Why Your Favorite Indie Books Need You, by Diane Gilleland

Diane Gilleland writes about crafting, business, the internet, and other splendidly geeky things at CraftyPod.com. She’s also been known to publish an indie book or two herself, and today she’s written a guest post for Cooperative Press on a topic dear to our hearts…

Why Your Favorite Indie Books Need You

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: publishing is changing mightily.

On the one hand, this state of affairs is creating a whole new breed of indie publisher – and this is amazing. Cooperative Press is a stellar example – books by a professional crafter, written for professional crafters. And others are doing similar work all over the craft community.

It’s a great time for indie publishers, and it’s a time of evolution for book-buyers. If you buy indie books, this moment in publishing means two things for you:

A) Increased Choice

Yippee! You are no longer at the mercy of the publishing establishment to choose what’s good for you. You’re living in a long-tail world. If there’s a craft book you think should exist, there’s a pretty good chance that a fellow crafter is making it. Or, that you could make it yourself.

Imagine the potential for creative learning and growth here! It makes people like me wave our arms about and spout superlatives.

B) Increased Responsibility

Wait — what? How does buying independently-published books translate to something as un-sexy as responsibility?

Ah, stay with me a moment. Back in the old days of publishing, most of us got our information about new books from a handful of sources: magazine and newspaper reviews. Print advertising. Best-seller lists.

This meant that it was simpler for publishers to promote books, and that all publishing needed you to do was buy stuff.

Well, magazines and newspapers are now in trouble. Print advertising has never been less effective. And these days, we book-buyers get our information from an incredibly diffuse network of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, other book-review websites, and recommendations from friends.

So, your new responsibility? If you like an indie book, help the author out. Spread the word!

If you have a blog, by all means, post a review. (Many authors will gladly donate a giveaway copy for your readers, so why not ask?) If you’re on Twitter, tweet about it. If you’re on Facebook, tell your friends about it. If the book is available on Amazon, post your review there.

In other words, if you like a new book, play a more active part in its success.

But I don’t have that many readers/followers/friends!

In the online space, that doesn’t matter! If your blog has only a handful of readers, but they all like you, then your enthusiastic recommendation is meaningful to them. And a handful of meaningful word-of-mouth endorsements frankly trumps a mainstream, mostly-ignored ad campaign these days.

As a book-buyer, you are now a vitally important part of keeping indie publishing alive and growing. So don’t just buy — recommend! Review! Share!

A gentle reminder from CP:

The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design‘s blog tour details are here.

5 thoughts on “Why Your Favorite Indie Books Need You, by Diane Gilleland

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