I had a brain spark a few weeks ago about how indie novels are like the dime novels of the past: inexpensive, entertaining, loved by the masses, reviled by the elites (who later invented the mass market paperback in response).
I lobbed that idea out to my Indelibles sisters, who quickly pointed out I wasn’t the first to think of this. Kait Nolan wrote an insightful post about Indie as the New Pulp Novel (and I’m sure people like Konrath have talked about it too).
Dime + Pulp = Indie?
Pulp fiction was where authors started out because it paid less than “traditional” markets (they were mostly short stories), but with indie novels, I think (some) authors are making more money than comparable traditional publishing contracts (and I see some trad-pub authors supplementing their income with self-pub, which is also similar to some of the pulp fiction writers of the past). Although some authors did make a career out of writing pulp, I don’t think anyone ever got rich off of exclusively writing pulp fiction (there were no Amanda Hockings of pulp).
Kait Nolan states much of this in her article too, but there’s one point she makes that I will quibble with: the idea that authors have to publish works in rapid succession (as some successful self-pub authors have done). I think Kait gets it right at the end where she says you have to produce something lasting, so that readers will still be around, eagerly anticipating your next release, even if it takes 6 mos or 9 mos or even a year. People DO NOT have that short a memory span. In fact, the most common thing I hear from friends when I release another book or anthology or short story is “do you every sleep?” not “why wasn’t this out sooner?”
p.s. did you notice the new blog banner? *pets the pretty* D. Robert Pease of walkingstickbooks.com (who is also my cover designer) made that gorgeous thing! I highly recommend him for all your art-related needs!