I have an observation to make: there are a lot of talented self-published authors out there. A lot.
To many people, this is as banal an observation as saying Donald Trump is narcissistic. Those who’ve been reading indie authors for years know they produce work that equals, if not surpasses, what traditionally published authors produce.
Other people, though, are still insisting that indie authors are barely literate wackos, monkeys at keyboards, drooling egotists, who’re churning out books no self-respecting person would touch.
The sheer number of these crappy books is supposed to stagger. There are thousands of them! How is one supposed to find quality literature within this sea of stupidity?
Actually, this “sea of stupidity” is more like a “lake of lacklusterness.” Good self-published books aren’t as rare as diamonds, as some contend – they’re everywhere. All you have to do is look.
I think I have pretty high standards, and I have no problem finding quality reading material. In fact, the more self-published books I read, the more excited I am to be a part of this tribe.
Still dubious that incredible self-published books are out there? I’ll let you in on my super-advanced, patent-pending process. This is how I find good self-published books with a minimum of hassle:
1.) I read the reviews of a particular book.
2.) If the reviews indicate I might like this book, I use Amazon’s Look Inside feature to see if it’s right for me, and then I decide if I want to purchase it.
3.) I then begin reading the book.
4.) If the book is good, I read it. If I find out the book isn’t good, I stop reading it.
This may blow your mind, but that’s OK. As I said, this is advanced stuff.
Yes, the snark level is approaching critical mass, but it’s hard not to be snarky when dealing with the elitist whiners who constantly denigrate self-publishing.
This isn’t rocket science. At its core, the way we find good books hasn’t changed during the e-revolution. We still look for social proof, and we still sample the book before purchasing it. There are just more options than ever before – that many of these books happen to be self-published shouldn’t matter.
To me, having all these options is fantastic. No matter what you’re into, you can find something you like. Or, if you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone, you can find books that are offbeat and challenging, books no traditional publisher or agent would touch with a ten-foot pole because they don’t fit into an easily-defined marketing category.
For some, though, having all these choices = doubleplusungood. “Everyone thinks they can write a novel nowadays! It’s absurd! I don’t want to sift through a hundred books to find something I like!”
Bookstores and libraries have hundreds of books, and people browse through them quite happily. How is Amazon or any other online bookseller different, besides lacking the physical aspect of walking around a building?
Now, if you don’t want to read indie authors, that’s fine. But don’t say that the self-publishing world is just a steaming pile of feces that’s ruining Literature. By now, that argument is tedious.
Or maybe you want to be tedious. If so, go right ahead. Complain and bloviate about “clueless indie authors” to your heart’s content. I’ll be reading and writing, having a grand old time – and laughing my ass off.