Today we extend a warm welcome to Scott Mackey, author of the Ray Courage Mystery books!
Why should I invest my money and time reading books from someone I’ve never heard of?
You couldn’t have asked a better question. It’s the question most asked of independent authors like me. There tend to be five reasons readers are skeptical about buying Indie books. All of these reasons are predicated on some recurring myths:
Myth #1 – If you were a “real author” you’d have a traditional publisher.
I’ve had books published by traditional publishers. I could have had the Ray Courage Mystery books published by a “real” publishing house as well. I chose not to go that route because I wanted more control of the overall product, including pricing, editing, cover design, distribution, and marketing. Many other authors feel the same way and have gone completely down the independent path, or combined publishing some books independently and some books using traditional publishing houses.
Myth #2 – Independent authors are just vanity publishers.
That’s true in some cases. Some writers just want to “have something published” and the quality can vary because of it. However, there are top-notch writers who are independently publishing their books for the reasons I described above. These writers know publishing is a very competitive business and to be successful they have to treat their job as a business not a hobby.
Myth #3 – The writing in Indie books isn’t as good as traditionally published books.
Some Indie books are poorly written. So are some traditionally published books. Writing quality is not a function of who is publishing the book. Sure, there are some assurances when a traditional publisher releases a book that it’s been vetted by an agent, acquisitions editor, editor, and so on. On the other side of the equation, the best Indie writers also have their books vetted. I use beta readers to provide criticism before I turn a book over to my editor. Beta readers provide feedback on every aspect of the book, from it’s overall concept and structure down to whether a given sentence makes sense or not. I assert that the writing by top independent authors is as good or better than that of most traditional authors.
Myth #4 – The overall production quality of Indie books isn’t as good as traditional books.
Again, this is where a writer’s professionalism comes into play. For my books for example, I hire a professional book formatter, cover designer, editor, and a proofreader. I invest a great deal in making sure the overall quality of the product—whether it’s an e-book or a printed book—is as good as anything else out on the market. Anything less than that is a disservice to me and to the reader.
Myth #5 – It’s a gamble buying a book from an Independent author.
No it isn’t. There’s never been a better time for readers to learn about a book and its author before making a purchase. Online ratings and reviews from professional critics and everyday readers are posted on a book’s sales page. On Amazon, the book description, author bio, and “Look Inside” feature provides more than enough information for readers to decide if a book is right for them. In my case, I’m giving away one of my books on my website—www.rscottmackey.com—so there’s no risk at all for my readers. I’m confident that once they sample this first book that they’ll want to buy more.
In short, don’t let who the publisher is determine your decision whether to buy a book or not. If a book or author sounds interesting to you, check into it, and if you like what you see, buy the book.
About the Author
Scott Mackey lives in Northern California, where he writes both fiction and non-fiction.
He launched the Ray Courage Mystery Series in spring of 2014 with the release of Courage Matters, which garnered immediate critical success. Two more books in the series were released in spring 2015. Courage Begins is the prequel to Courage Matters, while Courage Resurrected continues after the events of the first book. A fourth Ray Courage Mystery is scheduled for release in the fall of 2015.
His first non-fiction book, Barbary Baseball, achieved critical acclaim from baseball historians for its quality research and writing. He followed that with two young adult novels.
Scott’s career arc has included stints as a corporate communications manager, college professor, copywriter, bartender, and youth sports coach. In addition to obsessing over punctuation and grammar, he cares about his family (including his dog and cat), the San Francisco Giants, and his rather sad golf game.
Follow him on Twitter: smackey17