Let me ask you a question: what kind of books do you read?
Are they digital ebooks or printed paperbacks? Hardbacks? Okay, that was easy. Now, do you know how they were published? Are they traditional or indie?
It’s okay if you don’t know. Most people don’t notice such things.
I am asking because it’s extremely important to not just read the traditionally published books, but also the hidden gems – the indie books. I know they can have a bad reputation sometimes, but pay no mind to that. You might be surprised by the incredible depth and professionalism of many indie authors out there. Trust me, I know some of them.
Now let me tell you why you might want to start reading indie books.
- Unique Voices: Indie authors often write about topics and themes that may not be popular in mainstream publishing. This allows for unique voices and perspectives to be represented in literature. For example, as a fan of taboo romance, I am very happy that indie books exist. Otherwise, I would not have been able to read one of my favorite sub-genres. Taboo things have always been present in literature, but they are censored more heavily today than they had been in the past. On the other hand, the more books get banned, the more indie authors fill the gap, to tip the scales back in balance. Literature and art should be pure and it should reflect life. If something is censored, then it’s not real. With all due respect, I’m not talking about the genre of fantasy here, I am talking about the ugly things of life and how we need to be able to face them on the page. If we can’t, then we have failed as free-thinking human beings.
- Diverse Representation: Indie authors also tend to represent a more diverse range of experiences and identities, including those of marginalized communities, that may not be as widely represented in traditional publishing. For example, how many books have you read that have asexual or non-binary main characters in them? I can count them on one hand, and they are all indie books. If you can’t find your own experience in mainstream books or you want to learn more about something, then turn to indie books. They don’t hold anything back, which can’t really be said for traditionally published books, unfortunately.
- Support for Independent Artists: By reading indie books, you are supporting independent artists and writers who may not have the resources or opportunities to publish through traditional publishing channels. We at Read2Write believe that every author deserves to have their stories read. It doesn’t matter how you published your books or how big your platform is. We want to give a voice to even the smallest new authors coming up on the scene. Please help us do that by picking up an indie book.
- Quality Literature: Indie books may not have the same level of marketing and exposure as traditionally published books, but that doesn’t mean they lack quality. Many indie authors produce high-quality literature that rivals that of traditionally published book. Many indie authors pride themselves on pulling all the stops when they self-publish, which shows in the final work. So before you believe anyone who says that indie books are lesser than traditionally published ones, try to read some yourself first.
- New Discoveries: Reading indie books can lead you to new discoveries and help you find hidden gems that you may not have found otherwise. It’s a great way to expand your literary horizons and discover new and exciting authors. When I started reading gay romance, I never imagined I would find such amazingly talented authors, like Roe Horvat and Cara Dee. Every genre has its own superstars and those two are it for me. Go ahead and explore your own favorite genre’s indie books. You never know what treasures lie out of sight!
Now that I’ve told you why you might want to consider reading indie books, what next? Where do you find these indie books? It’s not like there’s a special place for them… is there?
Yes, there is. There are local indie bookstores, as well as websites where the books are predominantly indie books. For example, you can find a lot of indie books on Bookbub, the biggest book discount site online. There are often free books on there as well. Finally, if you really want to get immersed in the indie community, you can seek out special places like indie communities online and so on.
The world of indie books is waiting, and it is a beautiful, wondrous place.
To give you some examples of great indie books we have reviewed on this site: SurReality by Matt Doyle, Mio by Lysander Arden, Haze by Rebecca Crunden, Fall by Maxime Jazz, Fear and Fury by Jamie Jackson, and many more. Happy reading!
P.S. If you’re an indie author, contact us. We’d love to work with you.