I've been reading a lot of self-pubbed books lately. Some have been fantastic and some are exceptionally cringe-worthy. It all goes with the territory. I've read traditional pubbed books that I've loved and some that I've positively hated.
With a lot of these self-pubbed authors getting big publishing deals, are they still considered self-pubbed? Also, since when did indie become interchangeable with self-pubbed? I know there are a lot of bloggers who frown on queries they get from people who are self-pubbed. I understand why, but I think the backlash of automatically thinking that they're not going to be good enough is old school. A lot of the people who decide to self pub (they never even try to go thru the normal route, it's just not for them), are willing to spend thousands of dollars on editing services. And just like self-pubbing, editing services are hit or miss.
I've seen editing services pop up on a daily basis. Some people fancy themselves an editor. Not sure how, or why, but it happens. Just like some people fancy themselves a writer. I think we all have an inner writer in us. It seems to be the number one question when asked -- "What is the one thing you want to accomplish?" "I'd love to write a book."
Professional editing, proofreading, line editing is costly. Self-pubbing is not for the squeamish. You might think you just hit that publish button on Amazon, Smashwords, Createspace, etc... but it's not quite so easy. You need to get buzz going. You need to have beta readers who will help you make your story better. The ones who say "OMG, I love this, it's so good!" yeah, they don't help you one iota. You need that constructive criticism. You want that person to tell you that this scene doesn't work for one reason or another. You want someone to be truthful.
A few months ago, I came out against a self-published author because I didn't think they way she was promoting herself was good for the industry. Yes, I was disgusted with spending money on what I thought was complete crap to be miserably disappointed that she decided to hold off and publish when she reached a certain milestone. Minions came out of the woodwork to condemn my opinions. But again, they were my opinions. I still hold fast and true to those.
I've always been a bit of a booksnob. Even when I was a kid. I give equal credence to self-pubbed books as I do to classics and award winners. If a book is written well, if the story is told well, then I don't care if you're a nobody. I just want to read a good story. You could be Booker Winner AS Byatt and you can still write a crap novel. I adore Nick Hornby, but one of his novels completely turned me off. I just didn't get it. End of story. I didn't give up on his writing. Not everyone is going to hit one out of the park. Austen. Everyone loves Austen. I hated EMMA. I've read it several times, seen numerous adaptations of it and still can't seem to like it. But throw P&P and S&S and even Mansfield Park at me, and I'm a pig in shit.
See like all these famous authors, they all have issues. Some self-published authors get better with their second/third/fourth books. Some never do. But we cannot negate the passion they have for writing, reading or love of books.
I enjoy reading, reviewing, picking apart books for the good, the bad and the ugly. People do it with movies all the time. We have to weigh each book the same regardless of way it was published. We spend a lot of money on books either physical or e-book form.
Posters by Delacroix. Bottom is Blind Milton, top is Shakespeare quote. Somewhat.