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Internalized self-pub-o-phobia

I have noticed an unsettling trend with myself lately. I have been doing a lot of eBook searches, looking for reading material. What I've noticed is, if I get the impression from the price/book description that a book is self-published, I have a tendency to think, "The writing is probably crap," and pass it by.

And I myself have a self-published novel.

I think we're past the point where one can assume that books that have not been accepted by a publisher are a sign of a weak writer. And yet, that lingering assumption remains in my head.

You'd think, for $2.99, or 0.99, I could take a chance on a book. I'd want a reader to do the same for me.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2014 04:26 am (UTC)
You'd think that but honestly you might be wrong. I've won about 4 self pubs off Goodreads this year and each one a nightmare of errors, horrible writing etc.

It certainly doesn't make me want to take too many risks (then again I'm reading an Indie publishing house that has editors...who apparently don't know anything about grammar) and I have so many friends who have self published that I too feel guilty about feeling that way.
Oct. 30th, 2014 04:17 pm (UTC)
I think it's not the fact of self-published writing alone. I never think to check for a publishing house on say, an Amazon book page. What I'm looking at is the description of the book: how it's written, if the author inserts him/herself into it somehow (kind of a dead give-away), the cover illustration's professionalism, and the price.

If I'm not immediately aware, "Oh, self-published" and the description sounds interesting, I'll download a sample, or read reviews. Then, it's a matter of how well edited it is, the layout, etc.

I think for lazy book browsers like myself, a self-published book can give the appearance of professionalism in its format, editing, and writing style that would go against the impulse to reject it out of hand.
Oct. 30th, 2014 08:57 pm (UTC)
This is true. Three of the four really sucky ones I won off Goodreads weren't easily picked out as self pubs. (the fourth being that one from an Indie publisher which literally has NO excuse for the sheer amount of mistakes in the first 20 pages).

Even if I know it is a self pub, and I see that the blurb is well written I'll look at the reviews. I figure if it has nothing but 1-2 stars there probably is a reason. Otherwise like you I'd give it a chance
Oct. 30th, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
My point is that I "give it a chance" because the appearance of professionalism makes me not realize it's self-published. The prejudice is still there.
Oct. 30th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
understood. I just wish I have tried self pubs that have swayed me away from the prejudice but honestly I really haven't. Exactly one this year was worth my time (barring anything I've read a friend has self pubbed)
Oct. 30th, 2014 09:37 pm (UTC)
No quality control except that which the author gives it. The sellers sure don't seem to care.
Oct. 31st, 2014 01:02 am (UTC)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )