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  1. We Live in a Literary World of Terrible Self-Published Authors
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  3. We Live in a Literary World of Terrible Self-Published Authors

And I know many indie authors who are highly successful AND write superior books. I also know some who are incredible writers who are timid about advertising. I hate formulas, ie. The Big Four publishers failed to see the future of writing and ignored the voices of readers who wanted something different. Indies stepped in and filled that void with Amazon as their champion. That bumble sits squarely on the shoulders of Big Publishing. I think the problem is you. Btw, nice clickbait title. In my experience, grammar nazis are rarely professional writers themselves.

I have given up paying for lottery tickets with chances of one in a milion…. Amazon does not release sales data in a way that you would be able to state such statistics. If that were true, the plethora of editors available to us would not be booked months in advance.

Did you poll every single Indie author on this subject? As a final note, I suggest you hire an editor before you publish your next article as this one is full of typos and grammar mistakes. There is a lot of crappy literature among the ranks of the traditionally published, as well. How I read this: But when other people point out that my own writing is poor, I lash out and disparage them. So I guess your experience is not that insightful. So, this site just lost all credibility. The indie craze will not soon be over.

Especially when traditionally published authors are ditching their publishers and joining the indie ranks, and when indie authors have built huge, loyal readerships. Indies hit the bestseller lists every week, and the number of indies doing so is rising, not falling. Indie authors are here to stay. Whether I agreed with the premise of the article or not is beside the point. My point is that this particular writer has very little ground to stand on, considering how poorly the article is written.

Just look at 50 Shades of Grey.


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That novel is proof that traditionally published novels are just a money grab and little else. All those numbers you cite? Very few of them include indie sales because of the ISBN issue. I also know at least five that I can name off the top of my head who make six figures a month. This includes screenshots of graphs and everything. A little research might help the situation. No, never heard of it? To be more accurate Michael, a lot of traditional authors are bad too, but the idea rings the bells and the support structure to hone and change, edit and re-edit is there to make it all shiny and marketable.

Your taste is different to many out there, so is mine. The reality this article attempts to obscure is these online markets cater to self-publishers to such a degree because self-publishers are making them and their customers happy. Readers vote with their wallets, after all, and visibility of self-published titles is driven by how customers spend that money.

Most authors are interested in cultivating their readership, not being a member of some club.

We Live in a Literary World of Terrible Self-Published Authors

Self-published authors do not have a monopoly on poorly written and produced novels. A good story well written benefits from the high gloss of a professionally honed tome in hardback, print paper or e-book. Best seller slots are purchased by main stream publishers. The sales may or might not arrive once the novel is plastered on the front shelves of high street outlets.

The readability of the novel can be disappointing. Certainly the paper and print are often not good. As an author you need to hone your skills and continuous submission to streams of main publishers quickly becomes time consuming. Your writing progress subsequently slackens. Both my first novels obtained the offer of contracts, but the terms were restrictive.

I will most likely return to submissions for my fourth novel. Several years of work on an individual novel with re-writes and the entry of a final draft has been rewarded with positive replies for all three novels in e-book form. Self-publishing is a continuous learning curve.

Copywright ownership has meant the receipt of royalties, but I do appreciate that without the massive promotion and production power from a main publisher, the breakthrough into the British high street, is not easy. I will most likely have novels in American stores before the UK! Yes, Americans do appear to like my novels. Some genre, like erotica and romantica, DO pull in respectable cash flows. Readers consume those e-books much like potato chips, quick snack-like reading then onto the next one.

This is why we have an Erotic Authors Guild… we look to set the bar higher and also to help authors find resources to improve themselves. I think the writer of this article needs to learn how to use an editor before he starts commenting about bad writing. Books gain prominence through reader reviews and sales rank, regardless of who publishes them. If a book gets no reviews, it sinks in search results. If indie- and corporate-published books were segregated tomorrow on Amazon, it would be only a matter of time until indie authors would band together to form small presses.

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This would require a new system of vetting. Should your site be segregated on the Internet? A badly-written article, riddled with grammatical mistakes, complains about badly-written books riddled with grammatical mistakes. Well Mike, so what? They hated any band that dared to step out of the mainstream and take control of their own destiny by refusing to conform to their rigid rules and regulations. Whenever Bowker or someone issues a report, Indies cry foul because they are not accurately represented, but they bring it upon themselves. If you can get that business about separating the self-published from those produced by actual publishers off the ground, let me know.

I have a goodly number of colleagues who would gladly get behind it. Every businessperson would like to have artificial barriers to competition in place to secure their market position. Before the indie publishing industry took off, corporate publishers enjoyed an oligopoly. Oligopoly always results in higher prices, windfall profits for the existing producers, and fewer choices for consumers.

That decline in profits you describe is also basic economics: But the solution is to become more competitive, not to advocate for artificial barriers to entry. Because indies are taking over more of the market. Nobody cares what Amazon thinks anymore. Pornography has always made money, just like child prostitution and slavery. It has nothing to do with writing or books. So you get to make up numbers. It will go live next week. Laura Miller talked about this phenomenon a few years back, addressing the same problems.

All self-publishers and, no, I do not include hybrid writers with proved reputations in traditional publishing in that condemnation do is push readers back to familiar territory because book discovery is too exhausting and depressing. However, the balance show promise and a few are even brilliant. Realistically, a list segregated by sales is relegating every book below the bar to oblivion.

Who sets the bar? So what your suggesting, Michael, is elitist, a return to the time when a few powerful people made publishing and reading decisions for the masses. What gives you the right to interfere with my relationship as a reader with traditional publishers? E-readers are just under 20 years old. Why, after almost 80 years of massive communications changes, would we suddenly screech to a halt now? For every crappy book traditionally published, there are at least times that number that were rejected and therefore never inflicted on the public.

This argument would be valid only if self-published works were indexed separately from traditionally published. The visibility of self-published works has absolutely nothing to do with what percentage they are of the overall book market. Self-published books are not listed on retailers sites in response to their sales.

Do you think readers will not browse the indie section? If the answer is yes to both, you would realize, like i do, that indie books are trash. In his article, Michael seems to think the distinction is obvious — and maybe it is, or do you think otherwise? I think readers are less likely to browse a section that has been deemed to have not made the grade. Because e-book sales are down due to the endless shit volcano of indie author e-books.

They need to be segregated for the long term viability of the product. The fact that you think that if indie authors had their own section, and nobody would browse it is very telling indeed. The segregation would be made be by sales — books with sales exceeding so much would be in a category different from books with lesser sales — there would be no distinction in that regard between indie or traditionally published work. Even before the advent of indie Kindle publishing, Amazon was always about providing the widest variety of choices to consumers.

I was a customer on the site for the first time back in the late s. There were always lots of obscure titles from small presses, etc. If you only want to read Patterson, Grisham, King, and other offerings from corporate publishers, you can search the NYT bestsellers list on Amazon, or buy all of your books in Walmart, and at brick-and-mortar bookstores. Reproducing that limited selection has never been what Amazon was about. If you want a small selection of curated titles from corporate publishers, you have options: Amazon has always been about offering lots of choices.

This has been the case since Amazon first opened in Someone is buying them. A lot of people are buying them. This means that many readers do, in fact, value having choices beyond the corporate-published titles. Amazon is not the world, true, but the world buys from Amazon. No…I was saying it is going to evolve and so what if people learn as they go.

I was speaking of people coupled with evolving tech. Let the market sort it out. Maybe an analogy will help out with rating this lame-ass jeremiad. Did the initial import of crappy Korean cars hurt sales of Mercedes or even Buicks? Do the vast number of ugly people out there hurt the attractiveness of beautiful people?

More support for my statements that good writers never bitch about more writers entering the field… only crappy writers trying to look good by sneering at others. And if sales are the big criterion, toss 50 Shades in there. This kind of snotty, ignorant over-generalization is what education is supposed to cure people of.

This guy is making a personal religion of it. How would looking up one person have anything to do with a discussion of overall publishing trends? This is one reason why that fact that many people are going back to hard copy is significant. Perhaps one reason is that shopping for traditionally published ebooks is made much more difficult by self-published slush. Can you explain what the hell that even means? It would also reduce the leverage of Amazon in the marketplace. This might be good for everyone—including independent publishers. But Amazon I reiterate has always allowed merchandise from independent and small publishers.

This is a key element of their business model, and it is unlikely to change. If you actually want statistics to prove that an extremely successful author does indeed know her industry, here you go. Report on the ebook market feb , wide version. And, anyone can learn and adapt as they go. They do not have to start off as professionals and judged by pseudo-critics.

If you want to know how many authors are earning good or great money in this industry and where in all senses they are earning it, the Author Earnings Report is a great start.


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These titles are not indicative of the average indie title. And BTW, a lot more indie books get picked up by publishers and the average of unpublished books submitted to big houses. Why do you keep pretending you do and exposing your lameness to public view?

I did it. I found the Worst Book.

No, it just means you have to learn how to use search engines. And learn how to judge a book before buying it. Like most real people learn how to do. Many, many readers are calling for clear information on ebooks, especially a way to distinguish self-published from traditional, and a way to sort search results by publishers, but no one is providing this. Meanwhile, all we have are tiny, insular, random events, where people might buy what they happen to bump into.

Erotica is not pornography. Many of my indie author friends have also bought ISBNs. You need to stop generalizing. It makes you look like a bitter dummy who possesses no credibility. Then again, if all you want to do is troll, generalize away. But us serious authors will simply ignore you from here on out.

And the reading public will weed them out without pompous fools who like to hear the sound of their own voice ridicule the whole lot as crap. I think the distinction between traditionally published ebook and self published is obvious. Therefore, in their own way, these two streams are already separated. Yes, a lot of self-published title are really not up to par, but some authors who are self-published are conscientious enough to have their books edited, with professionally made covers and interior formatting, and put as much efforts if not more than tradition publishers in the productions of their books.

I rather do it myself and fail then have someone else make all that money from my efforts. Please, spare me the neoliberal free-market BS. And not having it will result in consumers having two choices—overpriced ebooks from the Big 5 or a quality crap shoot of self-publishers—as all the small presses go out of business. Waiting for the government to satisfy YOUR wishes? After reading the arguments of you, kbrigan, and Mark Kozolowski, I went to Amazon and did some searches. Sorry to keep bringing up that ugly concept.

Neither small presses nor corporate publishers bother with these, so almost all of the books here are indie titles. On every Amazon title, the publisher is listed in the book description. I made a casual perusal of about a dozen titles. If there is any doubt about the size of the publisher, all the reader need do is execute a simple Google search. What you, kbrigan, and Mr. Kozolowski are asking for has already been accomplished: Amazon gives readers an easy way to tell if a title is self-published.

Simply put, it appears that you want to run Zumaya Press like a craft business in an uncompetitive market, then you cry foul when indie authors outwork you. Now, is there a quality problem with self-publishing? Quality as an average is lower than traditionally published books. BUT, the point here is real publishers indie or traditional pay for editing, design, formatting etc… There are self-published authors that do an excellent job.

Amazon and other online bookshops display books both by keywords and sales ranking.

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If I want a book on helicopter pilots of Vietnam, I want to see the best books out there. Not have to click through different pages and then compare the bestselling indie memoir to the bestselling traditionally published. Invariably the crap will drop way down the bottom anyway. You recirculate some out-of-date assertions, pull figures out of the air and prove unable to back them up, and then refuse to concede an inch of ground to people better equipped to argue in this arena than you are.

There are many fine people working for publishers, diligent editors and marketers, and there are also some idiots. In the same way some musicians sign record deals and others busk. Top work, trade publishing gatekeepers! When you decided on these assertions, who were you referring to? If so, I can see why you reached your conclusion — it has a terrible cover, no reviews, is riddled with typos, double-spaces and grammatical errors, and appears to have been formatted by randomly mashing buttons with a fist.

This is just nonsense. How are you unable to discover books? Do you not know how to filter? By review number, by rating? Are you unable to read review sections of newspapers, magazines? Does word-of-mouth pass you by? Traditional ebook sales might be, but perhaps they want to look at their pricing and marketing. Thankfully I use one for my indie books — you should heed your own advice. How about people start using the proper term.

An example of this is Del Rey one of the many books that fall under this assumption. For it Wikipedia states the following: I run my own company independent from the influences of another company. I run a company and it happens to be one that produces books as products. Yes, it may be an author who owns that company.

We Live in a Literary World of Terrible Self-Published Authors

Only difference is that I control all processes of the company and the author contracted with a traditional publisher does not. Frankly, Joanna Penn suggests the best thing independent authors got coming for them. She says and this is not verbatim: A person who starts their new shop selling hand-crafted products will make mistakes. A person who starts as a web developer will make mistakes.

Even a person starting as an author is allowed to make mistakes. Joanna Penn says often her earliest mistake was ordering thousands of her first book and then watching them sitting in her garage. Traditional publishers ALSO make mistakes actually. He also owns the 3rd edition of the same book which he purposely tracked down and bought. These health reasons were what drove to seek an income from writing.

My partner could and can only afford so much for the costs of running a publishing business but he DOES support my endeavour wholeheartedly. I rely on what he can afford to improve the books as I publish them. I need the income to improve them too. It's both sad and funny that some of America's Worst Self-Published Books. America's Worst Self-Published Books: There is great satisfaction in seeing your name on the cover of a book, and it has become relatively easy to self-publish.

It's both sad and funny that some of the worst self-published books and the majority of the books reviewed in this book are books that try to provide advice to writers. This book will help you avoid the worst mistakes of others so you can publish a book that you can be justifiably proud of.