Self-publishers carry with us a shared stigma, one so damning that we are often immediately dismissed out of hand. This stigma did not immediately appear fully formed, but was born out of each typo and awkward sentence accrued since modern self-publishing began. In those early years of the e-reader, companies were so desperate for content that the quality thereof did not matter so long as something—anything—was available for audiences to instantly download. Suddenly anyone with an idea and an internet connection could upload a book and call themselves an author. Being as these authors didn’t go through the traditionally published hoops, their works, and therefore the authors, were considered subpar.
And thus was born the self-published stigma.
Mind you, that stigma is not entirely unearned, yet even the most steadfast traditional publishing purist will admit there are some gems out there, Michael Sullivan and Andy Weir both success stories that immediately spring to mind.
Which illustrates the greatest irony of self-publishers: We bear a collective burden but must struggle against it individually. If one is a self-publisher yet talented enough to scrape out some success, the author is considered an outlier; an exception to the rule rather than an exemplar.
But times, they are a’changin’ in that self-publishers are devising ways to collectively shrug off their shared stigma. Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off has highlighted dozens of talented self-published authors to audiences and flung open the doors to many influential blogs and reviewers which were previously closed.
And in that collective spirt, Sigil Independent was born as a guild of self-published fantasy authors with a shared dedication to putting out quality fantasy novels. If you’ve followed SPFBO at all (or immediately recognize the acronym), you’ll recognize a few names of our members: Dyrk Ashton, Ben Galley, Rob Hayes, Alec Hutson, Michael McClung, D. E. Olesen, Benedict Patrick, M. D. Presley, M. L. Spencer, and Phil Tucker.
Yet we’re hoping you don’t recognize them all since the core concept of Sigil Independent is that if you’ve enjoyed one of our members’ work, you can rest assured that any book by any of our other authors in our stable is of equal quality. And while each of our 40+ novels may not be your individual cup of tea, we promise you that you’ll receive a professional product without any of the amateurish bugbears that gave self-publishers their shared stigma in the first place.
But we also want to showcase to readers the specific book we believe they’ll enjoy first and foremost, which is why we’ve employed a Choose-Your-Own Adventure opening to our Sigil Sampler: 500+ FREE pages highlighting the best our authors have to offer. Just make a few decisions in your adventure and you’ll be matched up with a story we know you’ll love.
And if not, at least it didn’t cost you anything but a few moments of your time.
There’s a lot more to Sigil Independent, such as modeling our best practices off of traditional publishing houses or the fact we do not take a cent from our members’ profits, that we won’t get into here. But we hope you’ll visit our website www.sigilindependent.com to learn more and maybe collect a few more freebies. We can also be found on Facebook and on Twitter.
A Texan transplant living in California, MD Presley isn't nearly as clever as he thinks he is. With a background in screenwriting, he fled to publishing with his flintlock fantasy series when the reality of Hollywood got to be a bit too much. A founding member of Sigil Independent, he also blogs weekly at the not-so-creatively-named www.mdpresley.com and tweets on occasion @md_presley.
And no, he's not related to Elvis. Thanks for asking.