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To Those Who Won’t Review Self-Published Books — 7 Comments

  1. I’ve published 15 books on my own, and have been able to build a small but loyal audience. My first book for the History Press, “Haunted Hillsborough County,” comes out on Sept. 9. We’ll see how that does.

  2. It is difficult to find quality self-published books (SPB). I browse Amazon and Smashwords and other sources, and frankly most of the SPB are penny-dreadfuls. This is not to say that professionally published books are always infinitely better, but I know that if I buy a book from a reputable publisher that the content will generally have seen the slash of an editor’s pen.

    I am a self-published author myself and make no pretense of thinking I write the highest quality work. I wish my work was better. I think my work is slightly above average at best. But even though it pains me to consider my work as SPB, it is, and it fits the category.

    Better book covers and better editing are perhaps the two main legs of a successful publishing platform.

    • Try major indie contests like the IPPY awards. You’ll find plenty of well-reviewed indie books to check out. The rest is up to us. As you say, quality design and editing services are available to those authors who take self-publishing seriously.

  3. Stigmatizing and casually dismissing self published authors with a “vanity press” label is an example of how extremely debilitating are the stereotypes that exist in the public domain regarding the world of publishing. This can be very aptly compared to the racial stereotypes
    now on the table for discussion in the recent, headlining making case revolving around the acquittal of Zimmerman, the shooter of Trayvon Martin.

    There is definitely a parallel between the two levels of social prejudice.

    • Prejudice is fear and ignorance translated into irrational choice-making. When driven by fear, people are capable of a spectrum of sins ranging from apathy to genocide. We self-publishers have a stigma to battle, but many of us are still producing junk and reinforcing the prejudice against our work. The relevance of major review sources is declining anyway. That leaves us with the burden of fixing the problem. As Pogo Possum said, “we have met the enemy and he s us.” My hope is that this blog encourages a few people to work with professional editors and designers to produce books that exceed the standards of the trade publishing industry. As shown in my recent post about book covers, those standards aren’t that high.

  4. Yup – yup – yup . . . amen to all that.

    Once all writers started out self published – how else wouldsomeone like Jane Austen have got started? And who says big equals best, or even respected – the mega publishing groups are far too conservative, so how is someone with something new and fresh, or just plain different, going to get noticed when ‘they’ will only go with the tried and trusted?

    Self or indie publishing is the way to go, and to hell with tying your star to a clapped out old dinosaur!

  5. There is an excitement to picking up a self-published writer and discovering that he/she can really tell a story. It would be great if there were a respected source for reviews.

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