Pamela Clare ~ Fan Group discussion

Question of the Week/Ponderings > Week 1 - What's Your Opinion on Self Publishing?

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message 1: by UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish, They're All Mine! (last edited Jun 08, 2013 02:32PM) (new)

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish | 1381 comments Mod
With companies like Smashwords and Amazon making self publishing so easy, it seems like anyone and everyone is getting their stories out there. What's your opinion on this?

Authors who might answer, please do not pimp your books here.

I think it's a blessing and a curse. In the past writers needed to have editors and agents to help them get their stories published and that meant a more polished, finished product. That's a good thing for us readers, but it's harder for a writer to get published.

Now that self publishing is so easy and popular, it seems like everyone's got a story to tell, and they're in such a rush to tell it the product is sloppy and not well thought out. As a reader that's very frustrating to me because not only is time consuming, it's a pain in the patoot to have to sort through the muck to get to the good stuff.

message 2: by Angie Elle (last edited Jun 05, 2013 08:20AM) (new)

Angie Elle (angieelle) Excellent question. I am with you on both counts.

It surprises me that people are willing to put sloppy work out there. You would think they would want it as 'polished' as possible so people would want to come back for more.

What I do like about self-publishing is that it gives the reader more power/options. I think it gives the publisher a better idea of what the public really wants as opposed to the surverys that are supposed to be reflective of popular opinion. There may be plots that the publishing industry thinks are overdone, but in actuality, the reader base is there.

But you are right; you really do have to be selective in what you are buying. That's why I like the sample option on and the ratings system on Goodreads.

message 3: by Pamela(AllHoney), Julian, Marc, and Zach are MINE! (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 817 comments Mod
I agree - a blessing and a curse. It offers the opportunity for those talented and non-talented writers to get their work out there. I find I rely on GR reviewers more to find the good ones out there. And there are some awesome self-published works out there. Unfortunately, we as readers often have to read through a bunch of frogs before finding the prince.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 176 comments Mod
I agree with what you guys have said. It's great that people can achieve their dreams of publication, but some writers don't put in the effort they should to release a finished product. As Angie said, it's good for those who want to write something different that the big publishers would never approve. It's a vicious cycle, because it does make self-publishing look bad. I guess it's like anything, people can take advantage of it and others can use it to achieve great things.

message 5: by Giulia (new)

Giulia | 121 comments I agree with you guys. Writing's an arm form. And it's wonderful that with self publishing you can share your story without having to "sell" it to a publisher first. Stories are meant to be shared after all.

That said, I think some people are jump on the band wagon and not taking the time to really learn the craft of writing. Good writing takes practice. It's not something you slap off the top of your head. You have to take the time to write it, revise it, get an editor, and dare I say it, learn the industry. I'm betting my bottom dollar there is a way to self publish and a way not to self publish.

message 6: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Deluca (darlenedeluca) Publishing is a tough business whether self-pubbed or repped by an agent. Would love for you all to try my self-published novels! They are written by someone with a degree in journalism, years of writing experience, and are professionally designed and edited! :-)

p.s. If you're not sure about a self-published book, always go to Smashwords or Amazon and check out the preview. You'll be able to see the quality of the writing before you purchase! Happy reading!

message 7: by Giulia (new)

Giulia | 121 comments Now that I know I can do this, I shall do just that! To be honest, I've read a few self published books. Some are gems, others not so much. But is that any different than those that published with a publishing company?

message 8: by UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish, They're All Mine! (new)

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish | 1381 comments Mod
Giulia~Bubbles wrote: "But is that any different than those that published with a publishing company?"

I get what you're saying. Sadly, though, I think more of the self published authors don't invest the time in editing that the big name published authors get with professional editors, etc.

message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) You're right, Bubbles. You have to kiss a lot of toads when buying books through publishing companies too! Readers have to read reviews, previews, and anything else they can when picking books to read, whether published traditionally or self-published. I do agree that many self-published writers just don't take the time or spend the money to get their books professionally edited and it shows! I'm very selective when spending my money on books and, yet, I still get some bad ones. The ones that frustrate me the most are books that I think could be really good if they were just edited!

message 10: by Giulia (new)

Giulia | 121 comments I know what you mean Dhestiny. The thing is (from my understanding) self published authors do a lot of their own editing. Mistakes are hard NOT to miss if that's the case because you read what's not there since you penned it yourself. Years of writing university papers taught me this. And although you can get someone to professionally edit your book as an indie author, I'm guessing that's costly. However, that said, since I HAVE seen a great many wonderfully edited books by self published authors, it doesn't excuse the poorly edited ones that clearly were not edited well.

message 11: by UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish, They're All Mine! (new)

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish | 1381 comments Mod
I understand. When your brain knows what's SUPPOSED to be there, it often fills in the blanks left by our fingers because they can't type as fast as we think. The thing is, it's not just the mechanical part I'm talking about. It's also the story itself. Too often they are so poorly told they make no sense. It's the overall quality that suffers from not having a friend or relative I've the manuscript a once over.

And many of these authors will send out requests for reviews and the requests are so poorly written that they're hard to understand. That doesn't bode well for the story itself.

message 12: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Deluca (darlenedeluca) Sorry, didn't mean to pimp my books, I'd just like to see you all have a positive experience with an indie author. There are poorly written and edited books out there in both self-pubbed and traditionally published. I attempted to read a romance novel by a very popular New York Times Bestselling author recently, and couldn't finish the book. Sloppy writing and editing. It was obvious that her favorite word in the entire English language was "little," as it was used on nearly every page, and often three times on a single page! Ridiculous repetition in word choice and sentence structure. It became so distracting, I stopped reading. Apparently the publisher has decided not to use any resources for this author any more because she already has such a following that people will buy her books no matter what!

message 13: by UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish, They're All Mine! (new)

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish | 1381 comments Mod
There was quite a discussion a month or so ago, though I can't remember where, but it was regarding how publishing houses are failing both their new and established authors.

There had been a list of top romance novels and I'd say 75% of those listed were published by Avon Books, a division of HarperCollins. I've spent this past six months as part of a team of 25 who were chosen to be "Avon Addicts", a group of bloggers who received literally dozens of Avon Books books, both e-books and print. The purpose was for us to read and review those books, participate in chats, blog tours, etc. I'm telling you, there's no doubt in my mind WHY Avon is at the top. They work their butts off for their authors, AND they understand and appreciate the value of their readers.

I've had both great and not-so-great experience with self published authors. Some could use lessons in manners, especially when they expect a person to read and review their book.

One self pubbed author asked me to read a book that I had clearly listed on my blog was not my cuppa - SciFi. I was very polite when I declined her request, but she was rude and basically said when I pulled my head out of my ass and wanted to expand my horizons, she'd be happy to give me a copy of her book. Really? After replying to me that way she really expected me to read her book? I mean...Really?!?

I think there are some fabulous self published authors and, sadly, the not-so-fabulous amongst them are giving the others a bad name and making it harder for the good ones to get the recognition they deserve.

Thus my feeling that self publishing is a blessing and a curse.

message 14: by Giulia (new)

Giulia | 121 comments I totally understand what you are saying Dhestiny. That's not acceptable. I wouldn't work with anyone like that either. Not on my blog, no thanks. And you are right, some of the quality of self published books are horrid. I've seen it for myself. I think they published their first draft because the story itself, while promising, needs polish. That frustrates me. And you're right, that gives the ones that take time with their work and produce a quality product a bad name.

So this is the curse part. The blessing would be those wonderful books that might not otherwise have been published. I guess, as with everything, pros and cons.

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