Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Trad Vs. Indie

Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions is a feature here on Addicted To Romance where there is talk of books, blogging, and reading topics….so come on in and join in on the discussion

Today I wanted to talk about something I think I have been wanting to approach for a while and wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to talk about and to be honest I have no clue how this post will go (HAHA) I am just winging this because I was going to discuss spooky books but I think I might wait to do that one for next week and this topic has been on my mind a TON lately and I would really love to know all of your opinions on this matter.

So Trad vs. Indie—today I am specifically referencing books that are traditionally published vs. Indie (self-published works) and what should we be reading and how much of each and the trends that have been happening lately in both markets. I do think that there is a market for BOTH but I will say that I have really found so many gems among the Indie market of late. I have noticed in the past couple of years a certain trend to be happening among traditionally published works. I think we all have our reasoning for why we choose certain books. As many of you have come to realize I MOSTLY read traditionally published works. For me it’s the COVERS, you can say what you want about traditionally published books but their covers are normally done so well. I am a cover whore and I am not ashamed to admit that. And some indie covers I see I don’t understand….they can be so cringe at times and I don’t understand some authors haha but with certain genres like historical, there just isn’t much of a market for indie covers for self-pub authors that write historical, unlike another sub-genre like contemporary whose indie covers sometimes are way better than traditionally published works. I do think covers play a big role though and is why indie authors tend to struggle more if their covers aren’t good. Because a pretty cover will draw readers more than anything else will.

Now I do think when we talk about the quality of writing, I think this is subjective. Because it really depends on what you are looking for in a romance or in a book in general. Lately, I have noticed that there is much more freedom that I think authors have if they write indie versus traditional. It may just be my opinion, but I wouldn’t be surprised if publishing houses are being more strict on what authors can write in their books which is why we have seen so many switch from traditional to indie. I could be wrong of course, but I just haven’t been that impressed with the traditional books (except for my favorite authors) that much. They just aren’t packing a punch like they used to have and also some of my favorite sub-genres in romance are being neglected by publishing houses and I will in the future be stretching into indie romance because of this. I don’t care for the romantic comedies coming out because I personally don’t care for the covers and don’t trust them (because many are false advertising and I hate not knowing if I am getting an actual romance or not–and NO Beach Read isn’t a romance haha or its a romance for those that don’t read romance on a regular basis) I do want to explore the indie market much more though, I really have to get over the look of the covers (but some of them are so bad sigh) but some of my favorite books have been indie-published so I really need to be more objective and try new blood. Because I have become so bored with some of the traditionally published books I have been reading and just want to expand my horizons a bit more.

Also, I do think that traditionally published authors have much more security than say indie authors have. Now I think some indie authors CHOOSE to be indie, some of them could easily be traditionally published authors but I think they make the decision not to go that route. But I do think it’s good to understand the book publishing industry and understand the vast differences between the two. I do try to support indie authors (if I really love them) by pre-ordering their books, buying their books in print and digital, and helping to promote their work a bit more. But I do think there is much more work that indie authors have to do rather than traditionally published authors do. And some of them work so hard to get the results.

So tell me your thoughts on this topic. What do you read the most? And why do you read one versus the others? What are the pros and cons for you on each of the markets? And if you have any favorite indie authors you think I would enjoy ….recommend them to me!

7 thoughts on “Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Trad Vs. Indie

  1. Over the last few years I have turned more and more to self-pubbed authors. Whether they self-pub for financial reasons or simply to have more control over content or publishing timelines, I find that the majority of authors that I read consistently are “indie authors”, that choose to self-pub (at least most of the time – some do have self-pubbed and also go thru a traditional publisher for some titles). Authors like Sarina Bowen and Devney Perry, Colleen Hoover and Kennedy Ryan (who both do self-pub and trad-pub). Traditional publishers are unwilling to take risks and I feel like I see the same bland stories rehashed over and over with them. Indie authors have the freedom to get creative, experiment, push boundaries, and I appreciate that.

    I will say that some indie book covers are pretty cringey. Some authors (like Bowen and Perry) are successful enough to be able to invest in gorgeous cover art. Others are just… bad. Like the author decided to dabble in Photoshop and create her own cover. LOL

    1. Thank you so much Tanya. And yes so many indie covers are so cringe, its what keeps me from reading them most of the time unless I get lots of recommendations from others. I agree….it seems like trad pub are rarely wanting to take risks anymore. Its sad because I do think there is a lot of quality writing in indie.

  2. I did a similar post years ago and interviewed indie authors. Most told me they chose that because it enabled them to be the boss! To have a say in every aspect of their book publishing.

  3. Agreed, Beach Read is NOT a romance. It was a great book, but not a romance. I read a lot of indie romances, and they just stick to a cover model. So, covers are not bad, but some of the YA indies I have seen have awful covers. It cannot be that hard to design a cover. My kid was doing better graphics in her teens. I am salty about the cartoony covers for heavy books. That is a deception.

    1. Yeah, I think many think it is, and it really isn’t. It has a romance in it, but that doesn’t mean the book is a romance. I think it depends on the genre for indie covers. Contemporary indie is pretty decent, but some pnr and historical indie covers are very cringe. I think authors just want to go the cheapest route and not realize that if they invested in a good cover, that would only get them more readers not less.

  4. Interesting discussion. I have been a bigger Indie supporter since I started reviewing about ten years ago and got more exposure to indies, but the trickle started when I got my e-reader and had access to more Indie works. I also have to applaud the handful of bloggers I followed who put me onto several little-known Indie authors/series at the time. My indie readership has grown to where at least 50% of my reading/listening is to Indie authors. Some indie authors crossover between Indie/Traditional like Ann Aguirre or Deborah Blake and I suspect it is exactly for the point you mentioned- the Traditional pub won’t take a chance on their idea, but the author still wants to write it up.
    I read a ton of indie sci-fi romance which has some of the quirkiest covers out there especially when you get into alien romances so I’ve learned to go straight past the cover to the blurb. Although, that said, I must give a shout out that certain authors have found some sensational graphic artists to work with.
    And, yes, the cartoonish covers which I used to see once in a while in YA or with RomComs are total misleads b/c now anything from YA to a deep-souled WF can wear a bubbly cartoon cover. Again, I go straight past the covers to the blurbs.

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