Romance Ranting: My Journey To Indie



My journey to being an Indie reader is a bit convoluted.  I’ve always been a big reader.  When the hubs and I struggled financially, we never had internet or cable, so I practically lived at the library or at yard sales searching for cheap paperbacks that typically already had the covers ripped off.  I’m not one of those readers who hadn’t read since high school but picked up FSOG and fell in love with reading…  reading and I have always been the very best of friends.

But one of my girlfriends is one of those people that I mentioned above.  She read Fifty, like fifty times, and then searched the web for what to read next, and the rest is history.  She became a fucking savage and somehow fell into the Indie world.

I remember sitting with her at work in between saving lives and squishing boobs and her being like, “You should really download the Kindle app.  E-books are legit.”  And all I could do is snarl and judge her a shit ton little.  I’d respond, “Um, no thank you.  I prefer real books that I can hold.”

And then my girl would be like, “Leah, you should really try a couple Indie authors.  You don’t know what you’re missing!”   And I would smile politely and say, “I’ve never had hemorrhoids either, but that doesn’t mean I need to experience them to know that I won’t like them.”  Because I totally thought Indie authors were trad-pub rejects, or bored housewives who needed to get a real hobby.  (Yes, I was a judgmental whore. But just hear me out.)

And this went back and forth for a while until she went a little ghetto on my ass and threatened bodily harm if I wouldn’t just try one.  (That’s a little over exaggerated, but you’re picking up what I’m throwing down.  I already said she turned savage, and I meant it.)   So, I begrudgingly downloaded the Kindle app and downloaded a book that all of her crazy book friends were loving, My Side by Tara Brown.

I read it.  And I hated it, just like I knew I would.

I seriously hated it.  So I went over to Amazon to check out the author’s profile and prove to my friend that the author was probably a schmuck and that’s where things started to turn for me.  Tara’s  ‘About Me’ on Amazon is different than it used to be, but I remember reading something like, “I won’t talk about myself in the third person because that’s weird” and LOLing because it really is weird.  And her whole spiel had me rolling in my chair, because that bitch is funny (she’s also one of my most favorite humans now, ever.)  So then I went to her website and read her blog posts for hours and kind of turned into a weird stalker.

So of course in my total stalker-haze I downloaded one of her paranormal stories (without telling anyone, of course.  It was a total special-ops moment because this bitch hates to admit she’s wrong) and I read the entire series in a matter of days.  I loved it.  Her writing was brilliant and I had never read anything like it ever.

I ended up reading every single book that woman had self-published, and when I read her BORN series, I was hooked.  If an Indie author could write a story that completely and utterly gutted me like that did, I was hooked.  I was a fan. I was a believer.

I made a second Facebook account just for book shit, because that entire world intrigued me.  Authors were on Facebook?  There were other people in the world who loved reading as much as me?  There were giveaways for books and free shit?  I could message an author and they would actually respond?   My mind was fucking blown.

I stopped reading paperbacks for the most part because being able to read at night when I’m laying in bed listening to my husband snore cuddling with my husband without a light on was a huge game changer.  And I’ll totally admit now that e-books have made me weak as fuck, because when I actually do have to hold up a paperback, I swear my wrists get so sore and I actually contemplate wearing wrist braces.

I still read traditionally published books, but 95% of what I read is Indie… and I truly believe that the quality of those books sometimes far surpass some that get published.  I mean seriously, some of those Indie authors are life-changing, soul-crushing, heart-stopping geniuses!

And I love the Indie world.  The authors, the bloggers, the readers.  Some of my closest and bestest friends are my internet book friends that no one in my real life really understand, but that’s okay, they’re my people.  My spirit animals.

And having relationships with authors is pretty fucking rad.  Getting to ask them questions, tell them how they made me ugly cry, getting to meet them at events – it’s a new way of life.  Indie authors have to be some of the hardest working, most generous human beings on this planet, and I feel pretty damn lucky to call them my friends.

So yeah.  I went from a judgmental, paperback self-righteous whoreface to being a loud and proud Indie reader.  And I’m pretty sure I’m here to stay.  🙂

I’d love to hear how you found yourself immersed in this crazy, awesome Indie world!  Let me hear your story!



  • Melannie Johnson Savell

    Love this! My story is almost identical.

  • Lisa

    Much like you, I had snubbed my nose at indie authors and ebooks in general; believing real books were the kind you can pick up, rifle through and inhale that intrinsic new book smell like a junkie getting her next fix, and real authors had contracts, preferably with one of the “Big 5”. To me, I considered indie author as wannabe writing hacks who couldn’t get a real writing gig so they opted for the “easy way out”. Then I read Colleen Hoover (even though I am way above the age demo for her books) and my opinion slowly started to change. Granted, there are a lot of bad indie books out there, ones with horrible editing, plotting and characterization. However, there are a lot of gems too. Finding one of those gems is like unearthing a treasure.

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