Indies at DragonCon!
Richard Fox won a Dragon for military scifi, and Ronnie Virdi became a two-time Dragon-nominated author.
Both are indie authors. They act as both author and publisher, putting out their books mostly through Amazon and other digital retailers.
For the record, other winners of the Dragon this year:
Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey (an Expanse novel)
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Death’s End by Cixin Liu
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier
This is flat-out inspiring for authors like us, because it means that the ecosystem has evolved to the point where – thanks to incredible amounts of hard work put in by Richard and others – a much-loved indie author-publisher can put out a book and have it compete at every single level with the juggernauts of the industry. Amazing work. Hats off to Richard.
The Dragons themselves are a good development – a bit shrouded in drama, what with Vox Day and John Scalzi and the Puppies at it hammer and tongs, but a great thing nonetheless. As GRRM says, “the Dragons may have a long and successful future ahead of them as the People’s Choice Award of science fiction and fantasy, a broadbased popular anyone-can-vote award that will complement the Hugo Awards (the Oscars of science fiction and fantasy) and the Nebulas (the guild awards, like the DGA/ WGA/ SAG awards in film and TV).”
In terms of numbers, and sales, indies have been killing it – those 70% royalties stack up to make some very proud authors earning five, six, seven and even eight figures a month.
Awards have not yet caught up – well, most haven’t. Scifi has always been open. The Hugos, which are like the Oscars, welcome self-pubbed books. Excellent. Other genres still rely on the trad pub push to get in those doors – but I’m very hopeful now. I doubt an indie will win a Booker prize anytime soon, but there will be plenty more out there.