I was a bit hesitant to jump into the indie pool. I'm not a very good swimmer. :) But seriously, my initial reservations were:
1. I appreciate a good editor who'll help me take my work to the next higher level; and
2. The stigma attached to self-publishing (though this, I believe, will lessen as more authors jump in).
I believe I've found a way around both those obstacles with a site called The Author Collective. Although it's in its first phase now, I believe this site has real growth potential for two main reasons:
1. Only quality stories will be listed here - ones that have gone through rigorous critiques and revision. Authors who take their work seriously enough to self-publish something that rivals a title released by one of the Big Six. A writer who joins The Author Collective will either be approved by the others in the collective, or have re-released a title previously published by either an epress or a print pub.
2. The Author Collective will earn a reputation as a site where readers can find quality work. No stigma there. I'm hoping many of the authors who join will be interested in joining an editor-level critique group. I've looked into a few online critique groups, and couldn't afford their fees. But by banding together and adhering to a set of standards (which I'll post on the site soon, if I haven't already), we can provide editor-level critiques to one another.
Again, it's a work in progress, but I invite you to visit The Author Collective. I'd love to hear what you think.
And if you're a writer who's released a self-pubbed title, please email authorcollective AT gmail. com. As the site says, we're all in this together. And The Author Collective is here to help.
I have listed two of my previously published titles which I recently released through Smashwords (also listed under the Indie Releases link above, and by clicking on the Smashwords logo at left). I also set up a draft author page as an example. I'm hoping that soon we'll have titles under every category listed, and more.
The Author Collective also needs your support. In order to gain an audience, the site needs exposure.
Rather than an explosive start (I don't think I could handle it, frankly!), I foresee a steady growth as word spreads. Please feel free to copy the Author Collective badge and add it to your own site, with a link back to http://authorcollective.blogspot.com/
I was also encouraged by reading posts such as this one. Do I think this will be everyone's experience? No. But again, by banding together at The Author Collective, readers will get a glimpse of a site filled with great self-published authors, and maybe we'll convince them to give us a try.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.