Ways to Help Your Indie Friends

You know exactly who I’m talking about, don’t you?  That one, the really weird one, who isn’t married, might not even be dating seriously, may have been in school forever, works odd jobs, and is absolutely hell bent on writing books or making music or taking pictures.  Yeah, I’m talking about that friend.  If you are not “that friend,” chances are, you have one or one of your friends does.  

Indies come in many forms.  Some of us are authors.  Some are musicians.  Some are artists, graphic designers, photographers, screenwriters, or filmmakers.  But see, we all have one thing in common.  We have found something that we love so much that we are striving to make a career out of it, even if that means going it alone.  Crazy?  Yes, perhaps we are.  But I think anyone who’s ever made an impact has been at least a little off their rocker, or else they wouldn’t stand out.  

If you have one of these charming and yet mildly insane people as a friend and you’ve been wondering just how you can help them make their dreams come true, well, here’s your lucky day!  Presenting…

Ways to Help Your Indie Friends!

1. Offer Encouragement!

As a friend embarks on his or her journey to indiedom, they are going to encounter a lot of helpful and positive attitudes, but they will also encounter a lot of negativity.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard,

“You’re getting a Masters in Humanities?  What are you going to do with that?”

“I get that you want to write, but what do you want to do for a job?”  

“You know you’re never going to make any money, right?”  

Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t have to do the indie thing because I’d be so rich, I wouldn’t need a job!  There are people out there who will have no problem telling the aspiring author or photographer or musician that their ambitions are a waste of time.  As their friend, one of the best things you can do for your indie friends is to support them, encourage them, and most importantly, accept them for who they are.  

2. Like and Follow Things!

On social media, that is.  Facebook pages, Amazon pages, GoodReads author pages, websites, fan pages, Twitters, Tumblrs, Pinterests, I don’t even know how many things there are to like and to follow, but there are a lot!  Numbers MATTER. 

3.  Buy the Book/CD/Craft

Okay, so this part costs a little money, but more often than not, it is a truly worthy investment.  Sometimes, since you’re a friend, you might even get a complimentary copy.  I’m proud to say that I have bought several indie books, my graphic designer is an indie, I’m getting ready to do a photoshoot with an indie photographer, and I even helped produce my friend’s second indie CD!  Okay, it was like, $20, but still!  Technically, I can say that I’m a producer.  The point is I have never once regretted supporting a fellow indie.  If they have the guts and the drive and the passion to put themselves out there and get the job done themselves, then you can bet I’m going to support them.  

4.  Review, Review, REVIEW!

I can not stress this enough.  REVIEWS ARE SO IMPORTANT, especially for an indie.  The more reviews an item has, the more likely potential readers or listeners or customers are to take it seriously and consider investing their time and money.  My book, Cemetery Tours, currently has 27 Reviews on Amazon.  I’m thrilled, but at the same time, I’m working every day to make that an even 30!  A review does not have to be a long, drawn out analysis or give a full plot description.  It can be as short and sweet as two or three sentences.  

“Hey, I enjoyed this book because A, B, C.  Author did a great job.  Highly recommended.”  

That, along with a nice rating, is simply invaluable.  

5.  Spread the Word!

You don’t have to spam your friends or send out mass texts, but if you’re talking to someone about books or music, you could mention, “Oh hey, my friend wrote a book” or “My friend is a singer.  You should check them out.”  Give a shout out on Facebook every now and then.  Recommend the book or whatever to a friend you think might enjoy it.  Retweet stuff.  Little acts like that can go a long way in the indie world.  Word of mouth is the single most important marketing tool an indie can ask for. 

Now, in the spirit of crafts, books, and photography, here are a few of my shots from a project in Grad School.  

ImageImageImageImageImage

   Enjoy the day, folks! 

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22 thoughts on “Ways to Help Your Indie Friends

  1. Hi
    This is a really great post! i love the ethos you express in it, and agree whole-heartedly, especially about the reviews and little things like the odd mention here and there if a friend’s written a book or something. It’s one of the reasons I tend to concentrate on self-published/Indie authors etc in my own reviews. And good luck with getting to 30 reviews, am sure it won’t be long!

  2. Great post! I totally agree. I think it’s lovely the way the indie community so often supports fellow indies and if more of their friends took your simple advice, it would be a whole lot easier for us all to live our dreams.

    • Thank you! I love the indie community because you’re so right. Everyone has been so kind and supportive. I find that interesting too, because in my experience in other arts (especially the dramatic world), some, not all, but some artists can be real cutthroats. Even though we’re all working toward the same goal, all of our work is so different and supporting each other is so much more productive and encouraging than tearing one another down. I love it! 🙂

  3. The networking aspect is vitally important if you’re an indie. You’re going to have to build from the ground up and it’s a lot of work. Right now, I feel like this is more work than the actually writing process, but even though I haven’t even published anything, I find it extremely rewarding.

    I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve met a lot of great people. What’s really amazing is the sheer amount of creativity and originality in this culture. The music, the photography, the art, and the writing comes from unique perspectives that don’t always break through popular culture or the larger publishing routes.

    I don’t expect I’ll get rich this way, or that I’ll be able to make a career out of it, but it does fulfill a lifetime of aspiration. Getting my voice out there, sharing my ideas, doing something that allows part of who I am to outlast myself.

    I really like the photography, by the way. The first one, with the ring, has an amazing contrast between the low light in the background and the blue sparkle from the ring. Of course, I have to love the one with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” not just because I’m a huge Shakespeare fan (I have three different volumes of his complete works, one of which is a 3,000 page cinder block of a book), but because I love the color of the jewels and the light they’re reflecting.

    Also, slowly making my way thought Cemetery Tours. I was pretty impressed with the “color anomia” bit. It’s not really widely know about, and the only reason I had known about it is because I’m in the medical field and one of my fiends is a psychiatrist. Is this something you’re writing about from experience?

    • Thank you for your thoughts and for your words on my photography! And of course, for reading Cemetery Tours! I personally do not have experience with Color Anomia, but the brain has always fascinated me and if I hadn’t studied writing, I would have studied biology. I was in a car accident once though. I hit a patch of black ice and drove straight into a pole, so that’s what inspired that! Thankfully, I walked away with just a scratch on my hand. 🙂

      • You know what’s funny? I got my bachelor degree in English Language and Literature because literature and writing are my first loves. It was hard to say no to that degree, especially when you only needed 27 credits for it (which meant that 93 credits were open for just about anything).

        After that I decided I wanted to get a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, so I had to go back and take all kinds of classes in biology, and I’ve absolutely loved it. If I had known that I had this affinity for microbiology when I was an undergrad I would have gone into that.

        It gets weirder: I was in an accident once that involved a patch of black ice and a telephone pole. I totaled my ’96 Dodge Dakota pickup, but only walked away with a scratch on my hand where it slammed into the shifter after the airbag went off.

      • Dude, that is crazy! See, my real passion, besides writing, is marine biology and wildlife photography. That’s what I would really love to do. I’m especially into wildlife conservation efforts.

        And yeah, that black ice will get you! I still have a mini heart attack every time I hydroplane and it will have been four years since the accident on the tenth! Maybe I’ll write a blog… haha! I’m not sure how I got my scratch. I’m guessing the air bag, since I’m pretty sure I was gripping the wheel and bracing myself, which I’ve heard you’re not supposed to do, but hey, I’m alive! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Worth stealing, reposting…Ways to Help Your Indie Friends | Be a spokesperson

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