Indie books: It’s not that they are bad. It’s that so many of them are good.
May 3, 2013
I have to admit that I get tired of hearing people talk about their experiences when they have downloaded an Indie book for free or 99 cents and discovered the books were pieces of crap.
The world of books has changed thanks to digital publishing.
Now any Tom, Dick or Harry can upload a book to which no filter of quality has been applied.
That’s the price we pay for an open market.
Just because there are some Yugos out there doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of high-performance models.
The unspoken corollary to the observation about the spotty quality of Indie books is that Indie writers are second-class writers.
I don’t buy it for a second.
It’s not that there are too many bad Indie books; it’s that there are so many good ones.
What I mean is that readers today have a never-ending all you can eat buffet laid out before them. They can dine ’til they are sated, wait a few hours, come back and re-fill their plates.
If they try something that doesn’t suit them, they can quit nibbling on it and move to the dessert table.
It’s really all a matter of perception. The common wisdom, carefully managed by those who have a vested interest in buttressing the crumbling walls of the old school of publishing, is that if a book hasn’t been through the traditional mill, it isn’t any good.
The truth is that traditional publishers care about one thing: selling books. They want a sure thing. How do they accomplish that goal without risk? They look around at Indie books, find the ones that are selling well and set out to acquire them.
When an Indie book gets hot, all of a sudden, it gets good.
Funny how that happens.
Did the writer morph into a new kind of being over night, one who deserves to be at cocktail parties in New York? The writer didn’t morph. His book started selling. That made him a lot better looking.
I’m not being critical of the big houses for taking this approach. It’s just business, a simple model that allows the little guy to do all the work, bear all the risks, put in all the sweat equity. When he succeeds, the big houses see it and scarf him up.
But my point is that the writing didn’t change, the author didn’t sprout a new antenna.
Maybe the book got hot in the first place because it was a good book, an Indie book.
What a revolutionary idea.