Something struck me last week when I was in one of my writing groups. Most writers there call themselves indie when they talk about their books. And although they all write not all of them produce professionally published work.
There is still a lot of stigma attached to independent authors. Outside the writing world people think you only have the right to call yourself an author if you're backed by Penguin or Random House. People think that only those authors can produce such professional quality works.
But this is not true. Indies who are serious about treating writing as a business will be professional. They will take the time to make sure they produce quality books and they will spend the money to ensure a polished result. Their main goal will be to get their book into the hands of a reader who'll think this book is such a high standard they'll have a difficult time in telling it apart from a traditionally published book.
Unfortunately though not all self-published writers are like this. Many can't afford professional editing and cover design. Many still think they'll earn their fortune just by rushing their book and releasing what some would still consider a first draft. And unfortunately it's those kind of people who give the rest of us a bad name.
Trad-pubbed authors will already have a team of people behind them to ensure their book will reach a certain high standard. They will write their book and won't have to worry about finding money to pay their copy-editor as this is already included in the package.
So if you're an indie who takes writing seriously, why go to the bother of declaring yourself as self-published? If you're a writer then your goal will be the same as any other author. And that goal is to publish books.
Readers will look for a book they want to read. If it catches their eye then they will buy it. Readers won't care if you're backed by Penguin or not. If they want to read your book they'll read it. Whether you're an indie or not is not the point.