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.