Saturday, July 13, 2019

Book Blogger Hop July 12th - July 18th: 3-14 Is My Wedding Anniversary

Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: What do you like/dislike about self-published works?

The problem with most self-published books is that there is generally simply too much chaff for the amount of wheat one can find - unless one kind of cheats when finding books by self-published authors. There are certainly self-published books that are worth reading - I know a couple of authors who have self-published their books, and their efforts are worth reading, but when one just goes out and looks through the great haystack of self-published works that are out there, finding that needle of worthwhile reading that is out there is simply too much of a hassle to really be worth doing.

In my experience, there are really three kinds of self-published authors. Most self-published books are by authors who simply aren't good enough to get published in any other way. There is just no other way to describe the quality of their writing. Once in a great while you find someone who is worth reading in this sea of flotsam and jetsam, but it is rare (and to be honest, most self-published authors in this category have such a big chip on their shoulder about their failures in "traditional publishing", that they are deeply unpleasant people who aren't any fun to read).

A handful of self-published authors are decent, and are often in the process of leveraging their work into a contract with a publisher of some sort, a path trodden by people like Hugh Howey and Marko Kloos. Their writing can be worth reading, but is often an acquired taste.

The final group of self-published authors are authors who have been published by a more traditional publisher, but are not any more, or want to get a project into print that their publisher isn't interested in. Authors who fall into this category are people like Alethea Kontis and Lawrence M. Schoen, and their self-published work is often good. The difference is that one doesn't have to hunt through the pile of self-published work to find them, rather their reputations were made by getting in print in the traditional way and self-publishing is a bonus added to their other work.

So really, the question of "what do you like or dislike about self-published works" comes down to how easy it is to find the ones that are worth reading and avoid the ones that are not, and that task often seems to come down to whether the author is able to get published in a non-self-published context. Those who are not can sometimes be worth reading, but they seem to be so few and far between that the reading payoff just isn't worth the investment.

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1 comment:

  1. My thoughts exactly! I don’t review self published work on my blog unless the author has a track record in the “traditional” publishing industry. It’s just too hard to find that needle in the haystack. It doesn’t stop self pubbed authors from ignoring my guidelines and asking anyway - or paying a marketing company which also ignores my guidelines. I only reply when they use my name, rather than just adding me to a list of hundreds of bloggers.