The Indie Revolution is upon us thanks to the possibility for wide access to ebooks and epublishing. However, the potential of the movement is not nearly what it should be.
And it's not our fault.
There is a cold, meticulous, conniving, and under-handed effort to push out the voice of the independent author. Yes, we have options to publish on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc. But it is almost as if these sites used the indie to up their street cred just before they could cash in and sell out.
Of course the trick is to appear to NOT sell out, but consider:
Amazon: At the height of the independent writer's popularity on the Amazon site, just when most of us were gaining traction, what did Amazon do? They changed the algorithm and the layout for books that were read by others. Right before Christmas. "A small change," you might say, but not when the life-blood of an indie author is the ability to generate traction at the grassroots level by word of mouth, or in this case, word of the "also read". Who gets that premium billing? The Top 100. Only a few independents grace that list. Success stories yes, but they are fewer now thanks to the algorithm and it did lead some in our indie community to question how much the Big Six paid for that convenient beat down at the expense of our collective voices.
Barnes and Noble: I actually don't have as much of a beef with B&N. Though they are small compared to Amazon, they seem to realize that indie authors can fill a void for them monetarily now that Amazon has decided to push us down in their internal search engine. Are we really safe though, relying on this corporation to be the outlet that protects the voice of the indie? I raise the question but I will let you decide.
Smashwords: We are all aware of the recent Smashwords sellout to the censorship of PayPal (thank you Digital Reader). They are letting PayPal legislate morality via their ability to impose an economic embargo. I'm not saying Smashwords is entirely to blame, but if nothing else it show the vulnerability of the indie versus corporate power. Smashwords is guilty of lacking the foresight to have a second option. They were lured into the easy processing power of PayPal. PayPal decided to do its thing, and well, now thousands of author's are having their LEGAL books pulled form shelves.
Taking these points into consideration it is time for us to band together. It's time for us to start protecting ourselves. It's time for a revolution. I intend to be a part of it. Do you?