Tuesday, 13 November 2012

No Publisher, No Problem (The Rise of the Independent Author)

 Are you only interested in a book if it comes from a major publisher and a trusted name you recognise?  Does it make a difference to you if a book is self published?  Most importantly, would you still read it?

A lot of bloggers have included the words “I will not review self published books” in their review policy and I have to admit that as a book blogger, I too have been guilty of that kind of prejudice for the following reasons; Firstly, self published books have little to no editing and I don’t know about you but it drives me CRAZY when a book is littered with spelling and grammar mistakes.  Secondly, you’re not guaranteed to get a decent story as it hasn’t been looked at by respected and experienced agents and editors.  Last but not least, there has been some bad blood between self published authors and book bloggers, mainly when authors respond negatively to less than flattering reviews and an argument/slanging match ensues.  Yeah, not good.  So basically, self published authors are fighting an uphill battle from the start to get their books read. 


Consider this...

With the cost of books nowadays, I sometimes look at the cheaper end of the ebook market on Amazon and as you might imagine, a lot of those are self published.  Every now and then, a book sounds really appealing and I decide “what the hell, it’s only 77p” and give it a go.  More and more, I find A LITTLE GEM hiding among the rocks and think “holy shit, how is a story this good so cheap?!”  I can also tell you that the quality of self published books is definitely improving and that’s good news for the reader. 

Reading self published books has forced me do a complete 180 on my views about them and I have authors like Tammara Webber (Easy), Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys), Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster) and Amanda Hocking (Switched) to thank for that.  These books all started out as self published novels and are so good that they have ALL been picked up by major publishers now.  I also want to point out that I have never had a problem with an author responding negatively to a review and at the end of the day, it’s all about mutual respect and constructive criticism rather than a personal attack on the author. 

We’re taught not to judge a book by its cover but I’m asking you not to judge a book by its publication route. As a book blogger and reader, if you are vehemently against reading self published books, you could be missing out on not only a great story but also the next big thing. 


  1. There goes my other idea. LOL. YOu are on top form today missus!

    1. Thanks Viv and what do you mean? For the Mira thing?

  2. I'll admit I'm guilty of not accepting self published authors for review for all the reasons you have mentioned but also I'm not a fan of ebooks. I very rarely read an ebook because I get distracted by twitter, email and all the other things calling my name on my ipad/pc. I'm also very big on buying from indie bookstores and most of these books are for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

    What also doesn't help the situation is that I have a review policy that clearly says I will not read self publish and I still get a number of emails each week. If you can't take a moment to read my review policy or you ignore it why should I reward that behavior?

    1. Good for you for buying from indie stores, I wish we had more of them in the UK but they always seem to get shut down :(

      I understand what you mean about people not reading review policies (that drives me nuts too) but I'm just asking people to keep an open mind about the content ;)