Friday, December 8, 2017

Revisiting The Indie Author Manifesto

As an indie author, you're participating in a global cultural movement that's turning the world of book publishing upside down.

Today on the Smart Author Podcast, I take a fresh look at the indie author movement by examining it within the context of the centuries-old struggle for free expression.

Back in 1450, the introduction of Gutenberg's printing press enabled mass production and communication of the written word. The printing press sparked enormous social, cultural and political upheaval as those in power sought to control free expression by controlling the printing press.

In this episode, I carry the story forward to the present day and explain how ebooks helped democratize book publishing by putting the printing press in the hands of all writers.  Ebooks empowered writers to reach readers without running the gauntlet of agent and publisher gatekeepers. 

I end the episode by reading and dissecting The Indie Author Manifesto, which I first wrote and published here on the Smashwords blog back in 2014.  Back then, The Indie Author Manifesto was my attempt to articulate and celebrate the ethos behind this emerging class of writer - the Indie Author.  It was fun to revisit the Indie Author Manifesto almost four years later.

When we look at the indie author movement through the lens of history, it's fascinating to consider how gatekeepers in various forms have come and gone over the centuries, yet the battle over free expression continues.

History shows that words have value, and whenever something has value there will be those who try to control that value in ways that aren't always aligned with your free expression.

Who are the new gatekeepers?  Maybe I'll tackle that question in a future episode. 


Here's where you can listen:

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YouTube (audio)



Smart Author hub page (Listen over your web browser)


Pamela Cummins said...

What an interesting podcast and I enjoyed the brief history publishing lesson. I was fortunate enough to visit the London Library to view their old books created by hand and Guttenberg typeset in glass showcases. On a side note off the topic – it was really awesome to see handwritten songs on napkins by the Beatles! I loved when you expressed that self-publishing is not all about the money for there is no greater satisfaction when an author makes a difference in their readers’ lives; however, earning money for our work feels good, too. I’m looking forward to the next six podcasts.

Unknown said...

With rights come responsibilities.

The “right” to publish is clearly stated. The “responsibility” for professional-level editing, proofreading, design, etc. is not so clearly stated. “Improve my craft” is about as close as it gets.

Indie publishing would be more highly respected if there was less crap in the market.

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