Bad Pans and Generalizations

If you have a strong stomach and wear a bulletproof vest, you might want to take a look at this thread on the Amazon forum:  How to Avoid Indie Authors.  Keep in mind that it is only about a dozen people spitting out their poison, and I strongly urge you to not get involved in the discussion.  These people have already made up their minds.  Game over.

However, they do make some good points, and one can learn much by listening:

1.  Atrocious editing.

2.  Amateur covers.

3.  Cheap prices.

4.  Misleading reviews made by friends and relatives.

Of course, these ‘critics’ are not aware of–and don’t give a d*mn–about our difficulties.  (Most customers don’t care HOW something arrived in the store, they only care about WHAT it is.)

They don’t realize that their favorite, traditionally published authors receive editing help from a team of people.  They don’t understand that artwork may not be part of our talents.  Oddly, they don’t appreciate the cheap prices that we may offer; they just use it as a marker of something undesirable.

As far as the misleading reviews that some authors attach to their work, well, I have to agree with them on that one.  Beginning duped by hype and spin does tend to get folks angry, even if they’re only out a few bucks.  I think getting someone to write you a good review is deplorable.

It seems to me that the biggest difference in the ebook arena between Indie authors and traditionally published authors is the SOP: Slush Sweep done by the editors in the big publishing houses–not that traditional publishers sweep out all the trash, but they do trashcan a substantial amount of it.

For some customers, one bad deal is enough to turn them away forever.



7 thoughts on “Bad Pans and Generalizations

  1. I read the first few pages of that thread, and I must admit I agree with a lot of it.

    There is no quality control on self-published novels. I’ve learned to beware of books that have less than 10 glowing five or four star reviews. If it was that good, more people would read it and review it.

    Self-publishing could be such a GREAT thing for writers. Unfortunately, the crappy self-published books spoil it for the good ones. It’s like anything–the lazy people abuse the system, the hard working people pay for it.

  2. Exactly. The two main problems with self-publishing: lack of quality control, which turns customers off and being buried beneath the slush pile with a matter of days or hours.

    Personally, I’ve decided not to bother with these thoughts anymore. Either I’m part of the slush pile or I’m smothered by it. The end result is the same.

      • Take heart. No victory is worthy unless the warrior has a few battle scars to show off. I am in search of the answer. So far, I’ve only discovered what not to do.

        Hiding away is not the answer. Traditional publishing is…well, like winning the lotto, and self-publishing is so lawless that –like the wild west–I’m not sure about that either. The market is in flux and I can not foresee a bright future for any operation that doesn’t set some quality control.

        In the meantime, my stack of stories grows higher and that’s good. 🙂 Besides, I love it.

  3. Do a search for: The Death of the Slush Pile in the Wall Street Journal. At least, you’ll know who (publishers) not to bother with. Hard truths there, but…we need to know the facts. I’ve recently subscribed to the Steve Laube Agency Blog. Lots of good stuff to read there. In fact, that reminds me. I need to put that in my sidebar.

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