Trick-or-Treat! The Joys of Candy and Independent Authors
I never really used to give my reading list much thought. In school it was always given to me, with some occasional flexibility if AR points were at stake and in college. After school was over, I only read fiction books based on the recommendations of friends. I also spent a lot of time reading non-fiction business books to hone my skills. For a few years I avoided fiction altogether because I wasn’t satisfied with what I was reading, but I wasn’t trying very hard to find what I liked either. I’ve been thinking about my reading list a lot lately, and most of what’s on the “read next“ list falls under the independent author category. Sure, maybe it’s expected as a part of my position, but beyond that I’ve come to really enjoy reading independent authors. Not only is it an adventure, but I’ve also found that many of the actual narratives resonate with me better than some of the commercial fiction that ends up everywhere. Since today is Halloween I thought I would take this time to make a very appropriate analogy comparing reading independent authors to the joys of trick-or-treating as I remember them.
As a child I loved trick-or-treating. There’s nothing better to a child than coming home with pounds of candy. I’m sure my mother was horrified at the sight of mountains of chocolates and sweet things, but man, was it satisfying to dump the night’s spoils onto the floor to see what I’d amassed over the previous few hours.
Some neighbors would open the door with a huge bowl of assorted candy and let me choose one. Of course, I always went for my favorite, which would have been a Butterfinger, if one was available. Some neighbors would toss a candy into my plastic jack-o-lantern, and I had no choice but to hope that they were merciful. And then lastly, there was always that neighbor who left a bucket of candy on their front porch with a sign that said, Please only take one, but I grabbed a handful anyway and hightailed it out of there hoping that there were at least a few good ones.
At the end of the night I was left with a heaping stash of delicious, teeth-rotting candy. Now when I’m building my reading list I feel like that kid again staring at the pile of candy when I’m looking for books to buy and read. Of course there are the classics, the tried and true candies I know I love. Hemingways and Brontës full of peanut butter or caramel and nougat, or in my case whatever it is that fills a Butterfinger. Then there are the trendy candies, the ones that are new to the circuit, and all the kids are antsy to get their grubby little hands on a piece, we’ll call these the bestseller list books. These are your Hunger Games and Twilight series. They get the fancy packaging and all of the marketing dollars to push them specifically for this year’s Halloween, some last for years to come, others don’t. Then there are the candies that you’re just not quite sure about. They don’t look like the others, they’re unfamiliar to you, but hey, you’re a kid, and candy is candy, my friend, so you’re willing to give it a shot. And this right here is where independent authors fall for me. It’s an adventure and a risk, and the payoff can be underwhelming. Even if it’s not everything I expected it doesn’t stop me from trying the next piece I don’t recognize. Because sometimes you find that one piece that may or may not be replicable, but it’s so worth it to enjoy that sweet, delicious treat in the moment.
So here’s to trick or treating and finding those special candies that you’ll never forget. Please feel free to share your own trick or treating stories in the comments below, or better yet, your reading analogies for reading independent authors. If you’re looking for some great independent reads, go trick or treating in the Kbuuk bookstore. And if you’re an author looking to contribute to the great pile of candy, we have accounts for you too!
Happy Reading, Writing, and Trick or Treating!