Thursday, March 24, 2011

Think About It Thursday (13): Self-Publishing

Image used under Creative Commons - Original belongs to Salady
Last week, I blogged about burnout, and in case you didn't notice, I took some of the advice to heart and haven't been devoting as much time to blogging. In fact, I even made it to an impromptu get together with some friends where we shopped and consumed some delish margaritas (all you underage peeps stay away!)
This week I want to get back to the blogging world to talk about self-publishing.
To me, self-published books are like a minefield. They are everywhere, littering the YA market. And many of them have a lot to offer, but you always have to be prepared for one of them to blow up on you and just...suck. Self-pubbed authors lack the editing and revisions that authors who are with a house have. This can lead to plot holes, grammatical errors, and other storyline issues, but it's not necessarily true for all self-pubbed books.
I'm more than open to reading self-pubbed books and have enjoyed several of them, but I also know that I've been pretty lucky because I've heard horror stories too. In fact, I know more than a handful of bloggers who aren't even willing to accept self-pubbed books because they don't want to hate them. That's not me though. I'm happy to read self-pubbed books, but you better be sure that I do my research on one prior to accepting review requests. 
What are your thoughts on self-published books? Like them? Don't like them? 
I normally determine whether or not to review a self-pubbed book based on other reviews and excerpts. Excerpts are key for me. If I'm apprehensive about a book, an excerpt could easily win me over. It could also sway me against the book, but it's better I don't read a book and write a negative review than to read a book, really dislike it, and have that negative review up for everyone to see.

Self-pubbed books are extremely easy to come by now, especially on e-readers. There are like 7 million self-pubbed e-books for the Amazon Kindle and as NOOKbooks. It's crazy and I'm sure I'd be disappointed by more than a few.

Share your thoughts on self-publishing in the comments! Is it good? Is it bad? Are you open to self-pubbed books or more wary of them? Have you been burned before or is it just the stigma that turns you off?
*I also wanted to point out and laugh with you about a NOOKbook that's free to download right now, called....wait for it....The Princess and the Penis. I actually laughed out loud when I saw it. 


caitieflum said...

Really interesting post! I have a publishing degree so i think about this a LOT. The more and more I think about it, the more I think that it just doesn't work. Yes, there are a few cases where it does, but those people a. already have a platform which includes fans and b. Have already been published and I am sure still hired professionals to edit and help publicize, so it wasn't really "Self-published" and was more non-traditional publishing.

But here is the big issue. A lot of them are not done very well and weren't accepted by an agent or publisher for a reason. How many bad books are readers will to pay for, even if they are cheap? How many times do they want to buy a book for a couple dollars, then quickly find out it is horrible? I don't think it they will do it that many times.

Dawn Embers said...

I'm open to reading them but can't read many e-books in general right now. I don't like reading books on my laptop and I don't have one of the reading devices. The only reason I'm reading one now is my sister lent me her Nook for a couple of weeks.

One of my stepdad's friends self-published, but he put a lot of effort into the book and is one of the successes in my opinion. First, he had a special niche since his plot involves gun rights and he knew where to go to sell his book. Second, he paid a professional editor to help him with his book. They did several edits, which cost a lot but it didn't take him long to sell enough books to make up for it in the end. And he has done well.

I'm leery of self-published books because I know others who don't take the time and effort. The ones who take a nanowrimo book, where first draft was written in one month and they spend maybe one or two months editing then publish. That is a problem.

The one I'm reading now, asked if someone on my reviewing blog would review her book. I offered and my sister lent me her Nook, so I'm reading a self-published e-book. I also interviewed the author for my writing blog. She had a hard time selling the book because it's hard to sell a non-human fantasy adult novel. And it's a decent book. Needed another edit from someone else, fresh eyes so to speak, but not enough to deter from enjoying the story.

I guess time will tell how my feelings develop as a reader over self-published books. For now, I'm cautious but willing to read.

Candace said...

This is a great subject to talk about! I'm one of the few bloggers that will take self published but like you I prefer to have a sample. And reviews help immensely. It's hard to fit them in my schedule, I just have too many books to read so I accept very few. But I was getting 15+ review requests a day. So I've said I'm not accepting anymore for now.
I do love a few. HP Mallory is good, Lori Brighton is good and Amanda Hocking is good. Scott Nicholson has some good ones as well. There are maybe a few others I've enjoyed as well. But those are all the better known in the self published world.

Bere said...

Hey, Nikki! Oh how I've missed reading your posts. I just haven't had enough time to come by, but I'm hear now! Wonderful post, Nikki. I don't think I have enough knowledge to give an opinion on this matter and I'm pretty sure I've never read a self-published book. Ever!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

catieflum - I agree with you for the most part. I really don't buy many self-published books myself, unless it's a sequel and I enjoyed the first one. Most of the self-pubbed books I read are all from the authors. I honestly don't know too much about the more successful 'self-pubbed' authors, so I have no clue if they were previously published with a house, like you said, but I can understand not shelling out a few bucks to be disappointed. I generally don't do it, so I doubt many others can deal with the let down and go back and buy some more.

Dawn - That's the thing with self-pubbed books, they can be hit or miss. There are books that are really well-written and even with some grammatical issues, they still work. Then there are those that don't even make sense. If it wasn't so easy to self-publish, like with e-books, it would probably be much easier to wade through the bad to find the good.

Candace - Oddly enough, I have not read any of those authors. I've heard of them though. I understand you not reading as many self-pubbed books. My TBR pile is huge at htis point and sometimes I just want to pick up a random book on my shelf, instead of having to read a specific one.

Bere - It's always nice to read your comments :)

Disgruntled Bear (Kate Kaynak) said...

The Princess and the WHAT? How did that title get past the potty-mouth detector?

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