Oh, No! Not Another Indie Publisher!
6 Jun 2006, 1:58:26 am
"We publish what the Big Boys won't."
. . . . . . . . .
"We discover unknown works/authors."
"We began publishing out of our passion for books."
You've heard it before.
"We've learned from the mistakes of big publishing houses."
"We're readers first, only offering what's good enough to be in print."
"We're dedicated to our readers/authors/retailers."
The truth is, indie publishers have to be this and more, if we have even a hope of surviving.
We (and I mean all publishers) do have to run our businesses with passion. We have to watch the bottom line too, or it isn't a business. (Unless you have unlimited wealth, it has to turn a profit at some point, or is just won't survive.) But without the passion, a publisher, any business really, becomes a soulless entity of mediocrity. And books, of all products, should never be soulless.
But why be 'just another indie press'?
You might just well ask why open a small independent bookstore? Or any chainless retail outlet, mom & pop coffee shop, boutique, bar, zine or local alternative media, for that matter...
Because there are voices that must be heard; voices, styles, and opinions beyond the best sellers list. Like handmade pottery, wearable textile art or good home cookin' that you just can't find at TGI Fridays, there's something to be said about meeting the needs of the not-so-average-Joe. Nothing against best sellers (for like popular music, they get their numbers from pleasing masses), but what about the folks who lie on the fringes, or just like to take a walk to the outskirts now and then?
Just as your favorite local bar offers an ambiance, attitude, beer, jukebox selection or some personally favored company which makes it your favorite wateringhole, or at least a welcome change from the same-old-same-old after workplace happy hour, so your independent publisher wets your intellectual whistle.
And what about the not-yet-discovered-but-soon-to-be-speaking-for-us-all voices? Some works, some authors, do have universal appeal and become wildly popular. Like those favorite local places that are discovered by tourists, soon the best kept secret it out.
Indie publishers offer you something different than the Big Boy Publishers do:
We publish what the Big Boys won't. We take risks.
We discover unknown works/authors. We sometimes take the leftovers. (Hey, next day meatloaf is the best!)
We began publishing out of our passion for books. Even if our selections are skewed to our own personal tastes.
We've learned from the mistakes of big publishing houses. Not only are our offerings unique, but so are our operating models.
We're readers first, only offering what's good enough to be in print. As long as the work fits our ambiance and attitude, of course.
We're dedicated to our readers/authors/retailers. We balance our own tastes with a concerted effort to be loyal to -- and build relationships with -- consumers.
So yes, I think the world needs another -- and another and another -- indie publisher.
Because I don't want to read only the works of Mary Higgins Clark & James Patterson any more than I want to live on a steady diet of McDonald's.