Just like a real book

indie books

Lately I’ve been carrying around a copy of my new, self-published book, The Pseudo-Chronicles of Mark Huntleyeverywhere with me. Showing it off at every opportunity: children’s birthday parties, backyard firepit gatherings, dentist appointments, wakes, etc. (Only that last item is a joke.)

One friend I handed the book to carefully examined the front and back covers, flipped through it, and exclaimed: “It looks just like a real book!”

Then she peered at the book again and the realization hit her: “It is a real book.”


It can be kind of startling to recognize this, after a lifetime of only reading books provided to you by major publishers in New York. (Not so long ago, I had to make the same mental adjustment.) These days, anyone has the power to produce a “real book.” There is no magical rite performed over books by a sorcerous associate editor in a lonely, eldritch cavern beneath Random House Tower to make them real.

What do you need, then, if not an arcane validation from the isle of Mannahatta? Well, you still need to put in the work.

indie books mark huntleyYou need a great story, of course, and the persistence to make it even better. You need feedback from peers and beta readers. You need advance readers to line up reviews. You need professional cover design and formatting (I had excellent help from Damonza for Mark Huntley). You need somebody to print and ship the book (I used CreateSpace). You need a marketing plan, and an e-mail list.

But the point is, you can make it happen. You don’t need to wait for approval from some impossible-to-reach publishing maven you’ve never met, if you know in your heart that what you’ve written is worth reading.

I find that to be a truly wonderful realization — that there is nothing really stopping any of us but ourselves. That, if you can’t get past the gatekeepers, you can turn around and take another path altogether.

We’ve seen the growth of independent works in other media: indie music, indie movies, indie video games, even TV shows that have found a home in some other place than the major networks. And the results have been enriching for everyone. Now it’s time for indie books to have their rise. They’ve been real books all along.

My supernatural thriller The Pseudo-Chronicles of Mark Huntley just came out in print, and it’s already got stellar reviews on Amazon. Check it out!

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Author: Jeff Deck

Author and administrator of this site.