Indie writers face a scrutiny and snobbery that most traditionally published authors will never face. It is assumed that because anyone can self-publish and sadly there are hundreds if not thousands that are not at the point they should be in order to publish but still do it anyway that all that do are unprofessional and the writing ins't up to par. Yes it is true that with so many people simply putting words on a page and hitting publish those of us that do go through the process of editing, revising, creating cover art and formatting to create a book that could proudly stand next to any traditionally published book we face a steeply graded uphill battle.
I know authors that fall into the "I wrote it so I have the right to publish anything I want" category and I cringe to know that as an Indie author I am thought of in the same light. However I do have dedicated readers that enjoy the pride I take in my work as well as my storytelling and will make sure to tell others that I am a real author not just someone that puts something out for the vanity of seeing my name in print. It is painful to know how far we still have to go.
There are advantages however to being Indie instead of a traditionally published author. I may have smaller sales and have to work tremendously hard for each and every one of them but I get to keep a much larger portion because I do not have to split my royalties with my publisher, editor, or agent. When I set something up and get to go and do promotions it is all my success and I do not have a publicist telling me what to say or a concern about making anyone look good other than myself.
We are responsible for everything for our work and promotions as Indie authors and that means that we work every day, long hours making our small businesses grow. Just because we work hard for ourselves and growing our brands however does not mean we are out competing against every other Indie author, in fact we tend to partner and cross promote to help one another instead of being fiercely competitive. It is a world we live in proudly but it is far more work than most can ever imagine. We live it and love it but we are prepared for everything that comes with it.