Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: G_R_Matthews on October 10, 2015, 02:41:01 PM

Title: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: G_R_Matthews on October 10, 2015, 02:41:01 PM
Maybe you've read Marc's articles, or followed the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off, or seen the interviews on Fantasy Book Critic, or been visiting Mark Lawrence's blog for updates?

The most recent article, posted today, gathers the views of the other 9 blogs involved in the process. Some of their views will echo many of yours, I suspect, and some may, if not challenge them, at least make you think, "Oh, really?"

http://fantasy-faction.com/2015/has-the-self-published-fantasy-blog-off-changed-your-opinion-of-self-published-books (http://fantasy-faction.com/2015/has-the-self-published-fantasy-blog-off-changed-your-opinion-of-self-published-books)

Anyway, what are your views on Self-Published books? Like them or hate them? Have one you'd recommend?
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: eclipse on October 10, 2015, 03:01:13 PM
I've read Shattered Sand and that was pretty good also read Priest and didn't like that one as much, planning to read most of the last ten in  the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off, Mind you I would not have gone near a book with an author name of Plague Jack and the blurb of A Soul For Trouble doesn't interest me but I will give them both a go

So the Self-published fantasy blog off has got me reading Self-published novels for a short while anyway  :) but I probably go back to read Traditional Publishing after.

Also I might read self published work if the author posts on F-F but only if there a regular here.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Nora on October 10, 2015, 03:10:54 PM
The Martian, by Andy Weir, started all free and self published  ;D
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Rostum on October 10, 2015, 03:15:38 PM
Most I have read have already been picked up by a publisher so are to a higher standard as a rule.
I have neither the time or money to read everything I wish to so don't tend to read self published.
I did read Shattered Sands and will read the second book when Saraband releases it. I cannot say it is the best story, most cohesive or best written book I have read, but it is genuinely interesting and engages the reader so you want to know what happens. I felt he had a lot of ideas bursting to get onto the page but not necessarily in a uniform way.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Davis Ashura on October 10, 2015, 04:44:46 PM
Just like traditional publishing, it's hit or miss, but there are a lot more misses than hits. But of the self-pubbed books I've read, the one that instantly comes to light as being one of the best books I've read in the past few years, self-pubbed or traditional, is Jonathan Renshaw's Dawn of Wonder. Fabulous writing in every sense of the word. This was on par with Anthony Ryan's Blood Song. For comparison's sake, I would say that Jon is better at the use of the English language while Anthony is better at plotting and narrative flow (Jon's book bogs a bit in a few places but his sheer genius with language use makes up for those deficits). Both are equally adept at creating scenes of violence and grace and characters that live on after the last page.

I would also add Jacob Cooper's Circle of Reign and James Islington's The Shadow of What was Lost to self-pubbed novels that are every bit as good as something traditionally published. James' book is very retro with a Jordanesque feel to it. Beyond the boy from nowhere, there's also a great depth to his world-building. There are mysteries that are hinted upon and a world of ancient lineage that few know about. James sometimes gets caught in the Capitalization conundrum (so do I), and the characters sometimes are a bit primitive, but overall, a great read.

Jacob's book is wow. So different. The world itself seems alive with senescence and growth. That's the first thing because it drives everything else. The story didn't track in the normal fashion I would have expected either. The heart of the story is about a young woman, Reign, and her brother. Again, strong world building with mysteries unfolding and a plot that really takes off in the last 1/3 of the book. It isn't slow until then-in fact, it was just as exciting but in a different way. However, that last third, Jacob throws everything, and I mean everything into a non-stop frenzy of a finish. It just becomes...well, read it and you'll know what I mean.

In the interest of being open, I've interviewed Jacob and Jon for my website, and Jacob has been invaluable in helping me make the jump into the audiobook market (I basically asked Nick Podehl out of the blue to read my books and was fortunate enough to hire him as the narrator for both of them-if anyone has any questions about this just PM me).
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: m3mnoch on October 10, 2015, 05:57:59 PM
a few things.

1 -
"run the gambit" -- ew.  was that your phrase, geoff?  or, i hope, a copy-paste from speculative book review?

2 -
is it just me, or does the main site make your eyes bug out if you read anything on it?  i always have to smash the stylesheet with evernote's clearly plugin to read anything on there.

3 -
personally, i'm a huge fan of self-publishing.

however, it seems it's much more useful the more established your writing career is.  people with large back-catalogs seem to be making crazy money from self-publishing.  ("crazy money", of course, not only means they're doing well financially, but is also a proxy for many, many people reading their work) 

the big question about it really seems to center around "how do you know your writing is any good?"

that's really the crux of most people's snobbery attitude towards self-published work -- "self-published authors write crap".  on one hand, they may not be the audience for said work.  on the other hand, the writing honestly may be pure, unadulterated crap.  as a writer, how can you tell the difference in your own work?  how do you get your writing in front of your target audience AND get honest, constructive, critical feedback?

/shrug

to me at lest, that seems to be the core of it from a writer's perspective.

p.s.  *shakes fist*  damn you, davis.  you just flopped three more titles on my tbr pile.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Matt Knott on October 10, 2015, 06:35:30 PM
Ideally I wouldn't know if something I picked up was self-published or not.

I don't rely on reviews or suggestions unless it's from friends or I get sense something is cool by osmosis. I pick things up based on the presentation and how interesting a book sounds. That tends to be traditionally published work more often than not because the presentation is a science.

Most self-pub immediately fail the first and fall into a strange place in the second. People come up with the weirdest proper nouns. Weird proper nouns are good, but bad-weird proper nouns are the worst.

You can judge a self-published book by its cover because the author has the final say. If there's a hunky dragon man and lens flare, they thought that was a good representation of what they're offering.

Self-Publishing is a great way for someone to own a project entirely and I wholeheartedly endorse the satisfaction you can get from the process. I have a crazy full time job already, this is something that is totally mine and I can enjoy it.

My biggest problem with the stigma self-pub books have earned is that it leaves very few avenues to getting readers because of sheer volume. The SFBO is great, it's also happened and may not happen again so folks like myself who released afterward miss out on the chance. That's just life. Can't be helped at all, but it is sad that it's one of the only opportunities I'd mark down as being in the top tier for getting great feedback consistently.

That's what I crave more than anything, feedback.

From a reader perspective if something is good I don't care where it comes from. Problem for self-published work is there are few avenues for exposure and that will always be the nature of the beast. Everyone believes their work is good enough to be shown to the world and jockeying for attention thereby packing those avenues so tight few can squeeze through.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Davis Ashura on October 10, 2015, 06:46:20 PM
p.s.  *shakes fist*  damn you, davis.  you just flopped three more titles on my tbr pile.

My work here is done.  :)
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: ScarletBea on October 10, 2015, 08:50:01 PM
Since I don't have/don't like eBook readers, it's far less probable for me to find self-published books, since I believe most go through the electronic version only. So I think that the only ones I've read are no longer self-pub, even if they started out so.
I admit to being a bit snobbish, and feeling that traditional pub books have that extra layer of control/proofing that self-pubs don't. Then again, I don't mind being proven wrong when the situation presents itself :)

As for this, m3m:
2 -
is it just me, or does the main site make your eyes bug out if you read anything on it?  i always have to smash the stylesheet with evernote's clearly plugin to read anything on there.
No, not just you. I love seeing white font on black, but after reading an article, I'm left with black blobs in my eyes for a while ::)
What's that plugin?
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Yora on October 10, 2015, 08:50:15 PM
I read books almost entirely on recommendation and popularity.  (Same thing with films and games.) Anything that catches my attention has already prooven itself to have considerable merit, I never really browse through store shelves. So how a book went from manuscript to retail really makes no difference to me. And it's not like publishing companies can protect us from bad books. It's only the end result that counts.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Hedin on October 11, 2015, 12:55:02 AM
I read books almost entirely on recommendation and popularity.  (Same thing with films and games.) Anything that catches my attention has already prooven itself to have considerable merit, I never really browse through store shelves. So how a book went from manuscript to retail really makes no difference to me. And it's not like publishing companies can protect us from bad books. It's only the end result that counts.

I'm pretty much the same way, if someone whose opinion I trust recommends a book I will likely read it regardless of the publishing method.  The hard part about self-pub is that there is so much out there that it's hard to dive in by yourself and shift through what's good and bad. 

At one point in time I have thought about doing a self-pub review site as it would be pretty cool to find that one awesome needle in the haystack and then be able to point people towards it.  However that haystack is pretty big and I haven't quite convinced myself to take the plunge.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Lady Ty on October 11, 2015, 04:00:51 AM
I am overjoyed that self-publishing has come into being and is thriving and that an initiative like SPFBO was conceived and progressed. Thanks and sincere appreciation to Mark Lawrence and all the bloggers that have given so much time and effort to make it a success.   

SP is an ideal way to encourage aspiring writers to have a go and see if they can write a book, share it around their peers and receive comments, good or bad. The whole point is that they can get their work out to the public without time consuming or expensive middlemen and numbing rejections after long waiting.

I agree that the quality will vary to extremes but that shouldn't be a reason for writers not to try their luck or readers not to look and see what is available.  Kindle gives you a chance in Sample and as has been said elsewhere you can soon tell  if a book will appeal or not. Many writers offer their work free at the start or with sample chapters. Online publicity through SM can be a powerful tool. Book trailers on FB or Twitter will become more common. So many possibilities to create new marketing strategies.

The experience will encourage some to continue and succeed even if only moderately at first. The Martian is an exception, but what an encouraging story.  If the writing is bad the comments or lack of take-up will show and also by comparison with other SP writing. The writer may decide authorship is not for them or else learn, improve and persevere.
 
I get really annoyed at the closed minds of literary critics who put down SP and are afraid of losing what they consider their place as the be-all and know-all of writing. They are not, it is the public who decide what they want to read, in whatever genre or format.  Even if some of the public choices are extreme in some directions  it doesn't matter, the best gradually survives because it stands the test of time.  When Dickens began his writing career by serialising in Punch that was a form of self publishing at that time and the public loved it, but it was far from the 'worthy tomes' being produced by academics.

There is one point perhaps worth considering here by writers planning to SP.  If English is not your first language and you have translated yourself or through a local translator it would be good to have a Beta who has English first language and can check it carefully for you.  What you have written may be grammatically correct but there are small nuances, turns of phrase, minor grammar points that let your work down, read awkwardly and stand out. These things can't be learned, they soak in through living in the language and growing up in it.

I choose books mainly on recommendations here or what I see elsewhere for different genres, regardless of whether or not they are SP. 
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: YordanZh on October 11, 2015, 06:04:55 AM
On principal and as a reader, for me self-publishing is invaluable for the literary landscape as a whole. I live in Bulgaria, which is a pretty small country, ebooks are almost never bought (mainly pirated), major publishers are too often afraid to publish local authors, and so self-publishing among the local authors is virtually non-existent - from time to time someone does it, usually with poetry, and prints several dozen books for friends and family, and that's it. The end result? Bulgarian literature is kind of suffering recently - too few authors manage to brake out, too many just write as a hobby and their work isn't read by more then several people or a book club somewhere.

And here we see the effect self-publishing has had with you guys - sure, it brings lots of problems with it, the market gets overflown with low-quality literature, it becomes really hard for the good indies to distinguish themselves from the bad ones, but the simple fact that the option of self-publishing exists encourages authors to write and publish and this has brought us (well, brought you) lots of great authors and novels. That alone makes it worth it for me.

Now, of course, as a reader I too usually notice indies only when they've already been picked up by a publisher and that's a pity - I self-publish in English myself and I know how hard it is - but that's only because we still have a long way till we make the whole thing work properly. As Matt said - there are too few avenues for indies and way too many indies, but I believe we'll sort it out eventually. :)
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: m3mnoch on October 11, 2015, 06:55:39 AM
As for this, m3m:
2 -
is it just me, or does the main site make your eyes bug out if you read anything on it?  i always have to smash the stylesheet with evernote's clearly plugin to read anything on there.
No, not just you. I love seeing white font on black, but after reading an article, I'm left with black blobs in my eyes for a while ::)
What's that plugin?

in this day and age of questionable design and layout choices, this plugin is GOLD.
https://evernote.com/clearly/
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Ryan Mueller on October 11, 2015, 07:13:42 AM
Just like traditional publishing, it's hit or miss, but there are a lot more misses than hits. But of the self-pubbed books I've read, the one that instantly comes to light as being one of the best books I've read in the past few years, self-pubbed or traditional, is Jonathan Renshaw's Dawn of Wonder. Fabulous writing in every sense of the word. This was on par with Anthony Ryan's Blood Song. For comparison's sake, I would say that Jon is better at the use of the English language while Anthony is better at plotting and narrative flow (Jon's book bogs a bit in a few places but his sheer genius with language use makes up for those deficits). Both are equally adept at creating scenes of violence and grace and characters that live on after the last page.

I would also add Jacob Cooper's Circle of Reign and James Islington's The Shadow of What was Lost to self-pubbed novels that are every bit as good as something traditionally published. James' book is very retro with a Jordanesque feel to it. Beyond the boy from nowhere, there's also a great depth to his world-building. There are mysteries that are hinted upon and a world of ancient lineage that few know about. James sometimes gets caught in the Capitalization conundrum (so do I), and the characters sometimes are a bit primitive, but overall, a great read.

Jacob's book is wow. So different. The world itself seems alive with senescence and growth. That's the first thing because it drives everything else. The story didn't track in the normal fashion I would have expected either. The heart of the story is about a young woman, Reign, and her brother. Again, strong world building with mysteries unfolding and a plot that really takes off in the last 1/3 of the book. It isn't slow until then-in fact, it was just as exciting but in a different way. However, that last third, Jacob throws everything, and I mean everything into a non-stop frenzy of a finish. It just becomes...well, read it and you'll know what I mean.

In the interest of being open, I've interviewed Jacob and Jon for my website, and Jacob has been invaluable in helping me make the jump into the audiobook market (I basically asked Nick Podehl out of the blue to read my books and was fortunate enough to hire him as the narrator for both of them-if anyone has any questions about this just PM me).

You and I must have some of the same tastes in self-published fantasy. I loved Islington's book and Cooper's, and I'm currently enjoying Renshaw's.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Raptori on October 11, 2015, 08:25:52 AM
As for this, m3m:
2 -
is it just me, or does the main site make your eyes bug out if you read anything on it?  i always have to smash the stylesheet with evernote's clearly plugin to read anything on there.
No, not just you. I love seeing white font on black, but after reading an article, I'm left with black blobs in my eyes for a while ::)
What's that plugin?

in this day and age of questionable design and layout choices, this plugin is GOLD.
https://evernote.com/clearly/ (https://evernote.com/clearly/)
My browsers have a built-in "reader view" that does basically the same thing as that.  :P
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: G_R_Matthews on October 11, 2015, 01:23:04 PM
a few things.

1 -
"run the gambit" -- ew.  was that your phrase, geoff?  or, i hope, a copy-paste from speculative book review?


A copy/paste :) I wrote the intro and outro only.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Overlord on October 11, 2015, 03:54:15 PM
As for this, m3m:
2 -
is it just me, or does the main site make your eyes bug out if you read anything on it?  i always have to smash the stylesheet with evernote's clearly plugin to read anything on there.
No, not just you. I love seeing white font on black, but after reading an article, I'm left with black blobs in my eyes for a while ::)
What's that plugin?

in this day and age of questionable design and layout choices, this plugin is GOLD.
https://evernote.com/clearly/

We'll get that sorted one day O:) We did actually get a new design at one point, but we just couldn't get it working with the old content and gave up on it :P
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: JamesLatimer on October 12, 2015, 05:03:55 PM
Jonathan Renshaw's Dawn of Wonder...Jacob Cooper's Circle of Reign and James Islington's The Shadow of What was Lost
You and I must have some of the same tastes in self-published fantasy. I loved Islington's book and Cooper's, and I'm currently enjoying Renshaw's.
I had a quick look at these because of the strong recommendations, but each seemed to flag up some of the typical problems I have with SP books. Some of the reviews for Circle of Reign flagged up the need for editing for grammar, vocab and general wordiness, while the other two seem to feature the "chosen one" trope (at least from the blurbs).  Now, I've seen some poorly edited (small press) trad pub books, but for me it's a minimum.  If the author can't afford a professional edit, they should work on it themselves as long as it takes. 

Trope-wise, I'm sure lots of people are still looking for "chosen one" heroes and "ancient darkness" awakening but I feel like 90% of the self-pub books I encounter have exactly the same blurb.  With trad pub you can at least be somewhat assured that an experienced agent/editor have made sure there is something new, different and uniquely interesting in the book they have chosen to rep/publish.  Even if these authors put a new spin on it, tropey keywords in blurbs just turn me off (but this may just be me).

I don't mean to pick on these books, because I'm sure they have lots to offer, but they just illustrate some of the biggest turn-offs I notice with self-pub, despite wanting to champion it.  In the end, despite their very strong ratings and reviews on Goodreads, and personal recommendations, I'm still wary of reading them because of these flags.  :-\
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: YordanZh on October 12, 2015, 08:12:41 PM
Now, I've seen some poorly edited (small press) trad pub books, but for me it's a minimum.  If the author can't afford a professional edit, they should work on it themselves as long as it takes. 

It's worth mentioning that even after professional edits, all books still have some mistakes here and there (what was Gaiman's "Law"? "Whenever you open your own, already published book, you'll always find a mistake on the first page you check"). And the sad fact is that when a book is self-published or small press, readers are extra vigilant for such mistakes and mention them in their reviews 9/10 times, while with books from bigger publishers, we tend to ignore them more often. Additionally, a big portion of the initial reviews of most self-pubs are from bloggers that the author's contacted personally and bloggers do the above even more than regular readers.

Now, I'm not saying that as a defense for self-pubs - of course the quality of editing of indies is - on average - very, very low. All I'm saying is that the trustworthiness of such reviews is also not always on 100% and especially if you've seen some positive reviews and recommendations, your best bet is to just check a short sample of the text and judge it for yourself. :)

(I myself haven't read the books in question, so I can't say anything about them in particular.)
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: G_R_Matthews on October 12, 2015, 09:41:52 PM
I've just bought four Kindle books, all released by a large Traditional Publisher.

Reading the first one and there are 3 instances, so far (at 75%) of bad formatting... a simple <return> needed to separate the speech of two characters.

We are critical of SP books for this, and it is true they are at fault sometimes. Do we forgive TP books more? You know what, I am not sure.

I tend to forgive both equally.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Ryan Mueller on October 13, 2015, 12:13:56 AM
I had a quick look at these because of the strong recommendations, but each seemed to flag up some of the typical problems I have with SP books. Some of the reviews for Circle of Reign flagged up the need for editing for grammar, vocab and general wordiness, while the other two seem to feature the "chosen one" trope (at least from the blurbs).  Now, I've seen some poorly edited (small press) trad pub books, but for me it's a minimum.  If the author can't afford a professional edit, they should work on it themselves as long as it takes.
 

I think those reviews are drastically exaggerating any grammar mistakes. I'm a huge stickler on grammar, and I noticed very few grammar mistakes. No more than I see in a lot of the trade published stuff I read.

Quote
Trope-wise, I'm sure lots of people are still looking for "chosen one" heroes and "ancient darkness" awakening but I feel like 90% of the self-pub books I encounter have exactly the same blurb.  With trad pub you can at least be somewhat assured that an experienced agent/editor have made sure there is something new, different and uniquely interesting in the book they have chosen to rep/publish.  Even if these authors put a new spin on it, tropey keywords in blurbs just turn me off (but this may just be me).

I think that's where a lot of self-publishers find their market. There are many readers out there who are dying for the types of stories and tropes they love, and they're faced with a trade publishing world that's often obsessed with finding stuff that's new. That can work, of course, but I think they're passing on a lot of great stories because they don't look past the surface.

For me, The Shadow of What Was Lost felt a lot like The Eye of the World, but I actually thought it was better. It didn't have Jordan's wordiness or not-so-great portrayal of female characters.

I can't say if Dawn of Wonder is a Chosen One story just yet, but so far, it's showing no signs of it. I'd actually say it's more like The Name of the Wind or Blood Song.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: JamesLatimer on October 13, 2015, 09:31:09 AM
On editing (in response to the last three posts), I'm not just talking about spelling, grammar, word-choice, formatting etc - these little mistakes are pretty forgiveable, though if I find too many in a sample they make me doubt the quality of the overall work. More often, I'm talking about those other things that most editors (or beta readers, or even writing tip blogs) should catch - wordiness, telling not showing, dialogue tags, sudden changes in perspective, adverbs, etc.  Most of the SP books I've read could have used another pass by the red pen.
I think that's where a lot of self-publishers find their market. There are many readers out there who are dying for the types of stories and tropes they love, and they're faced with a trade publishing world that's often obsessed with finding stuff that's new. That can work, of course, but I think they're passing on a lot of great stories because they don't look past the surface.
Completely agree that SP is proving that a lot of writers and readers still love the tropes, and good luck to them.  I guess I'm just one of those looking for something new (be it setting, style, character, action, whatever), and if the blurb looks at all like something I've read many times before, I'm just less interested. This applies to Trad Pub as well, btw. There are enough 'great stories' out there that I can afford to be picky!
For me, The Shadow of What Was Lost felt a lot like The Eye of the World, but I actually thought it was better. It didn't have Jordan's wordiness or not-so-great portrayal of female characters.

I can't say if Dawn of Wonder is a Chosen One story just yet, but so far, it's showing no signs of it. I'd actually say it's more like The Name of the Wind or Blood Song.
Yeah, to me, Name of the Wind and Blood Song are effectively 'chosen one' sagas as they both focus on one exceptional individual (=man), following him from youth towards his inevitable destiny. Now, I like Name of the Wind (perhaps despite this) because it does the trope exceptionally well, with a twist or two and a lot of mystery, but Blood Song, for me, failed to transcend the trope and live up to the hype, though fun at times. Obviously, there are plenty of people out there who loved Blood Song, so I hope they pick up Dawn of Wonder, too. It's just probably not for me.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: wimbly on October 13, 2015, 11:22:12 AM
There's great stuff out there on Amazon, etc. Especially promos and freebies. The days of traditional agents/publishing houses may be numbered. Just too hard for authors to get their stuff out there. Readers have access to fresh talent and the market, not the big houses - truly decides.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: DrNefario on October 14, 2015, 01:33:39 PM
I've just started looking into the SFPBO, and might manage to read one or two of them before long. I was really just thinking that the finalists might give me some ideas for books to borrow in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, which is a free perk of Prime membership I often struggle to use. Of the ten finalists, three were free, four were in the KOLL, and three will cost me actual money if I decide to read them.

Maybe I'll soon have a more up-to-date idea of the state of indies. I read some back when I first got my Kindle, and they were OK. Solid. Kind of generic.

But that's not really going to cut it. You're not competing with the worst of trad-pubbed fiction, but the best. I already own unread books by Brandon Sanderson, Mark Lawrence, Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett and many others, without even straying outside the fantasy genre, which is less than 50% of my reading as it is. Why would I choose to read an indie fantasy ahead of those? It's going to have to have something very appealing about it to get past that.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: eclipse on October 14, 2015, 02:26:37 PM
I've just started looking into the SFPBO, and might manage to read one or two of them before long. I was really just thinking that the finalists might give me some ideas for books to borrow in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, which is a free perk of Prime membership I often struggle to use. Of the ten finalists, three were free, four were in the KOLL, and three will cost me actual money if I decide to read them.

Maybe I'll soon have a more up-to-date idea of the state of indies. I read some back when I first got my Kindle, and they were OK. Solid. Kind of generic.

But that's not really going to cut it. You're not competing with the worst of trad-pubbed fiction, but the best. I already own unread books by Brandon Sanderson, Mark Lawrence, Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett and many others, without even straying outside the fantasy genre, which is less than 50% of my reading as it is. Why would I choose to read an indie fantasy ahead of those? It's going to have to have something very appealing about it to get past that.

I think you should give a go to our @Saraband (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=32607) book Shattered Sand and there's a read along talking about it,I think @Jmack (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37094) and lady Ty are still reading it.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Rostum on October 14, 2015, 04:08:50 PM
Just read some good things about The Sane King and When they Shine Brightest both written by authors who use this site although I am not sure if Yordan's counts as self published? Both are added to my kindle libary. I am always suspicious of reviews for self pubbed books and new (to me) authors as there is a tendancy for friends to big them up to support the writer. I will review here once I have read them.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: YordanZh on October 14, 2015, 04:19:52 PM
Just read some good things about The Sane King and When they Shine Brightest both written by authors who use this site although I am not sure if Yordan's counts as self published? Both are added to my kindle libary. I am always suspicious of reviews for self pubbed books and new (to me) authors as there is a tendancy for friends to big them up to support the writer. I will review here once I have read them.

Traditionally published in Bulgaria and self-published in English, so I'm kind of doing both atm. :) And Bulgarians don't use Amazon and Goodreads much, so almost no friends' reviews.. *sad face* ;)
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: eclipse on October 14, 2015, 06:29:24 PM
Just read some good things about The Sane King and When they Shine Brightest both written by authors who use this site although I am not sure if Yordan's counts as self published? Both are added to my kindle libary. I am always suspicious of reviews for self pubbed books and new (to me) authors as there is a tendancy for friends to big them up to support the writer. I will review here once I have read them.

Traditionally published in Bulgaria and self-published in English, so I'm kind of doing both atm. :) And Bulgarians don't use Amazon and Goodreads much, so almost no friends' reviews.. *sad face* ;)

So what do Bulgarians use?
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Rostum on October 14, 2015, 06:38:32 PM
A variety of pirate and warez sites. Or have their own homegrown DRM stripping tools so one copy becomes everyones copy at a guess.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: YordanZh on October 14, 2015, 08:09:27 PM
So what do Bulgarians use?

Very few people here read e-books and 95% of those that do pirate them as Rostum said, yes. Ebooks are very hard to sell here, mainly because their prices here are almost as high as those of paper books, so folks just pirate. As for an alternative to Goodreads - there's a bunch of quite huge (for our standards) Fb groups, but that's all. Some people use GR, of course, but even "bestselling" Bg books rarely reach 3 digits when it comes to GR ratings.

Anyway, sorry, I didn't mean to derail the topic. :)
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: JamesLatimer on October 15, 2015, 10:43:53 AM
But that's not really going to cut it. You're not competing with the worst of trad-pubbed fiction, but the best. I already own unread books by Brandon Sanderson, Mark Lawrence, Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett and many others, without even straying outside the fantasy genre, which is less than 50% of my reading as it is. Why would I choose to read an indie fantasy ahead of those? It's going to have to have something very appealing about it to get past that.
This is true, and I've got a huge pile of books by traditionally published authors, old and new, to get through...but the book still has to appeal to me, not just the name on the cover, so if an indie/SP author comes up with an idea that appeals to me and executes it well, then they've got a chance - IF I can find it. (The problem is, as your post said, that they are often generic, and there are tons of generic fantasies by professional authors that I haven't read yet, so...)
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: DrNefario on October 15, 2015, 01:18:30 PM
I guess the other thing that will actually get me to read them is if I do borrow them from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. I'll have a deadline, then. You only get one loan a month, and I'll have to read it in time to make use of the next month's loan.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Matamelcan on October 20, 2015, 05:10:52 AM
I personally think it can reveal many gems among the general crap that floats among it.
'The Farting Zombie' was one such horrific title I stumbled across.

Never again... Never again...
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: ClintACK on October 20, 2015, 05:39:48 PM
I personally think it can reveal many gems among the general crap that floats among it.
'The Farting Zombie' was one such horrific title I stumbled across.

Never again... Never again...

Must resist the urge to go to Amazon and look for 'The Farting Zombie'.

Must resist.
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: eclipse on October 20, 2015, 06:03:01 PM
I personally think it can reveal many gems among the general crap that floats among it.
'The Farting Zombie' was one such horrific title I stumbled across.

Never again... Never again...

Must resist the urge to go to Amazon and look for 'The Farting Zombie'.

Must resist.

If you enjoyed Farting zombie this books might interest you
Title: Re: What do you think of Self-Published books?
Post by: Mr.J on October 20, 2015, 06:18:05 PM
The Phantom Fart, The Burping Zombie, Dawn of the Dehydrated Dead, The Phantom Squeaker

Can't help but think The Farting Zombie is fiction written by Tina Belcher

(http://static1.squarespace.com/static/53f91163e4b0a085e8d24e89/54306322e4b002f83540323f/54306328e4b025b4f73920a0/1412457261582/zombies.gif)