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Self-published books: pain or gain?

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In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 13:37:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2012 13:56:57 BDT
Hi, Booktigger, how nice of you to pop by :-)

I know it's super important for Indies to get reviews. And it's brilliant that you as a reader feel comfortable and happy to write them. Thank you. Maybe I would review now with the e-book market, I honestly don't know.
The review system, to me, is flawed, too many fake reviews, review exchanges, too many arguments when someone leaves a negative review, etc. I salute every reader who isn't put off by some of the behaviour I've observed.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 13:41:21 BDT
Anita says:
Stella, was it your answer to me that got deleted? But hey, I'd like to know what you said... (didn't get it by e-mail).

Perhaps I should check the "track" box. Missing some fun, it seems

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 13:42:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2012 13:54:44 BDT
They deleted my post :-(

I was basically saying that I was a member of such a website and the quality, though for many first time writers, was good, it was just not publishable stuff.

Can't be bothered to type the whole post again. Amazon loves to delete my longer posts for some reason. Grumble.

Okay, since you asked, I'll try again. That website was for budding writers, to showcase their writing (mostly novels), the special feature for many was that the top five books (they never rose on merit; it was a popularity contest or a matter of playing the system) received a review from the editors of that publishing house (one of the big six). Needless to say that none of the top five books were published. Some needed major work, some just weren't right for them.

I once got very angry responses when I boldly stated that most of the writers on that side simply had books that weren't publishable. Gee, you cannot imagine the attacks. I read a lot of openings of many manuscripts and only a few were absolutely outstanding, to me, that is. Great voices, great stories and I think they have a lot of potential. One of the authors is now published with multiple contracts. Small publishers, yet traditionally.

But they were the rare exception. Most of them bored me stiff. Sorry. And many self-pubbed books I read, could have been from that website, straight off it.

Posted on 23 May 2012 13:48:30 BDT
Garscadden says:
I didn't mean to imply all self-published work is rubbish - just that the ratio of rubbish to good stuff is so extreme that, for me, there is just no upside. That ratio for trad published is, again, for me, very different. As previously stated, my tastes aren't that extreme, but I do find unusual books.

I keep thinking that the balance will change - there must be a deluge at the moment of everyone who has written a manuscript over the past 50 years. Presumably in another year or so that will quieten down - at that point it should be a lot easier.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 13:53:03 BDT
I feel the same and sadly, it's pulling all the good authors down, too. The only books I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish in the past year were traditionally published books.

By the way: I asked an agent on Twitter if she receives less submission because of the self-publishing wave and she said she doesn't. Scares me a little because I think there's a lot more to come.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 13:56:39 BDT
Anita says:
Perhaps some of them will just stop writing.

Perhaps some of them will get disappointed in self-publishing.

Perhaps some of them will go on doing what they do now.

And maybe one or two of them will become famous, ergo, jump into "traditionally published" league. (And then, perhaps, I'll read them :) <duck>)

Posted on 23 May 2012 13:58:56 BDT
Stella, my publishers are so small that I'll bet no one else here has heard of them.
Yet, they receive over 80 unsolicited submissions a week. Every week...
There is a huge amount of unpublished stuff out there, let alone on good old Autho

And, how about this? Did I tell youabout the lad I met last week, who is thinking of self publishing? He's had 60 rejections now. For his unfinished book. Which no one else has looked at.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:03:48 BDT
Anita says:
Stella: perhaps you were lucky. I failed to find anything, honestly.

On the other hand, a publishing house I happened to work for at the time used to hold an annual competition for short stories by new writers, and did publish a traditional paperback next year. (Not any more, sadly) Some of those were really good

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:05:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2012 14:06:21 BDT
Yes, you spoke about it.

This is why I think these sort of discussions are important, to raise awareness. I rant about Indie authors on my blog. Constantly. Many share my rants and retweet because they agree. If people don't complain about bad quality, it'll continue like this. All I'm asking as a reader is to get your storyline right, learn a few basics like dialogue attributes and avoid some dreaded cliches.

Autho is a breeding pot for future self-published authors who mainly heard praise for the ms and think they'll make it big. Most of them don't. Hell, I didn't make it big, but I know that my novels are well plotted, if people don't like it it's mostly because it's not their cuppa, which is fine.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:13:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2012 14:15:01 BDT
I tell you, there's this girl, she was 19 back then, who amazed me when I read her YA novel and that book blew me away. She has tons of talent. I'm not a horse person, but I read all her stuff on screen she had uploaded. Of course it needs editing, some smoothing out, enhancing of her writing, but the overall storyline was great, perfect for YA and her voice is amazing.
I supported her all the way through. Same with another writer, who captured me immediately.

Then there was a very talented writer who had a Vampire story. Brilliant voice. The story reminded me of Interview with a Vampire, but very original. That guy co-wrote the book and he's left the site. I wonder what he's doing now because I encouraged him to continue. Another woman had an original vampire story and I read it last year (the ending of it) and it let me down. Shame.

Posted on 23 May 2012 14:18:25 BDT
Apologies for the many typos. :-) I really should double and triple check my posts. Very annoying.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:22:17 BDT
susie says:
I thought self publishing my books was a pain. But there is a God. The Milieu Principle, my first, now sits top of downloaded political thrillers on Kindle and my second, Milieu Dawn, now sits third. As a first time writer I could not pretend to be perfect - but neither would I improve without a readership and comment. Cheers, Malcolm

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:25:53 BDT
Anita says:
Well, vampires is yet something else I do not read. Or if I do, I'd stick with Salem's Lot, I'm afraid.

I do believe there's a gem or two somewhere there. Unfortunately, looking for them is something I don't feel up to very much. In fact I have a *mountain* of not-yet-read traditionally published books I crave to read, and I'm pretty sure everybody present would second that

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:29:45 BDT
There's a market for all readers, I think. If you don't like self-published books for whatever reason it's fine by me. Others prefer it. I read both, self-published and traditionally published books. But for now, my assessment is that many self-published books don't match the standards of traditionally published books. Sue me.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:31:03 BDT
Anita says:
Erm... you got me here. Sue you for - what?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:32:22 BDT
Susie, you see, while I'm happy for you, it would have been nice had you read my post. Good luck further on with your novels. It's wonderful to see success stories.:-)

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:35:47 BDT
Not you! The Indies who will be enraged about my bold statements. I'm one of them in the end, but I speak as a reader here. Or maybe even more as an editor which is worse. lol

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 14:36:37 BDT
Anita says:

Posted on 23 May 2012 14:39:23 BDT
I must go now, do a bit of writing myself and then off to the garden, planting and watering, it's hot in London.

See you later, folks. Don't hate me too much. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 17:29:32 BDT
I know, I'm sorry, I'm a bit stressed I don't mean to be arsy, I just feel strongly because I've put so much damned work in.

I agree there is a lot of crap floating around and I've had a chat to a couple authors who looked as if they'd written something reasonably decent but hadn't edited it and persuaded them to pull it for proper editing proof reading.

The sooner some of the dodgy authors drop this idea that writing a book gets you rich quick the better it will be for all of us!



In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 17:31:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2012 17:49:39 BDT
@ Stella Yeh and spell checkers!
@ Booktigger, reviewing books is really helpful and greatly appreciated by authors, trad or indie published. You also put what I was trying to say rather better and slightly less arsily than I did.
@ Garscadden and Anita no worries I think it may be that I'm being hyper sensitive. I just get frustrated at the idea that people will refuse to countenance reading my book because of the way it's published rather than because the sample or reviews are any good.

Also, I wonder if there are genres where trad publishers are happier to accept a book or where perhaps there are just more openings. I'm pretty sure the only less popular genre with the publishing industry gatekeepers than comic fantasy - which I write - is humorous poetry which I also write (but not to a publishable standard, or at least only for stand-up). ;-) So it may be there is less 'publishable' stuff self published in some genres than others (says she - ardently hoping that her output has attained the quality she's aiming for). Actually does that make any sense? It's not hugely articulate is it but my brain's a bit fried today!



Posted on 23 May 2012 19:24:07 BDT

you need to work up a head of angst and bitterness, and then write a mis lit about how you feel betrayed as an author.

probably place that in minutes...

Posted on 23 May 2012 19:49:55 BDT
STEVEN says:
I have never had a book professionally published yet but at least the Kindle Store gives new authors the chance to showcase their work. I think if you go in the with the idea to hopefully build a fan base for upcoming projects then there is no harm done. I would never advise anyone to write a book to gain fame and fortune as it almost surely won't happen and that would be doing it for all the wrong reasons. It has been good to get feedback off people regarding the variety of stories in my short story book, 'Time's too Short'. It is interesting to know which ideas work and entertain people and others that don't so much. I'm hoping for some reviews on Amazon now in order to sway people over in to taking a look.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 20:02:27 BDT
Booktigger says:
Fortunately i haven't seen any silly behavior on reviews - i have had one comment which was to thank me.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2012 20:09:41 BDT
STEVEN says:
That's good then. I think any reviews that have constructive comments can only be a good thing for any writer.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  418
Total posts:  10000
Initial post:  17 May 2012
Latest post:  28 Dec 2014

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