Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Indielit Scrapbook 2012

Many followers of the Wizard and, particularly, the Wizard's Cauldron, will remember this, an attempt at a catalogue for Indie authors. 

It was a Facebook thing. In the days before Facebook restricted fan pages, it was a fantastic idea: I even had a page called the Independent Paperback Gift Shop. Actually, I still do, but the shop is boarded up and forlorn, because no-one ever sees it, thanks to their pay-firewalls.

Have a look if you have time. At the catalogue, not my page.

It's a useful historical document. There's humour, loads of books, a shedload of authors, a call to arms, and some hopelessly ambitious graphic design work carried out by yours truly. 

I enjoyed doing the scrapbook and had plans to continue, but several things put me off.

It was hard work and I'm not a graphic designer. I couldnt afford to pay for Corel or Photoshop etc (still can't). 

Then there was the people angle.  

Despite 25,000 downloads on Scribd, at least half the authors I showcased didn't bother contacting me again. 

They certainly didn't bother sharing it. I'm not even sure some of them ever opened it. And it was a massive effort: The catalogue was 47 pages long and, to be frank, I was bemused at the lack of politeness Indies displayed. 

Okay, it's not Hachette quality graphic design, but neither were the underground flyers that advertised raves, and before that, punk gigs. That was the essence of what I was aiming for.

Then there were the sales: No one - even the friends who I still have and who I made through this catalogue - reported improved sales of their books. 

So, weighing things up, I never bothered again.

Anyway, have a dekko. You might be in there. You might know some of the characters in there.

I became massive friends with five or six of the authors featured in the scrapbook; on nodding terms with others, and (sadly) ex-friends with a few too.

There are still others who I have never seen anywhere on social media. I have no idea whether they are still around, One of the books featured may have been a massive seller for all I know ha ha.

I am toying with the idea of doing this again, btw.


  1. Mark, Mark, it's always the same - rosie amber, book blogger is currently doing a series called Romancing September - 1 novel, 1 author per day throughout the month. About 20 of the 30 have publicised the tour, tweet about the others. The other 10 don't. Rude self important twats are everywhere.

    Another answer is that most people don't see the 'indie' thing as a movement like you do, they just wish they were trad pubbed. The trouble with 'indie' as well is that yes, it gives the opportunity for the excellent and non-mainstream to be read, but also that it opens the floodgates for every wannabe, talentless and self important ... person to publish on Amazon and call themselves 'an author'. These people see such things as your scrapbook as their right. Alas, there are more of these around than talented people writing good stuff and being supportive. That, I'm afraid, is life. xx

    1. Terry, I am a convert to your POV nowadays hahahaha. This was written in 2012.
      As for the movement thing, I am a movement sort of bloke. I saw in Indie the same kind of thing that stopped people listening to The Eagles and got them in their garages thrashing out three minute pop songs :) It's not happened like that, granted. I find it disappointing. If you read the editorial (slightly naive), I slag off publishers and I still feel the same way about those. Just a month ago, I followed seven agents, quite by chance, on the advice of Twitterbots, and without an ulterior motive, and none of them followed me back. Arseholes. I still know shocking stories about the way publishers treat newbies and the games they play with the "slush" pile, so when I wrote this scrapbook, I saw an alternative.
      You are right in what you say - most authors do want to be published, but I didn't know that then!
      It's funny. I've made friends with a few pubbed authors lately and the hoops they have to go through has put me further off. One even has an editor telling him/her what he/she MUST write!
      Fuck that off for a start, Terry :D :D Hope well, Marky

    2. Oh yes, I know. Even with people who are published by a small indie press, they often still have to conform to what the publisher wants. AND take direction from editors who are not any more qualified to write good fiction than they are. In fact, often less so. I think the agents don't follow back because there are so many total wankers around who think that if they follow them back it means they want to read their books.

      I don't like 'movements'. I am too busy being stridently individual. ;)

  2. I loved that scrapbook. I still promote it and show it to people. Heck, I'm on there 2 or 3 times. If this has lost its luster why not consider some other collabortive effort? Whatever you do, I'm in.