Department stores are to traditionally published authors as independent bookstores are to indie authors.
We are the small businesses of the writing world. Unlike authors who have published through traditional means, we are often the editors, marketers, formatters, and creative directors of our work. Our publishing house consists of one person. This means every success and failure falls on our shoulders, but it also means so does every cost. Our resources are our own, and especially in the beginning when we do not have many books or readers (remember book two always sells book one), most of our expenses come out of our pockets. We pay for the cover artists, the editors, the box of books we lug to conferences and author events. It can be a hard road, especially when we don’t tend to get shelf space at your local Barnes and Noble or Waterstones. Just remember that for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, you are buying something someone worked on numerous hours to perfect.
I read a lot of traditionally published works, most people do, but indie authors are no longer those who were not good enough to get a traditional contract. Many indie authors have chosen to be independent to maintain creative control and to set their own pace (some publish books over a year apart, other turn them out every few months). When you invest in an indie author, you are reaffirming that we are talented writers, that we are doing the right thing.
There is no middle man for an indie author. We don’t have a publishing house take a chunk out of our royalties and leave us with pennies per dollar. I make 70% of my ebook royalties. Amazon acts as my distributor and takes the other 30%, but I make the majority of what you pay for my book. The same with my paperback (not as much because a portion is taken out to print the actual book), but indies make more per paperback or ebook than traditional authors. Many authors live off their book sales, so if you like to support independent stores, I hope you’ll take a look around Amazon and invest in some lesser known authors. Some I would suggest are: