Today I’m going to face the issue known as self publishing vs. traditional publishing. We all know what each are, self publishing being tackling the publishing world on your own and traditional being getting the experts to help you out.
What I’m going to talk about is why readers choose traditional published books over indie books.
Is it really fair that we are part of a social stigma where indie authors are considered horrible writers and story-tellers? I once saw a forum post on Amazon by someone ranting to the public about how indie authors should stop marketing their books and give up writing. Is this kind of slander really necessary?
In some cases, yes. I can understand where the public is coming from. I have read quite a few indie books over the past two months since I was published. Some were really good, others … not so much. Sometimes I couldn’t get past the first few pages because every sentence contained at least a dozen spelling mistakes. Sometimes the story just wasn’t fulfilling enough for me. I even found errors in my own book when I looked it over (all fixed up nice now).
I believe there to be three main reasons why readers choose not to buy indie books.
- Not edited by a professional. Many indie books are riddled with spelling errors, punctuation mistakes, failing sentence structures, etc. People don’t want to read a story they can barely understand. It really takes the fun out of reading!
- Not getting their money’s worth. A lot of indie books sell for $0.99 on Amazon, while others are high-priced at $5.99. If your book is too cheap, readers get the sense that it won’t be worth their while, but if it’s too expensive, they may feel you are overcharging for something that isn’t great enough quality to pay that much for.
- Tired of indie books. Some readers, after giving indie books several chances, will avoid self published authors if the previous stories they read weren’t good enough quality to even finish reading. Although the next indie book they come across may be amazing, they will miss out on it because they have suffered through enough mistakes and bad plots already.
Not all self published books are duds, though, and not all traditional published books are amazing. Out of the last ten traditionally published books I’ve purchased, at least three I disliked, thinking the story and characters were boring or not developed enough. Traditional publishing does get rid of all of the spelling errors, but it can’t make a story great.
My conclusion is this: you may find a dozen horribly written indie books, plunged out there into the world by people thinking they were ready to publish when they weren’t, but for every bad indie book, I guarantee there’s also a good one. Readers shouldn’t be afraid to give indie authors a chance, to forget for a moment that this book has no traditional publishing company behind its spine.
That’s my thoughts for the moment. I’ll post again tomorrow about how authors post 5-star reviews on their own pages, and 1-star reviews on their competitor’s pages.
Thanks for reading.