What does indie (novel) publishing have going for it? Amazon. This is a good start. Many groups are starting to take up the indie cause much like what happened years ago in indie music (BTW in indie music the term is used in two ways; the way I've been talking about and the indie producer who is a middleman in getting records on the air.)
Both indie songs and books can get their wares out easily these days. We share profits with Amazon to accomplish this. Singers can Youtube initially. So why don't we have a useful free outlet? Stand outside in the rain and wait for lightning on this idea.
Ultimately our art form is less encombered now by special interests, gate keepers (those who say you are not following a formula). For a retailer's small charge, you can let the reading public decide the value of your novel. And good luck.
One of the top indie love songs of all time: The Trapeze Swinger by Iron and Wine, 2004
Indie films have long had their champions, especially Sundance. What will come along in publishing that will deliver the same impact for indie authors?
Some movie directors seek out indie songs to use in their movies and some indie novels make it to the big screen. But has there ever been an indie movie written by an indie author and populated with indie songs?
EXTRA CREDIT: Here's a portion of Wikipedia's info on Indie singers.
Many acts choose to go from an independent label to a major label if given the opportunity as major labels have considerably more power and financial means to promote and distribute product; thus increasing the chances of greater success.Some acts, however, may choose not to go to a major label if given the opportunity as independence generally offers more freedom.
Similarly, others may become independent label acts after having already experienced recording on a major label. Bradley Joseph requested to be let go from his major label deal with Narada/Virgin Records and subsequently became an independent artist. He states "As an independent, business is a prime concern and can take over if not controlled. A lot of musicians don't learn the business. You just have to be well-rounded in both areas. You have to understand publishing. You have to understand how you make money, what's in demand, and what helps you make the most out of your talent. But some artists just want to be involved in the music and don't like the added problems or have the personality to work with both". Joseph suggests newer artists read and study both courses and pick one that best suits their own needs and wants.
A successful independent label with a strong musical reputation can be very appealing to a major label. Major labels look at independent labels to stay current with the ever-changing music scene.
If an act moves to a major label from an independent, they are awarded greater opportunity for success, but it does not guarantee success. About one in ten albums released by major labels make a profit for the label. Some artists have recorded for independent record companies for their entire careers and have had solid careers. Independent labels tend to be more open creatively, however, an independent label that is creatively productive is not necessarily financially lucrative. Independent labels are often operations of one, two, or only half a dozen people, with almost no outside assistance and run out of tiny offices. This lack of resources can make it difficult for a band to make revenue from sales. It can also be more difficult for the indie label to get its artists' music played on radio stations around the country when compared to the pull of a major label. A testament to this fact could be that since 1991, there have only been twelve independent label albums that have reached the number one spot on the US Billboard 200 Album Chart. There have, however, been dozens of independent albums that have reached the top 40 of the US Album Chart.
Some major labels have created an opportunity for independent artists to be featured on a distribution/marketing CD project with no strings attached in an effort to help boost awareness of the Independent Music community.
The difference among various independent labels lies with distribution; this is probably the most important aspect of running a label. Examples are:
Independent label that signs and distributes its own acts. These independent labels find and sign their own acts; then the label manufactures, distributes, and promotes its own product.
Independent label distributed by a major label. These independent labels are similar to the type mentioned above in that they find and sign their own acts, but they have a separate contract with a major label to handle manufacturing, distribution, and/or promotion. The major label has no control over the independent label, simply an agreement to distribute its product. Either the independent or the major can terminate the pact at the end of the contractual agreement if they so choose. The independent provides for its own financial stability, and has no outside monetary assistance from a major label. -If signing to an independent label, this type of venture probably affords the better benefit. This is because the act's contract is actually with the independent label, which may offer more creative control, yet the act is having its album distributed by a major label, which also has an interest in seeing the album become successful.
Independent label owned by a major label. Some major labels have started independent labels or purchased an existing independent label outright, and have these labels use, or continue to use, independent distribution for their product. The reason for this is because independents usually are on the cutting edge of new sounds and potential hit artists, and signs acts and releases albums for less money than would have otherwise been spent if the acts were signed directly to the major label. One benefit of this scenario is that if the act eventually proves successful enough on this type of independent, and is seeking a major label deal, it may see its subsequent albums released directly on the major-label owner of its independent label. The moniker "independent" is sometimes associated with these major-label owned independent labels because they use independent distributors to distribute their albums instead of their affiliated major-label distribution system. However, these labels are not true independents, the differences being: a) these independent labels can seek the financial backing of their major-label owner should they ever fall on hard financial times. b) the major-label owner can sign acts itself, and then place acts on its independent label if it chooses, even though the independent label signs acts itself. c) the major-label owner can potentially steal away any act from its independent label at any time and bring that act directly to the major-label owner, regardless of if the act is still under contract to the independent label. d) the major-label owner could completely shut down the independent label entirely or sale it off for financial reasons or for restructuring of the overall conglomerate. None of these are circumstances that pertain to true independent labels like those in the first two examples. A record label needs more than independent distribution to qualify as an independent label, otherwise it is an arm of a major label.
It can be very difficult for independent bands to sign to a record label that may not be familiar with their specific style. It can take years of dedicated effort, self-promotion, and rejections before landing a contract with either an independent or major record label. Bands that are ready to go this route need to be sure they are prepared both in terms of the music they offer as well as their realistic expectations for success.