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Old 12-15-2011, 01:19 PM   #1
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Established vs. Indie author

Have to admit that I am sort of conservative in my book purchases. I almost entirely buy established authors, but in order to find something less expensive for my Kindle, I have also purchased a couple of independently published authors. However, I have been kind of dismayed at what I bought. Even though an establshed authors book is twice as expensive I tend to think that they are worth that premium pricing. However, since I've only experienced a limited variety of indie authors that judgement is obviously based on a too narrow a selection.

Thus, I was hoping that those of you who are more attuned to what is availabe from indie authors might be able to recommend some "equivalents".
Soo, who would the indie equivalent of Stephen King be? Or John Grisham, Brad Thor, Vince Flynn or Dave Barry? Feel free to present your own pairings, an establshied vs an indie (or more).

Who would you select if you didn't want to pay for a Maryann Keyes, or Sophie Kinsella?
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:36 PM   #2
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Instead of established versus indie, instead look for well rated versus not well rated by reviewers. With a little work, you can find reviewers of indie books at major sellers or at goodreads whose tastes within a genre mirrors yours.

Let them do the drudge work of separating the wheat from the chaf.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:02 PM   #3
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What I'm looking for these days is not a distinction between "established" (by which I'm guessing you mean traditionally published) and "indie" (which commonly means couldn't get a real book contract). I mean, I'm generally confident that Stephen King is going to give me a decent read and I'm willing to pay a premium for a book of his over an unknown. But I'd be willing to pay that whether he stays with his NYC publisher or whether to becomes and Indie author. It is not the method of publishing that makes an author "established" to me, it's his/her track record. At the same time, I'm starting to develop a small but solid list of Indie authors who are becoming quite "established" in my mind for producing quality reads at fair prices.

What I really need is reliable gatekeepers. And let's be honest here, the publishers do this function to an extent but they also publish large amounts of trash that aren't worth my money. They are not above disappointing me with bad books, and when they do it at agency pricing it stings much more than a $1.99 indie. I don't see that the publishers own the gate-keeping business lock, stock and barrel or even these days the author agents. I'm fairly confident that there will be new business models of gate-keeping developed in the near future because along with established authors, it is one service that the reading public craves.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:21 PM   #4
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What you are asking for isn't how we define indie. Barry Eisler is now self-publishing, technically an indie author (who most certainly can get a book contract) but that is not what you want. You're asking for our favorite contemporary unknown or undiscovered authors.

None of my favorites are currently in that classification but I'd be curious to check out some recommendations in this thread. I do challenge your assertion that the public craves an independent source of recommendations. There are enough authors who pass through the established gatekeepers that I already cannot read everything I want to.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phogg View Post
Instead of established versus indie, instead look for well rated versus not well rated by reviewers. With a little work, you can find reviewers of indie books at major sellers or at goodreads whose tastes within a genre mirrors yours.

Let them do the drudge work of separating the wheat from the chaf.
Me thinks there is way too much hype in reviews. I bought a book called "Open mic" that had raving reviews. It was only 99¢, unfortunately that was way overpriced.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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Read samples before you buy. Also look at the size of the sample. I prefer authors with generous samples.

Being established doesn't make a good book, unfortunately. I have several printed works and the best thing I can say about some of them is that it didn't have typos...
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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Well, he mentions Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella. In the vein of Chick Lit/Romance mixtures is Shelly Fredman who has a series. Readers of the Evanovich Stephanie Plum series will notice a heavy influence.

There are four books (currently) in the series and the first three available on Amazon in Kindle format. The first is 99cents and the next two $2.99. I believe she's working on getting the 4th digital. She actually had built a solid enough fan base writing POD books to keep her writing at least and now she's trying to digitally publish. Sorry, I don't know if she publishes ePub anywhere.

http://www.amazon.com/Such-Thing-Sec...3978202&sr=8-1
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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There is also the subjective element in choosing a book. No two people have exactly the same taste in reading material. One person might like Stephen King's or Dean Koontz's writing while another may hate it even though both like the genres in which the two men write. And sales #'s don't mean much either if you think about it. Just because x many people bought one book by a given author doesn't mean that his/her next book will attract as many return readers. All the publisher is concerned with is the book making back its investment. Or that's the impression I have of the publishing business anyway.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:38 PM   #9
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I'll take a stab and say that Glen Krisch has a little King in him. He's a member here and at Goodreads and I've sometimes sensed an echo or two of McCammon and King in his writing.

He has two novels out at the moment: The Nightmare Within and Where Darkness Dwells

On the crime/thriller front Mike McIntyre produced a book called The Scavenger's Daughter which I think would sit very nicely against traditionally published best-sellers of the thriller genre.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:45 PM   #10
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Read the samples. It's annoying but it's really one of the few preventative measures available. Another might be finding people on Goodreads (or similar) with similar tastes. Also, GR has "Readers also Enjoyed" with each listing. It's time consuming and may be just more convenient to spring for the $0.99 purchase.

Amazon reviews I ignore except for the 1-star. GR's reviews are a little more discerning because price complaints are minimal but they will have fewer indie items reviewed.

Personally, I've attempted only 3 indies. Finished one; rated it 3 stars. One wasn't to my taste and the other was terrible. It was historical fiction that told it's readers that there were no British people in colonial America.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:55 PM   #11
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If I don't know the indie author & the first book is free I'll give it a chance. In fact I will at $0.99. But if I find it pretty bad I don't usually give an indie another chance...Nor an established author for that matter.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:23 AM   #12
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A problem I've had with finding indie authors is the lack of consistency from one book to the next. I've noticed that some established authors start to go downhill too when they become very famous. Maybe it's not having an editor to bully them into being consistent. Of course, indie authors usually act as their own editors and it's awfully hard to see your own writing the way an editor would.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:14 AM   #13
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Give Harry Shannon a try. He writes action thrillers and horror/thrillers that are thoroughly professional.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:23 AM   #14
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Thanks for the mention, Caleb! King and McCammon are two of my idols; it's nice being mentioned in the same breath.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:39 AM   #15
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I admit I have a hard time comparing "styles" of writing. I have an entirely separate calibre library called "Smashwords Freebies", and from time to time I open them and then instantly delete the ones I know I am never actually going to get to.

There are things I do and don't like about smashwords. The idea that you don't have to have your book "approved" by any head honchos before you can get it out there is a good thing, but it also can mean that I see these 500 word "books" where the description is almost as long as the book. I tend to filter for the 20K words and up.

I do like the fact that an indie author can charge a reasonable price for their books because they don't have a massive staff to pay and provide medical benefits for.
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