Self-Published Authors Are Destroying Literature


buy my book

Self-published authors with their insistent need to spam social media and pump out a copious amount of horrible ebooks are ruining the modern online bookstore. You can’t browse Kobo, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon without running into a maelstrom of poorly written and poorly edited books. All of these bookstores put indie authors’ books side by side with established authors, who are signed to a publishing company. Social media is also a breeding ground for people to try and hustle their books and literally beg for sales.

Bowker Market Research
reported last week that self-published ebooks now account for 12% of the entire digital publishing market. In some cases, the number actually rises to a very respectable 20%, but is fairly genre specific to crime, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and humor. 95% of these books are insufferable and are written to capitalize on trends in publishing, with authors trying to emulate successful writers such as E.L. James or Cassandra Claire.

At a recent publishing conference in London, Andrew Franklin, founder and managing director of Profile Books, blasted authors who self-publish. “The overwhelming majority of self-published books are terrible—unutterable rubbish, they don’t enhance anything in the world.” He ranted on by saying, “These books come out and are met with a deathly silence, so the principle experience of self-publishing is one of disappointment. I was very shocked to learn you can buy Facebook friends and likes on social media. That is what passes for affirmation in what I think is the deeply corrupt world of self-publishing.”

I am inclined to agree with Andrew. Take a look at Amazon, the only quality control it employs is Kindle Serials and its official publishing imprints. All of their other self-publishing programs do not have anyone proofreading or editing the books. These ebooks are then listed side by side with mainstream books. This makes the process of quality ebook discovery a very time consuming effort. Not to mention the onslaught of auto-generated books, written by scripts and Public Domain Books, retitled and put up for sale. GoodReads was basically purchased by Amazon, because it sought to bring some measure of separating the good books from the terrible.

Smashwords is one company that is one of the guiltiest in encouraging writers to try and market their books on the internet. The company even provides a free ISBN number and will list your book for sale on Sony, iBooks, Kobo, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many others. It will ACCEPT anything, though most amateur fan-fiction is better, because at least those authors are trying and fanatically loyal to their subject matter.

Good e-Reader has around 3,000 Twitter Followers and over 5,000 Facebook friends. Not a day goes by that I don’t see people asking for ebook sales. “BUY MY BOOK!” No marketing, no reason to buy it, JUST BUY IT! The vast majority of indie authors have no concept on how to legitimately market a book title and just encourage people to BUY! #ihateebooks

One thing indie authors have done is devalue the work of legitimate published authors. You know the type that write for a living, who have an editor and are considered accomplished, or at least well-read. The average indie title is $0.99 to $2.99, and the average publisher price is $7.99 – $12.99. Book buyers have been so conditioned to pay as little as possible that often they will not even consider a more expensive book.

The vast majority of self-published authors definitely incur my everlasting ire, but hybrid authors gain my respect. Often, these folk cut their teeth with major publishers and now self-publish for a little bit more control. Bella Andre is a fine example of a self-publisher; she got a major deal and went back to self-publishing. She has done very well.

I don’t know how many more paranormal romances or erotica clones I can stomach before I got completely berserk. Sure self-publishing MAY pay for a few bills, but at the expense of modern literature.

Michael Kozlowski (5214 Posts)

Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about electronic readers and technology for the last four years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the Huffington Post, CNET and more. Michael frequently travels to international events such as IFA, Computex, CES, Book Expo and a myriad of others. If you have any questions about any of his articles, please send an email to

  • Lorien

    Good news. People read your rant and have stopped self publishing and purchasing self published books. An executive order was signed and a constitutional amendment followed to outlaw them. Who knew you were so influential?

  • Graham

    How interesting that you flame self-published authors and the lack of proof-reading and editing and manage to publish your own posting with a typo.

  • Gideon

    It seems to me that the flooded market that literature is seeing right now will only stand to improve the quality of the literature that the world chooses. Flooded markets create competition and I highly doubt that technical or reference literature will require any less credibility or credentials for authority. Self publishing puts the direct power of literature into the hands of the people that it is intended for. Gutenberg and Martin Luther are great examples of this historically being great for literature and its readers. Sure it makes somewhat obsolete the marketing and business models once considered standard, but this is something most industries have had to adapt to. The world of literature is adapting. We’ll see how they do!

  • Marc Murphy

    The flipside is that publishers are not really very good at picking winners and reject a lot of quality material. They’ve been known to reject classics that they’ve already published and didn’t recognize. Many of the most successful authors have stories of how almost no one gave their work the time of day.

    As gatekeepers, they have way too much control. It’s true that the flood of books that self-publishing makes possible has less quality control, but I believe the free market will sort that out. The best books will rise to the top. I prefer a world where there is more freedom.

  • Kathy Rowe

    Wow, you got some issues. I’m a Indie author and work VERY hard to produce books that are as good, if not better than mainstream publishing. I have a PAID editor, and PAID cover designers. Do I make a huge amount off my books? No. I keep the prices low so folks who have to work for a living can afford them. I’ve picked up several books put out by BIG 6 publishers, and you know what? I found errors- either typos or grammatical errors within the first FIVE pages! So, tell me this? How is big publishing getting away with all these heinous errors and it’s not okay for an Indie author to have 1-2 in an entire 80,000 word book? I go through my manuscripts an average of 5 times before I send it to my editor. Then when edits come back, I review, make changes, and return it to her. She goes over it a second time, and then gets is back to me, where I make more changes. And once all the editing is done, I read the whole book again while formatting and sometimes catch 1-2 more. So my books have been edited 8-9 times before they hit the market.

    As for social media, I tend to be polite. I have my own Facebook page and I post updates on that. I never post on a site unless they specifically say that authors can post their books. When I release a new book, you may see 8-10 posts over a week and a few tweets out of me- that’s it. I let the books do the work of selling themselves. And after just over 3 years and 9 novels, I have a bestseller and an award winning novel. I have several thousand fans, and I appreciate every one of them. There are rules to social media, and unfortunately not everyone follows them. But don’t lump all Indie authors together in this.

    How about not ruining it for us hard-working, polite Indie authors? Not all self-publishing is created equal.

  • Stephanie

    Um…who are you? LOL…get a life man. Its called competition. Its good for ya.

  • Bio9

    Why not let readers decide what book is good or not good? What the self publishing movement is really about is removing gatekeepers and letting the masses decide. Which is why gatekeepers are upset that they aren’t all important any more. The system does bring us bizarre phenomenons like Fifty Shades Of Grey (I’m still baffled by that one) it has produced some very skilled authors who otherwise would never be seen.

  • Atomic Playgirl

    Because everything published through traditional methods is just brilliant. Or is it just picked because it can be leveraged for profit? High sales do not mean quality writing (see 50 Shades of Grey), and indie anything likewise does not mean that it’s tripe. True, the barrier for entry is lower now but it also allows people more CHOICE; they can determine what they want to read, not what gatekeepers like book publishers want them to read. Despite the (moderate amount) of tripe that comes from both traditional AND self-published sources, it is good for the consumer, even if it does sometimes require more work up front.

  • Rich Meyer

    Umm … didn’t E.L. James start out by self-publishing? Sure, it wasn’t proper self-publishing; it was Twilight-based fan-fiction posted on the internet. Doesn’t that make things worse, starting out by giving things away for free? Doesn’t it devalue the “literature” even more? And what about hybrid authors that go the other way, start self-publishing and then go traditional? Do they have your “respect”? They have joined that dreary old status quo, after all?

    E-books, as a medium, is still in its infancy. Sure, promotions can be annoying as all hell, but the self-publishing brigade is still trying to find a way to get their voice heard amid the rabble and the discontent of the traditionally-published crowd. Many of these books wouldn’t have been even looked at by one of the Big 5 (or however many of those big names have managed to survive), since if they’re not “hot” and “profitable” (or blatant rip-offs of something else), they won’t touch it. If there’s not a readily-defined, ready-to-shell-out-cash market segment, a regular publisher won’t take a chance on something unless they know there are hordes of sheeple to shell out that cash without worrying about anything but the author’s name on the cover. .

    The mere fact that e-books are flourishing is proof that they can be just as successful as printed books, both financially and critically.More and more people are going to be going the e-reader route over the years, for reasons of convenience, as more authors will do the same. And more and more authors will relish the control that self-publishing gives them over their own destiny.

    No printing costs, no worrying about market segmentation … and no wonder the traditional publishers are worrying.

  • Karolina Jones

    In other news, DeviantArt has destroyed art!

  • sad

    I agree and disagree at the same time. I agree because I have purchased crap, I have been duped by the 5 star review spam posse, and I have experienced the “author who WILL NOT accept criticism.” OTOH, I have also been asked to do stable writing for the worst possible tripe imaginable, put out by a legitimate publishing house. I refused, because I respect myself. I have also had a self pub book that was picked up by a publishing house. That was extremely exciting until I figured out that I had just control of everything about the book that was important to me. I have also dealt with the “money” issue, finding that a good book will not be produced unless it fits the marketing niche. This destroys choice and crushes creativity.
    So, while I understand how pissed off you are when you read crap, I must challenge your conclusion that self pub is bad.

  • Paula Cappa

    I think the difference is that some people who self-publish are “writers” and others are “authors” much like Kathy Rowe posts here. The approach has to be as a professional in order to put out quality books and maintain a good reputation, and achieve decent sales. A lot of s-p people do not understand that this publishing business is not a hobby. I applaud Kathy Rowe and authors like her who value the industry standards and treat them with respect. I’d like to point out that poorly written and poorly edited books are not exclusive to the self-published.

  • Mike

    Why would you need a publishers if the entry cost is inconsequential?

  • Pau Varela

    your opinion is so biased and poorly written, that you should be the one not publishing your shit in any format

  • David Hovgaard

    Why are you so afraid of Indie books? If they are all rubbish as you claim then they will sit on the cyber bookshelf and gather bit dust without harming a soul. So why the screed against books that by your own admission are total rubbish unless you fear what they have to say or you fear that some few might eclipse your own work in depth and popularity? Besides traditional publisher produce a lot dreck themselves unless you think derivative novels like the hunger games are the height of literature

    We have reached a point in publishing where publishers are afraid to publish anything that is not exactly like what they have already published. It’s the reason we have so many zombi and vampire novels. They are safe and they sell. But if someone says something outside the mainstream or writes a story that the short sighted editors can’t figure out how to sell, it never sees the light of day.

    I say let the ,market sort it out. People will read what they want to read and writers will write what they want to write and were the two groups meet there will be profit for both. Besides if your work doesn’t sell than the publisher was probably right when he told you it was a good story but they couldn’t find a market for it. Either way it doesn’t do any harm to try on free services like KDP or Nook.

  • Jane Meep

    I am also greatly concerned about the overall lack of character, or, at best, intelligence in self-publishers. The lack of respect for readers is horrendous. I think the best thing readers can do to avoid the selfies is to become familiar with publishers just as they are with authors. In particular, since the selfies have now stolen the word “indie”, which used to refer to legitimate small presses, the only way to find professionally vetted and edited independent publications is by researching small markets in Writers Market or on Duotrope, etc. Many arguments from the selfies try to make it seem like there is only themselves (the Good Guys) and the Big Six (we’re supposed to boo, now). Not only do the Big Six still produce some of the finest books in the world, but thousands of legitimate, well-edited small publishers exist, in all genres. No one needs to subject themselves to the selfie slush pile when looking for something good to read that is also innovative. The most innovative, exciting work now is coming from the REAL small publishers — the ones with the REAL editors, and, especially, the REAL rejection slips.

  • Jane Meep

    You still haven’t addressed the slush problem. How can your “authors” be visible when they’re buried in crap. Why do you think it’s reasonable to expect readers to have to shovel their way through crap?

  • Jane Meep

    And, again, the false dichotomy… You had one bad experience with one publisher (out of thousands of possibilities), so you believe you’re justified in forcing readers to have to wade through slush?

  • Jane Meep

    Did you read the article?

  • Jane Meep

    Any pornographer can find addicts and perverts to buy their stuff. Citing E.L. James as a justification for forcing readers to wade through crap is just mind blowing. My God, you people really think James is a legitimate writer? And, you expect people to read your stuff? I’m amazed you’re allowed to vote and walk outside without an attendant.

  • Jane Meep

    No matter what you do, no matter how “polite” you are, you’re still expecting people to waste time reading your writing even though it’s never been evaluated anywhere at any time by an impartial third party. You have no one vouching for you, yet you presume to want to shove your stuff into reader’s schedules and lives. What right do you have to expect readers to waste time with unvetted, random slush?

  • Jane Meep

    I’ve identified over 600 potential markets for my work, and I’m working in one of the smaller genres. Doesn’t look like “too much control” to me. If I can’t sell my stuff to one in several hundred markets, it’s far more likely that it’s because it sucks, not because the editors are to blame.

  • Jane Meep

    The “direct power of literature” you’re piling in other people’s living rooms is actually a steaming pile of worthless crap. If you don’t have an impartial group of PAID people doing the initial screening of the slush pile, readers are forced to deal with it. If reades are forced to have to wade through crap, they’ll stop being readers (or, just read nothing but Stephen King, and give up on everything else.)

  • Jane Meep

    Look up the phrase “slush pile.”

  • Kathy Rowe

    Well, one of my books happens to be an award winner- from a non-biased third party. I have a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews- from readers I don’t know. I don’t shove my work down reader’s throats. They are on their own to discover it. And with the free previews, they can read a snippet, and if they don’t like it, they can move on and are wasting a minimal amount of time.

    Oh, and I’ve read novels from some of the biggest publishing houses that I would have considered shit because of all the typos, grammatical errors, and extremely poor story line. Yet they made it to mainstream publishing. Where was the gatekeeper when that book went to press? So how can you say that all Indie authors suck when you have probably not read a whole lot of the better ones? Does Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking ring a bell? They started out as Indies, and yes, they do have publishing contracts now, but they were INDIES to start with.

    Don’t bad-mouth all Indie authors. There are a lot of us who work hard and take pride in our work. Many of us write for the sheer joy of telling a story. If anyone reads it, it’s entirely up to them. So go ahead and spend $9.99+ on buying ebooks from house published authors. But you may be missing the gems that sell for $3.99.

  • Kathy Rowe


  • Marc Murphy

    Sure, the publishing houses know what they’re doing and anything they don’t publish sucks. That’s why all but one rejected Harry Potter. That’s why famous authors who resubmit their best work under a different name get rejected.

  • Jane Meep

    No one has the time or energy to wade through the slush pile. It doesn’t matter whether or not your work is good when it’s buried under a pile of manure. You’re expecting readers to shovel manure when they barely have enough time, cash and energy to cook dinner for their kids. Readers’ time is precious, and must be respected. By expecting tired, overtaxed (in all ways), overwhelmed readers to waste time testing every drop in the ocean just to find your stuff, you are doomed to failure. You’re also doomed to be really, really irritating to the people you’re trying to “market” to.

  • Jane Meep

    “Sure, the publishing houses know what they’re doing and anything they don’t publish sucks.” Yeah, pretty much. If they’re right even 60% of the time, that’s still a major, major improvement over dealing with the 99.99% of illiterate slush, sock puppet “reviews,” and creepy, self-indulgent BS that dominate self-publishing.

  • Jane Meep

    Thank you for not marketing. At least you’re not irritating people. You still, however, have not established that your book is worth reading. Amazon reviews are worse than worthless; ditto Goodreads. (Sorry. Since the buy-out, I’m being redundant.)
    Again, if you have no one who’s vetted your worth, there is no reason why anyone should spend time on it.
    (And, Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking would have sold anyway. In this case, putting out selfies was just another way to submit a manuscript.)

  • Jane Meep

    And, you’re confusing eBooks with self-publishing. I own a couple hundred eBooks; all are from traditional publishers, and were professionally vetted and edited.

  • Jane Meep

    The truth is completely the opposite. The more self-published shit clogs online retailers, the more readers retreat to known Big Six authors. By flooding the market with bullshit, you’re helping kill off the possibility of legitimate, vetted & edited independent works being noticed.

  • Jane Meep

    You really think DeviateArt has the same economic impact as Amazon?

  • Atomic Playgirl

    Your vitriolic comments litter this board – I’m stunned by the hatred you spew at people who have a different opinion than you. EL James was an Indie and picked up by a big house; Harlequin publishes Weisz’ Original Sinners series, which contains pedophilia, yet you’re defending large publishing houses. You give the Big Six a pass and condemn all Indie authors as trash, which is laughable.

  • David Hovgaard

    Wow such anger. They are just stories and besides if you ask amazon might refund your money if you are not satisfied. Also has it occurred to you that while you may think something is terrible someone else might love it. The novels about the sparkly vampire and the werewolf fighting over a clueless teenager sold millions of copies despite the fact they were badly written derivative crap. Harry Potter made it’s writer a billionaire even though it was terribly written and a rip off of other people’s work. The point is it doesn’t matter if a book is self published or put out by an imprint or a big house it can be good or bad depending on your point of view. But mostly people have a right to do whatever they want and those like you that want to limit who can peddle their stories to a fortunate few are exactly why we keep getting the same lifeless stories rehashed over and over again by publishers because they like Hollywood are afraid to take a chance on something new.

  • Harvey Stanbrough

    Jane Meep is a flamer. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and she doesn’t care. She just likes to annoy people. I looked on Amazon, B&N, Diesel, Kobo, Sony, and a few other places and saw NOTHING by Jane Meep. Maybe she’s pissed because her stuff is so horrible nobody wants to read it. She flamed me about my publishing company, StoneThread Publishing, earlier today without bothering to know ANYthing about it. She is completely inconsequential. I finally wised up and blocked her. Miss Jane, I pity you.

  • SLNH

    You’ve made your point and seem to be in the minority. If you don’t want to read self published books, , don’t. I love to read and have found many self published authors I enjoy and so find more by them. You can find books by traditional publishers that are garbage and unreadable as well. It all depends on your taste.

  • SLNH

    Since you seem to be a published author, your rant about selfies sounds like sour grapes to me. Don’t dictate to me as a reader about what I should and shouldn’t like.

  • Spela Lavtar

    You are talking rubbish. I, as a reader, have no problem in finding good stories. I get lots of recommendation from the blogs I follow, from Amazon and friends. I look at the cover, the blurb and I read the sample to see if the book suits me. If you have problems with finding a book that would fit your taste among self-publishers, that’s your problem, which you can solve by following a blogger with similar taste in books or you can stick to trade published books, just don’t make the shovelling thorough Amazon’s ‘slush pile’ problem of readers, because it’s not.

  • Annie Sezso

    ‘Au contraire mon ami. I, as a reader, could not agree more with Jane Meep or less with you and the other laureates who want it now and want want it “quick” as an author or don’t know or care the difference between literature and a dime novel as a reader. What Ms. Meep has kindly not emphasized is the distinction in reader palette. The claims of “published” author and literary scholar have become as diminished as today’s Mercedes Benz automobile–cheapened and mass marketed so that everyone can own one. A five-minute perusal at the five-star reader reviews on Amazon tells this tale. I don’t mind the ability to self publish, I do mind them being intermixed at online booksellers. The slush pile is indeed my problem as well as it is for any discerning reader, and I have neither the time nor inclination for it, so I do exactly as Ms. Meep outlines, When faced with the slog through so much junk so inaccurately portrayed to find the rare exception, I usually choose to go with the standards. You can keep your bargains, I value my time and talented authors.

  • Spela Lavtar

    I have to say that I don’t understand you. Is somebody
    forcing you to browse through self-published book? It’s somebody forcing you to
    read self-published books? If so, then your problem is laying elsewhere, but if
    not, just stick to trade-published book. What’s so hard about that?

    I don’t have any sympathy for people who refuse to use the
    already available tools (all the retailers have search function and filters with
    which you can single out publishers by name and then filter the books by genre)
    and prefer to waste their time by whining “The slush pile is indeed my problem
    as well as it is for any discerning reader” and stating: “published”
    author and literary scholar have become as diminished as today’s Mercedes Benz
    automobile–cheapened and mass marketed so that everyone can own one.” This is
    like having a tantrum that you can’t cross the road because there’s too much traffic,
    while just two steps away is a traffic light.

    But if the problem of a slush pile is a result of your incompetence
    to use the retailers’ search function and filters, I’ll be glad to help you,
    you only have to ask.

  • Annie Sezso

    One problem here is, I do happen to understand you. And thank you for your offer of help, however, it’s my guess there is little you could teach me. Your short sighted faith in booksellers’ filters exemplifies your ignorance and/or delusion. There are over 110 million books indexed, and getting them in front of people depends (in general) on ratings and sales. How to avoid the slush pile is a question often asked because it is indeed an annoying and unnecessary great waste of time when so much garbage is pushed, but for which it seems there is currently no expedient solution. The net is rife with reader complaints of sentiment matching mine. Discerning readers should not have to limit heir choices to five publishers or slog through a dung heap. They should be able to choose reading material from trustworthy and legitimate reviews that are written by trustworthy and legitimate reviewers based on solid and interesting writing. A minimal Google search provides the following.

    The question of how to avoid the sludge is an oft asked question and the problems with the deluge of self publishing is well documented. I’ve already mentioned perusing fraudulent reviews, in addition the topic is widely discussed, though obviously you failed to mention and refuse to acknowledge that a huge problem even exists. Typical miscellaneous comments to the pertinent question: “No way to do this that I’ve found.” “It makes browsing for books in the kindle store harder.” “Kindle and Nook ought to flag books that are self-published.” “If you wish to avoid indie authors altogether, check the publisher and see if the book is available in paperback or hardcover. But with the advent of companies like Createspace, this may not be enough. “ “ It’s probably hard for Amazon to identify indies specifically–I mean, if an author chooses, he/she can simply start a ‘small press’ and identify his/her own books with a publisher name.” “ It’s (filtering) also akin to searching for a specific author and getting a lot of books not written by the author.” “I think that there are more of “them” (indies) than readers in the fora these days…they seem to try to sneak into every thread with their aggressive and desperate self promotion. I wish Amazon would have an indie category and market their “work” there.” “To be honest, despite being self-published myself, I can’t blame readers or reviewers when they say they won’t touch self-published books. Too many wanna-be authors put out work that is low-quality and have attitudes that a professional dog-walker would be embarrassed to have. “

    From indiereaders: “Self-published authors have created a devaluing of the written word, and, some of them are scrambling to see how low they can go to get noticed. Let us list the ways: 99-cent price point for ebooks. Free ebooks via KDP Select program. Unedited work. Kindle giveaways to get attention and bulk up sales. And lastly, nasty reviews from other authors with the sole purpose
    of driving down customer ratings.”

    From Forbes, Fake Reviews Amazon’s Rotten Core: “On 25 August, the New
    York Times revealed that the use of fake reviews is widespread. The faking of reviews, both positive and negative, is a serious issue. At the core of the problem is the fact that there are huge benefits to behaving unethically but very little cost for those caught doing so. Unfortunately, there is also no motivation for Amazon, or other online booksellers, to clean up their own acts. Amazon exists to sell stuff. They will only begin to care about this if it starts to threaten sales, despite the fact that they could, if they wanted to, make it much harder for people to fake reviews.” “What we should do about the problem. At this point, I don’t think there’s a silver bullet, short of Amazon and their competitors suffering a sudden rush of ethical blood to the head, so I’d advocate doing all of the above.” “As a community, I feel that we have to act, because this shoddy behaviour affects all of us, readers and writers alike. “

    From goodreader: “In 2011, Google announced that it had over 110 million books currently indexed.” “If an ebook does not have many ratings or reviews, it tends to not generate sales in the major ebook stores. The more reviews and verified purchases a book has, the more it gets pushed up the rankings and tends to garner more sales. This has prompted a number of companies to meet the unscrupulous needs of authors to get noticed and has created a firestorm of epic proportions.” “The new report (Gartner Research) states that if this problem is not curtailed, by 2014 15% of all ebook reviews will be fake.” “Quite a number of self-published authors take the easy way out by paying for reviews.” “There are ethical paid reviewers out there, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference.”

    So no tantrum whatsoever, just a healthy dose of reality for someone wearing blinders. My analogy stands, your traffic light analogy (unsurprisingly) needs editing. From the above references, a more accurate description would be placing a flashing yellow for pedestrians in the middle of Beltway 610 during Houston rush hour. I think it’s painfully obvious where any incompetence lives. Now go advocate to someone as mired in unsophisticated self delusion as you are—I have something important waiting, a good book.

  • Spela Lavtar

    From my personal experience, I haven’t heard one friend or an acquaintance
    or a reader on the forums online where I lurk complaining that they can’t find good books, but I have heard the same complaint over and over again from authors. What authors and publishers are experiencing is a problem of discovery and that has nothing to do with readers finding good books. I, my friends and acquaintances can find good books just fine, that being self-published or trade-published, and we have no problems locating helpful reviews. Since you according to what you have written do, what does that tell us about you?

    Yes, go write that book and I hope that you are not posting this under your author name, since from what you have displayed you are not doing any favours to yourself or your reputation.

  • Annie Sezso

    Ah, what?? Good grief, read what I wrote, not what you want or expect to hear. Try slower perhaps, for comprehension. I don’t write books. There are good books, but readers shouldn’t have to sift through so much garbage to get to them. Original point. I’ve given you more than enough to chew on, if you could only comprehend. Oy vey …

  • Spela Lavtar

    “To be honest, despite being self-published myself, I can’t blame readers or reviewers when they say they won’t touch self-published books”

    I don’t know why I thought that this was your statement. Actually I do, because of a crap load of quotes and lack of interest, I only skipped trough your comment. Oh, well, that still doesn’t change the fact that your comments aren’t doing you any favours; the lack of manners is astonishing. You must really be popular among your friends. I’m sure they really appreciate your tendency to look down on people and your fondness to look important which is so evident from your comments, even when one only skip through them like I did.

    And I will repeat: “I, my friends and acquaintances can find good books just fine, that being self-published or trade-published, and we have no problems locating helpful reviews. Since you according to what you have written do, what does that tell us about you?” And add to: ‘what does that tell us about you’ and your competence? I will give you a hint, it’s not flattering.

  • Annie Sezso

    Stop digging the hole. Stay on point. Stop ignoring the facts I provided you. I am about as gullible as you are unbiased. I keep having to remind you the issue you invited yourself to comment to me about is the adverse reader sentiment, that as documented undeniably does exist though you refuse to acknowledge, to the enormous slush pile caused by self publishing garbage. Readers don’t want the garbage, and the available tools to avoid it are ineffective. The publishing industry standards are a separate issue. You have no credibility when you point your accusatory finger at others for doing exactly what you are guilty of doing yourself. When you are faced with the reality that mainstream readers don’t like your selfish imposition, you whine and point your finger. That is not debate.

  • Annie Sezso

    Exception? You call it anything your heart desires if it makes you feel better, but I’ll call it what it really is, an inability to do what you say; it speaks to character weakness and credibility.

    Who invited whom, you’re kidding, right? The more you write the more you appear obtuse instead of witty, which is painfully obvious just not to you. I’ll explain it for you. Every time one comments one invites a response, but the responses that follow are generally tailored to the previous comment as that frames the debate, except maybe in your case. Seems to have gone over your head in your excitement to finger point instead of exchange, but I was saying adverse reader sentiment is my argument try to stick to it instead continuing to wander off into the wild blue yonder. You write all over the place and you have trouble with relevance, so don’t try to flatter yourself by making this something it isn’t.

    Wisely perhaps, Jane Meep didn’t waste her time and dismissed your comment out of hand. Instead of intelligent responses, you make snide proclamations and unsupported generalizations that greatly exceed your pay grade and skill level, relating little to commenter point of view and based on nothing but your juvenile self- and small-world view. But you were so obnoxiously inappropriate I decided to make an obvious point so I invited debate with my return response. Instead
    of debate I engaged in this circular futility of yours. And now after pages worth of your attempted chest puffing blather, it has brought us to this point where you now evidently feel a need to disprove prior overzealous ignorance or throw a few more slurs, already succumbing to your first “just this one” exception. Discretion should be the operative word here and my piece of advice back to you before you blunder into additional knee jerk attacks.

    I’ll reiterate again since it continues to escape you, Jane Meep’s well framed issues are not “rubbish” but relevant and valid and they deserve consideration. You are wrong, but you simply ignore what you don’t want to hear. And then you told her not to make “shoveling through Amazon’s slush pile the problem of readers because it’s not.” Again, you are wrong and it is rather mind boggling the foolish empty judgments you feel entitled to make. Initially I spoke to these specific points, stating my opinion and why I disagreed with you, and all without calling you immature, intellectually unsophisticated, or blindly biased. But you continue on in the same vein, if you don’t experience it then it must not be so, then you throw slurs trying to snark above your ability, likely to detract from incompetence or pure retaliation for your own shortcomings, and then claim it to be debate. Your last entry in its entirety is off the wall childish and redundant nonsense, superfluous to debate.

    You can’t refute the truth or the referenced proof so in one swift breath you just dismiss it, then in the next breath you try to stand on a correlation that doesn’t exist anywhere except in your imagination much less refute anything I’ve written. The junk doesn’t just fall to the bottom, are you even familiar with Forbes Magazine or any major publications. You can disagree with professional columnists, writers, and bloggers until hell freezes over, but you have no legitimate argument, no leg to stand on in debate. And I could care less about your litany of less than qualified opinion. Your reference supports my comments about mass marketing and profits and why Amazon is unlikely to address this problem. But please, mass marketing cheap merchandise does not correlate to “readers have no problems finding good books.” You are taking statistical theory to a new and unprecedented low, in addition to remaining lost in the weeds. Common sense is sometimes not all that common. You don’t know rubbish from cabbage and shoveling through the slush pile is unquestionably the problem of mainstream readers regardless.

    ETA just for further clarification of your writing: “There is an enormous slush pile on Amazon, I never denied its existence.” I never said or even implied you did, that should be a given even to you. “Continue to parrot: “Readers can’t find good books.”” This too I never said so who are you quoting exactly, it appears you could use an editor. The “verbal spanking” was appropriate and it ruffled your feathers, yet you keep coming back for more. That says far more about you than anything you could invent about me……

  • Angel

    Frankly I’ve been studying the selection process by publishers and looking at the market at books that actually make it and I lost respect for publishing companies. Many of these people commenting are right. Good writers are often left out of the market by the overwhelming number of poorly written, poorly conceptualized books that are simply “popular” to youth. I enjoyed twilight myself so I’m not knocking it. I’m knocking the lock that the industry has on what gets in and WHO. It’s like a monopoly now. But it aimed at mostly kids. This tells me specific markets are being targeted with specific storylines in mind and that leaves a tremendous part of the market largely ignored. Why. Who gets to decide what “kind” of stories should be told. I’ve read so called bestsellers or tried to but couldn’t get past the first chapter because they sucked. Oversexed and glorifications of things some would say are questionable but more importantly just not well written books. I know people that read those indie authors and are glad for them. Their books are less expensive and so are far better than what’s published and pricey.

  • poet1016

    Jane meep isn’t even real. Meep is a nonsense work used by testers to mean just about anything. If someone is posting using the name, her rage and loathing make her preposterous. Someone is playing a joke and many are following. Some of their rants at each other are priceless.

  • Jake

    Who cares about your opinion in your self-published blog?

  • Kell Brigan


  • Kell Brigan

    She’s writing as a reader, not a “writer.”

  • Kell Brigan

    Can Amazon refund someone’s time?

  • Spela Lavtar

    If you are searching for an ebook, since self-publishers price are usually lower than 5,99, I recommend you use price in the filter section. Traditionally published books are on sale here and there, and some blacklists have lower prices, but in most cases all traditionally published ebooks are 6,99+
    Go to: ‘Kindle eBooks: Advanced Search,’ type in the parameters that you are interested in and set ‘Sort Results by: Price: High to Low. You might get some self-published books in results, but there shouldn’t include more than 5% of them.
    I only buy self-published works now, since I want to support authors not the middle men, because of who only a few authors were and are able to support themselves by writing, I use the reverse method.
    There’s also option of searching for traditionally published book by imprints. Then if you don’t trust your judgement on the book quality, under ‘Special Features’ Amazon also offers categories: ‘Editors’ Picks,’ ‘Award Winners,’ ‘Oprah’s Picks.’ I would also add the ‘New York Times® Best Sellers’ category, but more and more self-publishers are appearing on it, so… Kindle Daily Deals falls in the same category as ‘New York Times® Best Sellers.’
    For those who only want to read traditionally published books and avoid self-publishers at all cost, I recommend that they focus on Bookish: (where there’s no self-published books) and on Book Depository:

  • Richard Pawlowski

    I do. sometimes I like what others opinions are and seek out negatives. Moreover, I too get nauseous with so much romantic, fiction crap on the Net. This is why I stick with writing non-fiction.

  • David Hovgaard

    Not forcing anyone to read anything.

  • David Hovgaard

    Perhaps you should limit yourself to books you’ve already read that way you will not be disappointed. As far as professionally edited and vetted books go that doesn’t mean their good. I have read some real stinkers that were professionally edited and published. When you decided to read any book you take a chance maybe you find a gem maybe you find a disaster if you refuse to even look beyond the offerings of named authors and publishers you may never find that special story which was over looked because it didn’t appeal to a wide enough market to interest a publisher but it might just speak to you.

  • Kell Brigan

    Limiting oneself to authors with which they are already familiar is EXACTLY what the glut of self-published slush forces readers to do. Flooding search results and online sites with slush renders online shopping useless, and forces readers back into bookstores, and the same ~20 authors.

  • David Hovgaard

    So what’s your solution make self publishing illegal because it inconveniences you. If you don’t want to take a chance then stick with conventionally produced books. But your argument that publishers vet books and therefore are the guardians of good literature is just silly. They pick books that they think will make them money period. Literary value only comes into play for small boutique publishing houses and very few publishers or agents take on new authors that don’t already have a publishing track record. So why not let people publish what they want and if you don’t want to buy it don’t. Besides, conventional publishers have done more to undermine literature than all the self published novels ever written.

  • David Hovgaard

    You don’t have to wade through anything, no one is forcing you to buy these books. It’s not like the fact a book is self published is hidden. When you don’t see a publishers imprint it’s pretty clear that it’s self published. But what you guys are really taking about is elitism and censorship. Elitism because you don’t like the fact that anyone can publish and censorship because you don’t want people to publish unless they have met some minimum criteria. The problem with that is who get’s to decide because books you love I might hate and vice versa. The only solution is to let the market decide and if that means you have to wade through some lousy fiction so what no one said life or literature would be perfect.

  • David Hovgaard

    I don’t expect people to do anything. They are adults. They can choose for themselves what they want to read, besides I don’t write literature. People that are trying to write the next great novel are in my opinion wasting their time, just tell a good story. I’ll take that over the most eloquent pros or effusive writing any day.

  • Kell Brigan

    300,000 self-published books a year, soon to be 500,000. That is the answer to all your questions. How will readers wade their way through the deluge? People can already publish what they want (so long as it’s not child abuse porn), and have been able to since the creation of the United States. How items are categorized, stored, indexed and retrieved matters. How items are ranked, evaluated, accepted or rejected by various institutions and individiuals matters. Most self-publishers are demanding the right to be presumed to be traditionally published. They object to the truth coming out — that their work is not vetted for even the slightest degree of literacy. By doing so — by presuming to intrude upon a system and profession without respecting the rules for entry into that profession — they are flooding the existing traditionally-published materials to the point where everything, published and self-published, becomes invisible. That is the problem. Anyone who wants to dive into the anything-goes, self-publishing ocean is welcome to do so. All those of us who object to the appropriation and redefinition of existing language are saying is, “Leave traditional publishing alone.” Stop talking about being “published” when you are not; a “self-published” work is self-published, and nothing else. Stop calling yourselves “authors” in a hopeless attempt to convince people that your work has been evaluated and approved of by that industry you claim to hate so much. If you really think traditional publishing is worthless, then stop trying so blatantly to pass yourselves off as traditionally published.

  • David Hovgaard

    Excuse me but you are the intruder. You are making claims about self published novels that you can’t support with facts other than your opinion that they are all atrocious. While I’ll agree that you may have found a stinker or two did you in fact read all the self published books from last year or at least a representative sample if not then your opinion isn’t really valid is it. Besides even if your number is accurate so what, these books do nothing to dampen sales of conventionally produced books. Publishers are still profitable so as they say in legal circles how are you harmed other than you don’t like the competition. Lastly, self published authors aren’t intruding on a system with rules it’s the internet there are no real rules as to content. I also never said I was published. I am merely disagreeing with your badly written hit piece against freedom of expression plus you seem to be getting extremely worked up over something that is really none of your business.

  • Kell Brigan

    Readers are “intruders.” Thanks for finally revealing your true agenda. It’s all about the egos and wallets of fake writers, demanding that everyone give them money and adulation when they’ve done nothing to earn it.

  • David Hovgaard

    No, I said you were an intruder because you seem to want to tell the rest of us what we can and can’t do with our work on the internet. As far as ego goes the only ego here is yours and it’s a doozie. Your ego demands that the only people allowed to show or sell their work must be approved by a publisher because the idea that someone can put there work out their without prior approval offends your delicate sensibilities. But despite your arrogant demands writers will still put their work out there just as publishers will still make money off named authors and the readers will be the ones that decide what they want to read. As far as money goes yes most people would like to be paid for their efforts if they can. If not well so what, you tried if it doesn’t work write something else.

  • Kell Brigan

    One more time. If you are self-published and you call yourself “published” or an “author,” you’re lying. You’re trying to fool people into buying your stuff by pretending to have been vetted, edited and approved by professional, traditional publishers. If you are so thrilled with self-publishing, are so proud to be self-published, call yourself “self-published” everywhere, 100% of the time. Any self-published person who practices anything other than constant, 100% transparency is a liar, and they’re lying because they’re trying to fool readers into thinking they’ve been traditionally published. Lying is immoral. Lying is shameful. Liars are bad people. If you’re such a great artist, stop lying and let your work survive, or not, on its actual merits, or lack thereof. Drop the spin. Lose the “marketing.” Knock off the bullshit.

  • Michael Kozlowski

    Kell, i LIKE your style!

  • David Hovgaard

    One more time I never said I was published. You really got to stop this diatribe against people putting their work on the internet because there is nothing you can do about it. As far as claiming we’re published I have never done that. There may have been some that have and that’s unfortunate but none of the authors that I have read have done that. If you’ve been fooled the only thing you can do is learn from the mistake by checking the publishers book list before you buy. If authors have claimed to be published it is always as self published which a reasonable person understands means it was not put out by an established imprint. As far as pride goes, yes there is some pride in completing something to denigrate that is childish. This argument is now over. You can go on claiming I said things I didn’t and being mad because people are putting their work on the internet that’s your right but I will no longer comment because their is nothing more to say.

  • Kell Brigan

    500,000 unvetred, mostly-illiterate books clogging up online book shopping every year. What is your solution?