Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Guest Blogger: Author Maria Zannini

Hello guys!

When I first started blogging, I became virtual friends with a variety of different authors (published and unpublished). One of my blogging friends is author Maria Zannini. If you haven't read her books or checked out her blog yet, you're missing out! She's simply awesome! So, without further ado, I give you Maria.

What’s In A Name?

There’s been a long running debate on whether self-published authors can call themselves ‘indies’, as in independent.

I am amazed at some of the angry shouts between those pro and against the indie label. Nathan Bransford had a blog post not too long ago on whether self-publishers deserve the indie label.

Occasionally the comments got into shouting matches. And this is where I have to keep from snickering. What is the point of getting so outraged by something as trivial as a label? Why would it matter if I call myself indie if that indeed is how I see myself?

It would be understandable if it was used in a demoralizing or negative manner, but the people who seemed to yell the loudest were people who have been used to using the indie label in the music industry alone. Apparently, they weren’t too happy about sharing that label with upstart self-publishers.

Language is fluid. Words morph as do their meanings.

And for more words that have changed (sometimes greatly), let me introduce you to the web site, KryssTal which cites: 

The word nice meant stupid and foolish in the late 13th Century. It went through a number of changes including wanton, extravagant, elegant, strange, modest, thin, and shy. By the middle of the 18th Century it had gained its current meaning of pleasant and agreeable.

When a word like ‘nice’ can morph from stupid to agreeable, it’s a little hard to take the vanguard for preserving ‘indie’ seriously.

Society moves language. If enough people start calling self-publishers indie, or rogue, or flesh-eating bacteria, it’s gonna happen whether you like it or not.

What do you think? Is indie an apt description for a self-published author? I think it is because indie is the diminutive of independent. By that very description, self-publishers are as independent as you can get.

Which camp are you in?

I hope you’ll follow along with the rest of the Indie Roadshow as I share the things I learned on my road to self-publishing.

The Devil To Pay is available at Amazon and Smashwords for only $2.99. It is the first book of the series, Second Chances.

Synopsis: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and bad tequila. Shannon McKee finds herself at the end of her rope, and she bargains her soul in a fit of despair.

Shannon’s plea is answered immediately by two men who couldn’t be more different from one another. Yet they share a bond and an affection for the stubborn Miss McKee that even they don’t understand.

When Heaven and Hell demand their payment, Shannon has no choice but to submit. No matter who gets her soul, she’s not getting out of this alive.

Bio: Maria Zannini used to save the world from bad advertising, but now she spends her time wrangling chickens, and fighting for a piece of the bed against dogs of epic proportions. Occasionally, she writes novels. 

Follow me on Facebook or my blog.


  1. With an intro like that I better hire a stunt double. LOL. Thank you, Angelina.

    And thank you for letting me hang at your blog today.

  2. Thanks for coming to my blog, Maria.

    This is a very interesting topic. I never knew the word nice used to mean foolish. I guess it makes sense as there are times when people say that someone is too nice when they really mean that the person is naive.

    I like the indie lable on self publishing. I mean, independent music and movies are called indies so why not books too.

  3. A shouting match over a label?! That is hilarious. I'd rather spend my time writing my next book than arguing with someone over a label.

    In other word morphing news, I'm told by my teen niece that "bad" now means "good."

  4. So true, language morphs and there's little that can be done to stop it. Altho the politically correct police try to influence language, it seems to have a life of its own. "Indie" is one of those words that makes something sound cool, like Indiana Jones, a renegade, etc etc. so I can understand why self-published authors want to get away from the "self-published" label which has been so vilified through the years and be "indie." Why not? Why do people get so worked up over labels anyway?

  5. I agree, I wouldn't want to make a big deal about labels. But I guess I do have to say that language isn't about the meaning of individual words, it's about what those words communicate and that means inferences as well. An "Indie" label carries connotations different than "self-published." Most people assume that indie means an organization or label outside of 1 individual author, and that it includes an editor other than the author who is choosing some work and not choosing others. There is, alas, judgment involved and a collective artistic vision. I do think that is different from self-publishing.

  6. Wow, for me, I don't care what self-published writers call themselves. All that matters to me is how do they write. I wouldn't think that a self-published writer is a company but does the average reader really pay attention to that? Great debate. Me, I just want to tell stories.

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  8. In todays rapidly changing climate of social networking, and the progress of the e-book world, when you're interested in a book or author, does it really matter any more? But I guess the word 'indie' does sound good.

  9. Liz: If it weren't for my nieces and nephews, I'd never know what was going on.

    KarenG: Even before the controversy, I always equated indie with Indie of Indiana Jones. :)

    Sue: Meanings change as do expectations, I think. Only time will tell.

    Clarissa: People do tend to get caught up in the minutia. I'm with you. Just let me do my job.

    Jacqueline: I think the only people who take issue with the label is other authors.

  10. Self-published or indie label as a debate?

    I know there've been heated discussions, verbal brawls and undecided UFC word matches about going the self-published route or going the agented/non-agented route to a traditional publishing house. But this self-pub or indie label thing sounds almost laughable. That's like having an argument about whether poor people should be called poor or financially challenged. Both are the same thing. One just 'sounds' better (coming from someone who is probably in the poor category lol!!).

    I self-pubbed Secret Lilies (more like an experiement than anything) a few years back. I would have been fine being called an indie or a self-publisher.

  11. Great topic Maria!

    As a reader, how an author gets the book to me doesn't matter as much as how they write. I just want to be able to read the story.

    As an aspiring author, I'm with Angelina and like the indie label. To me it's the same as indie music or indie produced outside of the "big" guys.

  12. Before I read this, indie did give me visions of garage bands, but I'm perfectly fine with self-published people calling themselves indie, too. You're right, of course, Indie does stand in for independent, and what's more independent than doing things for yourself?

  13. Hehehe as usual, I'm in the small third camp who's watching the fight with mild amusement. With you, from the looks of it.

    I just smile at the arguments and insults, thinking about more important things than the validity of one label when the only label that concerns me is my fashion brand...

  14. Angela: LOL. I loved the analogy to what to call poor people.

    Raelyn: That's my take too. No point in splitting hairs.

    Barbara: I think because I'm not a big music aficionado, the garage bands never entered the picture for me.

    Misha: I don't think it's worth getting all worked up about, but some people take it very seriously. I just don't understand why.

  15. As a reader not a writer the term Indie stands in my mind for yes a derivative of Independent... Meaning to be the person who wrote the book was alone out there more or less from the ground up and that included self pubbing the work once it was ready to share with readers...
    Worry about a name I do not, worry about the quality of the reading material you bet and being an "indie" does not mean that the story published is not worth reading as some of my greatest finds in the past 6 months have been Indie author's works!.

  16. I've been a little confused over the definition of "indie". They're the non-massive corporate bookstores. So, got the indie bookstore.

    "Indie" writers? They're non-corporate by definition ... so what's the sweat?

    To confuse things, I'll include the small non-corporate e-publishers/print-publishers too ... since they are mega-corporations.

  17. Thanks for introducing me to this blog, Maria. I'm not getting any work done, you know. ;) Indie, to me, means "independant", which in my mind has always meant self publishing. I don't see the big deal. Seems like everyone in this industry just wants a reason to bicker these days. Must be something in the water.

  18. Jackie: There are so many more important things to discuss. Labels are trifles.

    Kay: A rose by any other name...

    Renee:I think you hit the nail on the head. People like to be divisive.

    PS You'll like Angelina. Her blog is a pleasure to read.

    And Angelina, you'll like Renee. She's very wry and funny.

  19. "Indie"? In this case I think it means just that. I don't know N. Bransford, occasionally I read his stuff but have many a time rolled my eyes at his stances and implications. Many from the publishing industry practice old school snobbery. I think it's laughable. If you're not traditionally published then, as the terms stands presently, then you're "Indie", that is if you're published or planning to be. The lines are already drawn from a commercial perspective, argue definition all you want.

  20. @Maria; I'm blushing. You're right, Angela has a great blog here. I'm just catching up on her posts.

  21. Erm...I meant "Angelina". My fingers have a mind of their own.

  22. Daniel: Bransford can get a little Hollywood, but at least he gets people talking.

    Renee: Hitting that schnapps a little early, aren't we? LOL

    Thanks all for coming over.

  23. I find that you always has good points for things and I am glad to hear that.

    Karen Millen dresses