Many of the naysayers comments on self-publishing goes something like this:
HOW will us POOR readers be able to tell the horrible writing from the good stuff if the editors and publishers and agents don’t tell us what to read?
Shut it people.
Just reading the small blurb about the book tells a hell of a lot. I was on Smashwords looking up free reads to read and then review later and there were things that I could tell were crappy just by reading the small blurb. The author just threw something up there. A few of them didn’t even have proper book description just genre blurb. Huh? I know what romance is about? I need to know what YOUR romance is about.
This is how we currently choose books isn’t it? The short blurb and the cover.
Secondly, almost all indie authors give you a preview of their book. If they don’t then write the author and tell them what a mistake they are making. If the blurb looks good, check out the preview.
It’s how we check out an unknown author at the library or bookstore. Flip open to a random page and see if it’s unreadable or interesting.
If those two check out, then you are probably okay to read the whole book. Even spend a little bit of money on it.
If those two satisfy you and you buy the book and it turns out to be drek, you do have some recourse. Kindle gives you a week or so to ask for a refund if you hate the book. I don’t know if Kobo, B&N or Smashwords gives you the same.
Money back or not, write a review. Let other people know the book sucked or didn’t. Write why it did or didn’t work for you. Write it on your blog, your twitter and Amazon etc etc. Send a letter to the author.
I think if I got a letter from a pissed off reader, I would offer a refund of money.
Really tho, in a world where movies like Saw 54 (what number are they on anyway!!) and The Back-Up Plan get made or TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy are still popular? I think we can sludge through a few bad books.
Bad books make it through the agent-editor-publisher process all the time. It’s really a matter of taste. Your highfalutin tastes might look down on Twilight and Dan Brown and all of Harlequin there are PLENTY of people to make it up for those authors-publishers-editors-agents. They aren’t missing your money at all.
SO shut it. Self-publishing isn’t going to unleash the demons of hell upon the world of reading. If you don’t think self-published novels are where it’s at then don’t bother looking. PUblishing is still going strong, you can still buy a few thousand books published by traditional publishers.
You can even do it in print so you can have the whole experience. The feel of the book in your hands. The paper cutting your fingers. How is it that paper cuts always hurt so bad?
And you can breathe in the musty smell of paper. ANd deep breath and then cough cough. (If you ask me it’s more like breathing in dust).
And you can have the weight of the book in your hands. Both hands because it’s a hard cover and you have to use both hands to hold it. (I was annoyed the other night because I was reading a print hardcover and found it bulky to read my book and hold my infant son so I tossed it aside for my Kobo which is easy to fling from hand to hand).
And yes, you can pay a premium price for all that privilege. The author will get a small percentage. Eventually.