Indie Book Collective discussion

Black Ops: Libya
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E-Books Are Blurring The Lines Between What Is ‘Published’ And What Isn’t:

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Matt (mattlynn) | 3 comments About the most interesting thing happening in the book trade right now is that the lines between traditional publishing and self-publishing are getting blurred. My Death Force series is published by Hodder Headline, but my Black Ops series of novellas I am bringing out myself.

More and more writers, so far as I can tell, are going down that road.

One indicator of that this week was the decision by the International Thriller Writer’s Association to allow its members to post the details of their self-published work up on their website. Until now, they had only allowed work bought out major publishers.

A hybrid model is emerging I suspect where writers do some work for major publishers, and some work for themselves, probably forming their own judgements on what mix will maximise their sales, income and creative satisfaction.

Personally I like the combination. I value the prestige of the mainstream publisher, and seeing my books in the shops. But I like the energy and immediacy of doing my own thing as well. And, I suspect I’ll soon be making more money as well.

But how exactly this is all going to work, however, no one really knows.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

These are very exciting times for writers and readers.

There are difficulties however, which are mentioned in depth on the Kindle Forums, where readers are furious about books with errors, limp and implausible plots and no characterisation.

As an avid reader, I must say that it is not only indies who are guilty of the flaws readers complain about. In the past year I've read many indie books and many traditionally published books. Although there are more errors in the indie books, I find the plot lines and characterisation to be far superiour. Too many books published by the big 6 fall far short of what I expect from a book.

I advise all readers to read the whole sample before buying the Kindle book. If if fails badly after the sample ends, ask for a refund and leave a review explaining why you thought the book failed.

message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 133 comments I agree that even the majors' editing can let errors slip through the cracks. It's not just a few times I have purchased mass-market novels that either displayed punctuation errors (common) or major developmental flaws and holes (not as common, but not scarce either). My first novel had a series of punctuation errors that slipped through as a corrected proof file was lost and the first edition printed uncorrected. It was a sobering discovery, corrected quickly and bad copies recalled and replaced, but still it was embarrassing. It still serves to enforce careful proofreading and editing as I prepare my third book for release.

message 4: by Elise (new)

Elise Marion (elise_marion) | 2 comments As a self-published author who tried for the longest to get her work published, I have to say i am grateful for the opportunity to get my work out there. It was discouraging, getting shot down by so many agents and publishers and I began to doubt myself a little bit. But it's been so encouraging to hear people say they loved my books and read good reviews! Alot of the books produced by the "big 6" are cookie cutter. It's almost like they have some kind of formula for what they are looking for and anything outside of that isn't even considered.

I agree that alot of indie work can be inferior and has caused a backlash from readers. I like to think that these people are mostly in the minority. Most people I know that love to read just want a good story that leaves them feeling satisfied in the end.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

With e-publishing the readers are the judge.

message 6: by Hock (new)

Hock Tjoa (hockgtjoa) | 85 comments Getting rejected by agents--not even publishers--convinced me to go independent. Then recently, I've struggled to upload a book. I tried both Kindle and Smashwords - one was a WHOLE lot easier than the other and my book came out looking the way I intended it to be. I even resorted to the NUCLEAR option just to see what it was like (best to imagine it as that 3 a.m. phone call, you know). Let the readers judge I say!

message 7: by Bridget (new) - added it

Bridget Bowers (bridgetbowers) | 76 comments I agree that no matter what the story, it will always be up to the readers to decide if it is worth their time and money. Publishers, traditional or otherwise, can only guess what will sell. Once the book is out there readers will tell you if you were successful.

message 8: by Libbie Hawker (last edited Nov 13, 2011 05:07PM) (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) (lmironside) | 40 comments Matt wrote: "A hybrid model is emerging I suspect where writers do some work for major publishers, and some work for themselves, probably forming their own judgements on what mix will maximise their sales, income and creative satisfaction. "

I believe you're right about that, Matt. A lot of things are changing in the industry, and I think this is one of them.

I am very skeptical that we'll see "traditional" publishing, with the imprints and the corporations and the big money and the big opportunities, dissolve completely in our time...if ever. But I do think the world is putting more credence on self-published stuff, slowly but surely, and the industry will figure out a way to welcome that change and make it work for everybody. Though we do have some growing pains to go through first!

As others have mentioned above, it's tough for readers to know which books are good and which stink. Places like GR help enormously like that -- a social network based entirely on books was a genius idea.

Personally, I think we'll see the role of agents evolve to cope with the changing industry. I think we'll see them transition from being solely sales/contract agents to being PR agents as well, all in one inclusive package, so they can manage the contracts for their clients' traditionally published work and promote their clients' self-published work. I believe having an agented book will come to represent the same type of "quality assurance" that readers feel when they buy a book with a publisher's imprint rather than a self-published book.

message 9: by Libbie Hawker (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) (lmironside) | 40 comments @Hock I agree, Smashwords is fantastic! They have been so smooth to work with and their product is top notch.

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