Saturday, September 8, 2012


Why Indie Writers Rock

My name is Jonathan and I'm a writer who self-published.

Yeah, yeah, go ahead. Get it out of your system. I've heard it all before.

From the practiced smile of the insincere "How great!" to the knowing sigh that says "Ah, not good enough to find a real publisher, eh?", it's familiar territory by now.

I've even endured the ol' "Putting out another new book? Oh, well, good for you", those ten words by friends and family hinting at my quiet failure as a Real Writer -- you know, with a Major House and a Marketing Team snagging me a spot on Leno or my face on the side of a bus -- , my decision to self-pub stealing from them their bragging rights.

So why do I do it?

Why do I write knowing my books will be released into the virtual haze of Unread eBook Land? Why do I edit and rewrite and edit again while Rock Star Authors sipping mimosas under the umbrella of Traditional Publishing speak of me with derision as a no-talent, lazy exhibitionist who won't put in the hard work of being a Writer? And why oh why do I sit for hours and hours, my jaw set in determination, my delusions in place, mapping out new books that may never find Readers?

Why do I do what every indie writer does every single day?

Because I'm curious. No, scratch that. Because I'm obsessed.

This obsession can't be stopped by the absence of a Big Publisher brandishing a goody bag of guidance and media connections. This obsession won't be quieted by the lack of a sizeable advance propping up my bank account or the implicit promise of three martini lunches in suit-and-tie restaurants. With tablecloths. And flowers. Or not.

In fact, my obsession -- perhaps I should be calling it a sickness by now? -- isn't even disheartened by this apparently endless wandering among the parched, wind-blasted dunes of NoSales Desert.

My characters, my stories, my books steamroll everything else into oblivion.

I remember when Martuk came to me. That's Martuk as in two or too. Martuk ... The Holy. My first book. In fact, even that came to me, the ironic ellipses in the title. I had yet to write a word, yet to discover and embrace the Writer hiding within the Screenwriter and Playwright. Yet to recognize this was something I not only could do, but wanted to do. But there I was walking my dogs through Greenwich Village in 2008 when this new man sidled up and started whispering in my ear.

I knew his name was Martuk and he came from a land one thousand years before Christ. I knew -- via the ellipses -- he had a sense of humor and a touch of irony and that he was immortal and evil and very, very angry. When he wasn't in love. Or optimistic. Oh, and I knew he lived and suffered and wrote in modern day Paris.

I also knew the tales he had to tell would span many, many books.

But every writer, self-pubbed, indie or whatever, thinks that.

What I didn't know is that the people Martuk meets and walks with and sometimes kills also had tales to tell, their lives not ending with Martuk ... The Holy's The End.

They needed to speak. Insisted they speak. Were desperate to show the world (remember, my delusions are firmly in place) they had layers. That they just weren't evil or heartless. That the choices they made in Martuk were based on years of hurt and decades of disappointment. On loves lost and the death of dreams. And on hope. Not a hope we might recognize, perhaps, drenched, as it is, in blood and blinded by dark magic. But hope nonetheless.

Ergo, in May of 2012, despite the sun rising on yet another day in the desert, I welcomed the birth of The Martuk Series, an on-going collection of Short Fiction inspired by Martuk ... The Holy. To say this new addition to my literary family was a surprise is an understatement. But, seriously, I didn't know I was pregnant.

So, to return to my original statement Why Indie Writers Rock. Or, more specifically, Why I Rock.

I rock because I juggle the writing of a Series and a full-length Sequel with marketing and editing and chapter mapping new books every day. Alone. Like a lot of indie writers.

I rock because I joyfully celebrate each sale. Like a lot of indie writers.

And I rock because I appreciate those who roll the dice on an Unknown and buy my books, trusting the journey will be worth their time and money. Like a lot of indie writers.

But I rock because I do all this, as most indie writers do, knowing the only payoff may be the telling of the tale. In the absence of all those coulda, woulda, shouldas associated with the Big 6, our only safety net as self-published or indie writers is Trust.

Trust in our talent. Trust in our hard work. Trust in our ability to spin a good yarn. And Trust that readers do eventually recognize and reward good tales told well.

And that's Why Indie Writers Rock.

Jonathan Winn is the author of Martuk ... The Holy as well as The Wounded King: The Martuk Series, and The Elder: The Martuk Series. He's currently working on Red and Gold, the next installment in The Martuk Series and Martuk ... The Holy: Proseuche, the full-length sequel to Martuk ... The Holy.

To learn more please visit:
or Follow him at




Martuk … The Holy

The Wounded King: The Martuk Series

The Elder: The Martuk Series

No comments:

Post a Comment