This is going to a rare day for two reasons, one I will more than likely post twice to catch up on my ThinkKit challenges and the second, I am actually going to step up on my soapbox for a little bit.
Are independently published books held to a different standard? I thought I had already blogged about this topic, but upon browsing my post history, I discovered I merely raised it as a conversation on the Writers’ Coffeehouse at Google+. I hear so many people, even aspiring authors, spouting they never read or won’t waste their time on independent published books. Claiming they are chock-full of plot holes and spelling errors. While that might be true of a lot of self-published books out there, I don’t think it’s the standard. I have read a good many independently published books that are excellent.
I can’t help but wonder if these same people, who rip apart self-published books, hold the traditionally published books to the same standard. I have seen spelling errors and gaping plot holes in traditionally published books, but I don’t see people lining up on their soapboxes to take a swing at the authors. It seems to me the people who harshly criticize the indie market are those who, on the rare occasion they actually read a self-published book, only read the free ones. I am not saying the free books are poorly written, I am saying you are more likely to run across some bad ones.
If these critics are only reading the books they have picked up on free days, are they choosing the book with the same due diligence as they would have a book they were going to pay $7.99 for at the local bookstore? Personally, I choose books very haphazardly when I am “buying” free books. I choose book that I might not have if I would have been expected to pay full price. I like to take a chance and break out of my norm. After all, if I don’t like the book, the only thing I am out is time.
I don’t recommend this new generation of self-publishing to disregard the rules of the traditional publishers, but I think we can both learn a little from each other. Writers are starting to flock to the self-publishing market for ease of getting THEIR stories out there. They don’t have a marketing team telling them to change this character to a girl or to make that character the main love interest or you need this aspect to reach this demographic group. The indie market is writing from their hearts, not from a pocketbook. While mainstream publishing could learn to let their authors tell their story and get back to the heart of writing, the independent market could take a page from them by being professional. Image does matter. When we decided to step into this world of publishing on our own, we need to realize there are critics out there that will judge us harshly based on the fact we didn’t publish our books from the “Big Five”, so we need to step it up and be professionals.
*steps back down and continues life as normal*