Do we mistrust the self-pub market too much?

I made an early resolution to read more self-published books in 2016. I haven’t typically been an indie-reader. Partly because I’m picky, partly because I’m relatively broke, excuses, blah, etc.

I’ve seen a tendency towards distrust of self-published books, myself included. I’m often more hesitant to spend $1-$3 on an indie author’s work than I am to spend $10 on a traditionally published book.

Why is that? Right off the bat, the obvious reasons. Self-pubbed books typically go through fewer professional preparation stages, are more likely to fall short of market expectations/standards, and often lack the public backing necessary to convince me to buy them.

Not to mention the fact that out of 1,000,000 self-published novels, 999,000 are going to be, simply put, bad. That’s what happens when sites like Amazon make it so stinking easy to sell your work.

So when I’m looking at a self-pubbed book online, I ask myself if it’s one of the 999,000 stories not worth my money or one of the 1000 gems. You’d think the sample pages would be enough to answer that question, but I find that’s frequently not the case. I’ve read plenty of books so far where the writing/editing gets lazy halfway through.

And no, I don’t think it’s hypocritical of me to say this as an indie-author. As my first self-pubbed novel, I know Little One isn’t perfect, but I hold myself to the same standards as I’d hold any other writer to, and I aim to improve in that direction.

This brings me to my conclusion. Going back to my 2016 resolution, I will be buying (and hopefully finishing!) more indie-author books. Even if I end up with a dud now and then, I want to give my fellow self-publishers a vote of confidence because I understand we all want to provide solid fiction for our readers.

No book’s going to be perfect, not even traditionally published, major sales novels (there’s a lot of garbage there, too). So maybe it’s time for me to set aside my biases and discrepancies and put a little more trust in the indie market.

I’m still going to be a picky reader. That’s just the way I am, and I think it’s healthy to a degree.

But the self-published market has a lot of beautiful additions to it, and I’m not going to let the rock stop me from digging for the gems anymore.

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8 thoughts on “Do we mistrust the self-pub market too much?

  1. I completely agree with your sentiment regarding self-published books! I’m also a picky reader and everyone knows not to buy me books because I prefer to choose my own reading material. Deciding to self-publish wasn’t easy and it was hard work. I had my story professionally edited and it’s been through several re-writes. I had to learn formatting and how to use Createspace, which fortunately for me was relatively easy! There are some great indie-authors out there! Steve Turnbull, Kara Jorgenson and Kory Shrum, to name but a few. There’s also rubbish because it’s too easy to simply click a button and tah-dah your work is out there! This is why I have endeavored to push myself and try to put something out there which doesn’t make me cring and gives me a little pride. I accomplished this and did what I set out to do!! I am an author…Maybe. Possibly. We’ll see… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Keep in mind how cheap books have become thanks to digital, and of course there’s a debate to be had over whether or not that’s a good thing. 2-3 dollars seems to be the norm even for established indies whereas many newcomers start with the 1 dollar route just to get some traction.

    But there was a time before digital books where you’d have to drop like 25 bucks for a hardcover.

    So…I don’t know if a particular author strikes your fancy and his/her work looks interesting, go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with this post completely and I also think part of the reason that people don’t buy as many self-published books is that they are so extremely cheap. If you look on Amazon you can probably find some pretty well written books and they’ll be a dime a dozen if not free for a kindle. The low price makes people think that the book isn’t worth more. These books have probably caused a lot of trust issues just like raisin cookies masquerading as chocolate 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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