I remember when I was an irritating little kid (as opposed to being an irritating adult), I wanted to utter cuss words with impunity. My older brothers did, and so did my older sister, on occasion. I saw swearing as a sign that I was no longer that PITA kid sister, but a respected, listen-to-me-roar, walking, talking mass of fabulosity.
I sat next to my brothers’ room, hidden, and listened closely to perfect the inflection while finessing the foreign syllables as they rolled off my tongue. At the very next opportunity, I decided it was time to become one of the big kids. Someone knocked my bike over, and I let ‘er rip. “Fluck you for knocking my bike over!”
My brothers stopped skateboarding and stared at me. “Fluck”?
I blinked. “Wha’? It’s not ‘fluck’?”
Never did I feel dumber.
And this is how I feel about people who misuse industry terms. The one that currently and continuously has my goat is the term “Indie.” Here’s the deal: Indie is a term meant to distinguish small independent commercial presses from their conglomerate Big Six brethren.
But the Print on Demand presses took it to include them as well, which is incorrect because they aren’t commercial trade presses. Then the vanity folks decided this “indie” term sounded much nicer than “we charge you lotsa money to publish your book,” so they ripped it off as well. The self-pubbers, not to be outdone, managed to squeeze themselves into the “Indie” category as well, and Amazon CreateSpace and Kindle was all too happy to play along. Much to my great sadness, I’ve been seeing e-publishers use this term as well.
Now it’s the point where the term “Indie” has been bastardized into something unrecognizable. It’s ironic that in everyone’s rush to sound legitimate and oh-so cool, no one knows what the term means anymore. It’s lost all meaning. So where does this put publishers like me? I stubbornly cling to the term “commercial press” in hopes that the PODs, vanity dweebs, and self-pubbers won’t cross over this particular bridge.
Please, dear authors, don’t use the “Indie” term unless you are with a true “Indie” publisher. Otherwise, you’re perpetuating the confusion, which makes me flucking cranky.