Smashwords Defines Indie Author Manifesto

I love Indie Authors indie booksMark Coker of Smashwords has released an Indie Author Manifesto, right in line with my beliefs and those of most writers I work with. See the highlights below or read the entire blog post here.

We indie authors believe all writers are created equal, that all writers are endowed with natural creative potential, and that writers have an unalienable right to exercise, explore and realize their potential through the freedom of publication.

I hold these truths to be self-evident:

  1. I am an indie author
  2. I have experienced the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from self-publishing
  3. I have a right to publish
  4. My creative control is important to me.  I decide when, where and how my writing graduates to become a published book. 
  5. Indie does not mean “alone.”  I choose my partners.
  6. I shall not bow beholden or subservient to any publisher. In my business relationships, I seek partnership, fairness, equity and mutually aligned interests.
  7. We indie author comprise diverse writers unified by a common purpose to advance, empower and celebrate writers everywhere. 
  8. I am a professional.  I take pride in my work, and I strive to improve my craft to better serve my readers, myself, my fellow indie authors and the culture of books
  9. My writing is valuable and important.  This value and importance cannot be measured by commercial sales alone.
  10. I celebrate the success of my fellow indie authors, for their success is mine, and mine theirs. Together we are pioneering a better future for books marked by greater quality, creativity, diversity, choice, availability, affordability and accessibility.

What are your thoughts? Please share them in the comments section.


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10 Responses to “Smashwords Defines Indie Author Manifesto”

  1. Ann Marquette Says:

    Thank you Jason for sharing this. I did get your book on my Nook. Had to finish another book I was reading and will now start yours. I am eager to learn the how’s and why’s, the whole process of publishing and marketing my writing.

  2. Catana Says:

    Personally, I’m getting tired of Coker’s PR. It would be more convincing if he did something about the quality of service on Smashwords. I’m seeing more and more complaints from other writers about difficulties with the Meatgrinder and staff not responding to requests for assistance. Another problem that seems to be popping up more and more is that books receive failure notices, but when they’re uploaded again *without any changes* they go through just fine. I just had the lovely experience of exporting a novel to PDF, where it showed up with all formatting just as I laid it out. After converting it to a .doc file and putting it through the Meatgrinder, there were 16 massive formatting errors in the .mobi file. Publishing has become the most frustrating and difficult part of writing, with constant changes in formatting standards and requirements.

  3. Lynne Spreen Says:

    I like the manifesto, but I don’t use Smashwords because I’m happy having 75% of the ebook market with KDP. One less dashboard and account to manage.

  4. KristinaLudwig Says:

    Great post! The Manifesto should be posted in every indie author’s office. I especially liked the line in the blog post about the transition from a publisher-centric to an author-centric world. It’s an exciting time to be an indie author. 🙂

  5. George Shetuni Says:

    I like word “indie author,” because it indicates legitimacy. I also like the phrase, “I will strive to improve my craft.” This line is significant to me because as an author you can’t let yourself get a big head and believe that you’ve reached the top and there is nowhere to go but down. Ultimately, quality ought to win out. Thus we should put effort into our work, rather than be a lazy writer and expect recognition due to “excellent marketing.”


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