the ostracizing of self-published authors and to help gain recognition for them and their work. We formed a Working Group of members that developed standards of good writing by which we now offer to review, for free, self-published books submitted to our panels of volunteer reviewers. Those titles that meet the standards receive an award of the indiePENdents Seal of Good Writing, which can then be displayed on the titles. We have already awarded half a dozen Seals and have at least two dozen texts in the pipeline. Our goal is to assure booksellers and libraries that the titles with our Seal are grammatically and structurally worthy of being put out for the public to read and to decide how they rate.

The current publishing business model is in turmoil. New talent is hidden from readers. We hope that soon authors will no longer have to resort to ruses to offer their works to public scrutiny, and that the readers will finally be given the chance to make a real, not a discriminatory, censored  choice which books to buy.  In the tidal flood of self published titles, there must be some written by a future James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, or even Beatrix Potter, all self-published authors before they were discovered as worthy of a place in American literature and on the shelves of our neighborhood bookstores."

Original link: http://krpara.blogspot.com.au/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=22&goback=.gde_4417187_member_158584456

indiePENdents.org website: http://www.indiependents.org/

Clancy's comment: I wonder who that Australian was who said, 'Go on strike'? Go Julia! Go, Jasha! Love ya work! - CT

I'm Clancy Tucker


Jasha Levi - still pushing the boundaries at 91!

McGrath Foundation Appeal:

Clancy Tucker - Victoria x 1 paperback

Jasha Levi  - NJ, USA - x 3 eBooks

Kim Stedman - Western Australia x 1 paperback

Kathleen O'Dwyer - Western Australia x 1 paperback

Peter Frederick - Victoria x 1 paperback

Sylvia Massara - Sydney - 5 sets of 4 novels

Errol Broome - Victoria x 4 books

Cindy C Bennett - Salt Lake City, USA - multiple eBooks

M. C. V. Egan - USA - multiple eBooks

Penny Garnsworthy - Tasmania - 1 x paperback.