Our Golden Age?

The early decades of the twenty-first century saw a great flowering of the literary arts, due in large part to the advent of self-publishing on the Internet. The writers called themselves Indie Authors. Many of them were members of the so-called Baby Boom generation, born between the end of the Second World War and the nineteen-sixties. With a high degree of literacy and egos inflated by the conviction that they were the first humans to experience anything worthwhile, many of them used their retirement years to write. Literary agents and publishers were overwhelmed by a flood of submissions from these eager wannabees. Mail rooms overflowed with manuscript boxes, fat brown envelopes and SASEs. Rejections issued forth, provoking incredulous disappointment. Technology came to the rescue, providing online publishing platforms that allowed the indies to elbow the weary gatekeepers aside and publish. Millions of ebooks and POD print books issued forth. Savvy entrepreneurs stepped up to provide services to the indies. Blogs multiplied and online literary salons proliferated.

Every now and then, I wonder what future scholars of literature might say about us indie author/publishers. The mainstream of traditional publishing gets lots of attention, but over the past decade, vast numbers of writers have been quietly publishing, blogging, debating, opining, reviewing, interviewing, and ultimately creating a Thing.

Will anyone, in the future, study, write about, and analyze our Thing? What will they call us? The Early 21st Century Indies? The Tsunami of Crap? Boomers Unbound?

Really, though, think about it: we create, we connect, we write and publish. We’re serious and sincere. Aside from the fact that most of this activity is carried on via the internet, there isn’t much difference between the current phenom and the literary movements of history. Salons, pamphlets, feuilletons, little magazines, and literary societies all have their online equivalents. This blog on which I’m holding forth right now continues the tradition of writers and thinkers using whatever means are at hand to share their thoughts.

Who knows what posterity will make of us? We may represent only the very beginning of a larger phenomenon. Or we may be a brief spark that vanishes into the current of history. Will our works be curated and preserved, or will their survival depend on pure accident amid some global catastrophe? To us, right now, it really doesn’t matter. The true value of the indie author movement to us indie authors is the connections we’ve made with one another by creating and sharing our works and ideas.

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Let’s keep on creating our Thing, whatever it is!

hammer and anvil


Book & Brains image created with Canva

Hammer and anvil image courtesy of Pixabay

The Indie Author Manifesto by Mark Coker at Smashwords



  1. Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    Someone or other once remarked that “all political careers end in failure”. One could, I think say the same of literary careers as all writers (irrespective of how successful or otherwise they are) die. However, in another sense some writers will live on through their words, whether they be self-published or published via traditional means. A man may moulder in the grave but his words (as well as his deeds) live on. Kevin

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sometimes I think about certain writers and composers, now long dead, and wonder what they would think if they knew their works are still being read, performed, and discussed. And of course there are others who have pretty much vanished, despite popularity in their own time. It is (as they say) a crap-shoot. Many thanks for the reblog, Kevin.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s the way it should be with books. Of course, the big publishers have way more attention-getting resources than we indies. And “feuilleton” is a word I remembered seeing somewhere during my cataloguing librarian career. Love those obscure words!


  2. This is profound Audrey. I never thought of it. I agree. I blog and I write what will probably remain unpublished since I procrastinate too much to submit or self-publish. I’m going to republish on e-Quips and share with my Read and Critique Group. Way to go, Girl!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. When I first started writing, I often wished I lived in Elizabethan times, when you could become a famous writer just by dirculating your manuscrtipt among your friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Perhaps we will be insignificant failures. In 1968 we were going to change the world. It hasn’t gotten better and we merely got older. Some even became part of for what we held in contempt. Others too busy just scraping out a living. We all see how powerless we were and are now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admit I’m somewhat disillusioned by how our generation has turned out. Maybe we shouldn’t have declared our intentions quite so loudly back in the day. Some were able to live out the ideals and bring about change, but they are a minority.


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