Indie writers, myself, particularly, since I also run an Indie micro-press, can easily get tangled up in the differences between trad-published writers and us. Because we are still fighting so hard for credibility and to wave away the stench of self-published from our books, we can tend to spend too much time focusing on the manner or way that we become published.
I’m an indie filmmaker as well as an indie author. I remember waiting at the orthodontist’s office with my middle schooler and listening to him refer to me to the receptionist as his Mom, “the geek.” It totally surprised me that he would see me that way, but when I really thought about it, it was a correct assessment. As a film editor, I spend a lot of time with the technology to get the project I’m working on to turn out the way I want. I am always on the lookout for the latest software to help me do my job and, of course, I’m constantly updating and refreshing my existing tools. Fact is, because I consider myself an artist, I never saw that I’m also a computer geek. But spending hours on the computer and loving all the cool apps and software programs, loving learning how to get the most out of them—all of this can obfuscate the thing that really matters.
I read an article recently (in one of my geeky film editing e-zines) that was a response to a video editor’s concern that the new, cheaper version of Final Cut Pro (a video software editing program that was extremely expensive and had a big learning curve) meant that everybody would be competing with him now for jobs. The article responded to him by making the point that I think we would all do well to remember: our tools—whether as writers or video editors—are just tools. They are not the things that matter.
It’s the story that matters.
Strip away all the technology—whether it’s a video or a book published through Smashwords—and what you have left is the story. And it is the story that lasts. The story is not platform dependent, it is not technology dependent. It is also the answer to those authors out there who are concerned that they will not be able to contribute (and therefore compete) with the new multimedia aspects of fiction coming as sure as tsunamis follow earthquakes. No worries. As much as I love them, it’s not the gizmos, the gadgets, the fads or the gimmicks. Trust me, it’s not....