The Indie Hypocrisy: Reactions

Wow, guys. Just wow. I’ve been floored by the reaction to The Indie Hypocrisy. And with good reason.

Let me put it this way. My top post of all time for number of hits was 2016’s You Just Keep Pushing Me Away, a commentary piece on the lack of research in Literary writing that, over a few days, racked up 7,000 hits. Since a lot of other posts only range around 500 to two or three thousand, that 7,000 in a few days has definitely been the peak so far. That post had hits from all over.

But even with that, how many comments did it accrue? Just 20, including my own responses.

Meanwhile, The Indie Hypcrisy had nothing close to that. It’s still sitting at just over 200 views. Not bad, but nothing like YJKPMA. At the same time, however … Those of you who read TIH definitely had a lot more to say than those who read YJKPMA. At this exact moment, TIH is standing tall, I believe, with one of the largest comment chains in recent memory. To whit, between this site and my fanfic profile (where a short intro to the post also goes up), TIH racked up a grand total of 62 comments.

Best part is, these weren’t just the “Huh, sounds good” kind of comments. These were thoughtful comments, either pitching in with suggestions as to why such a disparity could be, questioning or pointing out the differences of indie books and other indie genres, or even discussing points raised by other commentators.

Ultimately there were far too many posts for me to reply to them all individually. At least, not if I wanted to keep up with my day to day job. But at the same time, there are probably a decent number of readers who never ventured into the comments, and there were so many comments made, with some really good points or at least perspectives, that I did want to come back to it as soon as I could.

Which, of course leads us to today’s post, which has seen me spending the last hour sifting through all of these posts, tallying their topics and approaches, and bringing them together here. Because while I do still have to get back to editing on Shadow of an Empire, I think a lot of the points raised by readers are important and worth talking about.

So, here’s how it’s going to go. I’ve gone through and categorized a lot of the comments on TIH, grouping them by topic, and I’m even going to go ahead and quote them, especially when they elucidate a point well in their own words. However, I’m also going to do this backwards. I’m going to start with some of the more “one-off” suggestions and comments, and then we’ll work our way down to the most common suggestions raised and discussed by the group. That’s right, the most supported and discussed concepts are going to be at the bottom.

Now, if you haven’t yet at this point, I do highly recommend that you read The Indie Hypocrisy before starting, since all of these comments are in relation to this singular post. But that accomplished, and my thoughts on the matter read, let’s see what others had to say!

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Op-Ed: The Indie Hypocrisy

Yup, an opinion piece. Kind of an odd one, too. But why not? After all, I finished the first draft of Jungle yesterday. I’m in a good mood. It’s been a while since the last one. And this topic has been on my mind for a good week or so; seems as good a time as any to bring it up.

Last week I had an interesting encounter. I was on a forum devoted to discussing video games (bear with me, this gets back to books fairly quickly) when something unexpected happened. In a thread discussing indie games and how great they were (games that are built and published without the oversight of a game publisher, just as indie books are written and published without the oversight of a book publisher), a group of posters started going off against indie books.

It was the usual argument. How could any book be good if it hadn’t been “approved” by some publisher. Publishers “only approved” good stories so anyone who wasn’t publishing through them was clearly not good enough to bother looking at. Publishers had all the editors, so an indie book would be rife with errors. You know, the usual junk that gets spouted off.

But what really made this whole chain jarring was the fact that this was in a thread devoted to discussing how great indie games were, games that did the exact same thing indie authors did—eschew a publisher in favor of their own efforts to bring a game to the world. So what it had boiled down to was “Indie games are great, indie books are horrible” and the same reasons for one being great were being espoused as reasons for the other being terrible.

This got me thinking about indie books and indie markets in general. It’s not hard to find someone slamming indie books on the internet. In fact, it’s just about the standard reaction. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, at least from what I’ve seen, indie books are the only place that this happens. Everywhere else, indie is embraced by the majority.

And that doesn’t add up.

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Merry Christmas, Readers

Merry Christmas!

I love this time of year. Even when it’s rough. Even when it’s difficult.

Why? Well, probably because it’s one of the few times each year where people feel a bit more—I don’t know, free?—about being nice to one another.

Reasons for this vary. For me, personally, it’s because it’s the time of year when Christians celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and remember what He brought into the world. Which, personally, encompasses quite a bit, from family to the age old adage “Peace on Earth, good will toward men.” The ultimate gift.

Others have picked out bits and pieces of that feeling, and you know what? That’s fine too. For them, Christmas is hot chocolate and a kind word to a stranger. A smile to those they pass on the street.

I love this time of year. Lights, gifts, good will. Giving thanks.

Sure, I know that last one is usually thought of as a Thanksgiving thing, so how about I call it being grateful instead. Reflecting upon Christmas, the birth of Christ, and everything else that bundles up this season really does end up in my mind making me grateful for a great many things. Despite the trials and difficulties of my year, there are many things that I can still be grateful for. My warm apartment, for instance. Still head and shoulders above my old apartment, and warm during this cold season. The continuing sales of my books (that one’s a double, as I’m grateful they’re selling, and readers are grateful they’re awesome!). I’m grateful that my knee is healing, and that I can walk.

Point is, Christmas is a season where, as a whole, most of us feel encouraged to think about the things we’re grateful for, and then maybe go out of one’s way to perhaps bolster that feeling in others. We look to the ideal of Christmas, this meaning that’s collected from sources such as A Christmas Carol (a timeless classic, that one) and based on the birth of a tiny child roughly two-thousand years ago—a birth that sages and wise men had looked forward to for thousands of years, and that mankind now looks back to so much later—for goodwill, peace, and good feelings. We embrace them, hold them … and then if we’re wise, go out and share them with others.

Which … I guess is what I’m really getting at. I’m grateful for the many blessings that have hit my life this year (yes, even despite all the hardships). And I hope that wherever you are, readers, whatever your situation, your circumstances, or location, you’ve got a bit of good will in your life.

Merry Christmas, readers. Merry Christmas.

2017 in Review—The State of Unusual Things

Before you start, there’s a Christmas Sale on! Colony and Dead Silver both are reduced prices through Christmas! Perfect for last minute gifts!

This year … was rough. I’m not going to lie.

To be fair, that wasn’t the writing’s fault. More it was other circumstances. Like the knee injury I acquired in June (which is still healing) and every thing that it brought with it. Okay, mostly it was the knee injury. Pretty much just that. With the knee injury came medical debts, which brought extra work shifts, and that then led to less writing time, and …

Well, let’s just say it’s not been the best year. Which is kind of a lousy lead-in to a year in review article, but it was bound to happen sometime, right? I mean, no matter what, one of the years writing had to be a rough one.

Anyway, 2017 marks the third year of Unusual Things being up and open. Which means that despite how rough this year was, it’s time for another look back at the year in review to see how I did compared to years prior, and make plans for what’s coming.

You ready? Let’s take a look.

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Slight Delay!

Okay, not so slight. I’ve got work shifts today and tomorrow, so this week’s Being a Better Writer post will be delivered Wednesday. Sorry about this.

Also, it’ll be the last BaBW post through the new year. Cause, you know, Christmas and all.

See you Wednesday!

The November Patreon Supporter Reward is Here …

… and it is a big one!

How big? Well, let’s just say that as thanks for their support this month, Patreon-goers are getting an early look at … drumroll please … The first chapter of Jungle.

Yup. Which, by the way, I’m in the last few chapters of. At last. This book has swollen far past what I expected. Editing it will be a nightmare. But at the same time … Well, I’m not going to say anymore.

Anyway, if you’re a Patreon supporter and read Colony, what are you hanging around here for? Don’t you want to know what happens next to Jake, Anna, and Sweets? Sure you do. And given what happens in this opening chapter, I— Well, I’m not going to get ahead of myself. But I expect you’ll have questions for me.

So quit hanging around here and hop on over to November’s Patreon Reward on Patreon! And if you’re not a Patreon Supporter yet, it’s pretty easy to do. In return for helping support Being a Better Writer, you’ll get access to monthly supporter rewards, which range from early looks at chapters and stories, to behind the scenes stuff … to even some exclusive stuff long before anyone else, such as a look at a short story for More Unusual Events!

Cool, right? All that’s yours to look at for supporting! So get on over there!

October Patreon Reward – Happy Halloween!

I’ll keep this short, as I am beat! The October Patreon Supporter Award has arrived over on Patreon. And it is awesome.

What is it, you may ask? Why it’s a story! That’s right, a story. For Halloween. An early draft, but about 8.5k words long.

Oh, and it’s the sequel to Monthly Retreat from Unusual Events. And it has some other familiar faces show up as well.

Very much a fun treat piece. Perfect for the season. I had a lot of fun writing this.

Thanks for supporting, guys. You can check out your first look at Adapation, the October Patreon Supporter Reward, right at this link.