Do you read books by indie or self-published authors?

I feel a bit awkward admitting this (especially when so many commenters on this blog have published their own works) but I’ve never read a self-published book. The idea of delving into that world and trying to find a good one is sort of terrifying. I have no idea where to start.

Do you read self-published books?

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
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139 Responses to Do you read books by indie or self-published authors?

  1. backwrites says:

    Consider for a moment the fact that books which are traditionally published are declared “fit for publishing” by one person, or perhaps a small team of people, the editors. Also consider the vast number of books which we consider to be classics, but which were rejected numerous times by editor after editor because that particular book was not to that particular editor’s taste. What are you, as a reader, but the editor of your own publishing house, the one that reads only the books that you enjoy? When you go through bookstores, or when you browse on your ereader for a new book, what process do you use to choose a book to read, and how is that process any different from what an editor in a publishing house is doing? With the expansion of indie publishing and self publishing, you as the reader suddenly have a lot more stories available to choose from, instead of having them weeded out by someone else’s opinion of what a good story is. Sure, that means you’ve got more access to some poorly written pieces, but they’re pretty easy for you to find and reject, aren’t they? Most editors only give a manuscript a handful of pages to grip them, to FORCE them not to reject the story, and it’s exactly the same with readers.
    So I’d say, what have you got to lose? No more than you had when wading through the “quality” of traditionally published books. To be honest, these days, indie and self published writers have become so knowledgeable on how to make their books look professional, that you often can’t tell the difference anymore, and you may have read some without even knowing it.

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    • ace says:

      A slick cover and “copy editing” can make a self-published book *look* like a traditionally-published book. Unfortunately, far too many (I would say, MOST) self-published writers don’t understand the difference between “copy editing” and real, comprehensive structural and content editing, as well as editing for consistency and continuity, legal clearances, and the like. I have tried to read many self-published books, wanting to give such writers a fair chance, but concluded that the vast majority were deluded when it came to the serious structural flaws in their novels. Cleaning up typos does not smooth over underlying issues. And just because a person trying hard enough can find flawed books from traditional presses, does not mean that traditionally published books are therefore as a whole no better than self-published books. Such a conclusion is ridiculous. You might just as well say that because there are some incompetent licensed medical doctors, any person who declares himself a “doctor” based on skimming the internet will be no worse than your average vetted medical school graduate.

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  2. stevieboy56 says:

    Hey Jodie,
    Self publishing isn’t the easy option I thought it would be. Ok , your book is out there in whatever form, Kindle, e-book, or paperback even but who knows about it? who is going to buy it? Writing the book is just the first part, publishing it, getting the media heat -that’s a whole different ball game and I’m not sure I’m up to it. I’ve had three rejections from traditional publishing companies but that’s par for the course isn’t it? Some books that go on to be best sellers have much more rejections at first. Think I’m going to have to backtrack and start hitting those publishers again . .!
    best wishes with your book,
    Steve

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  3. I have read self-published books and I have to say the one problem is proper editing. I am not saying that all self-published books have this problem; some do though. They are still very good stories. If you can get an editor to look at it, it is all for the better. I have also self-published before. I have three traditionally published books and sixteen self-published.

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    • a.h.richards says:

      Yes, indeed, Marie; editors are worth their weight in gold! (Although, I suppose we have to consider the weight of the editor first…). So many people pass up on paying editors, because of cost mostly, but also because a lot of people don’t understand that grammar and spell check don’t cut it. Even the input of friends is not that useful – except in motivating you. An editor can turn a rough diamond into a gem, and hack work into something enjoyable. I know this because I get everything edited, and I am a professional editor of thirty years.

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      • M T McGuire says:

        I agree, my stuff is nothing without the copy editor. If he stops I haven’t a clue what I will do. My work will be pants!

        On a more general note about reading self published books, I read little else these days – although most of them are books by authors I have come to know and are edited and proof read, or I’ve picked them carefully. I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed all of them. So my advice is pick them carefully – use the read inside etc – and I’m sure you’ll find some gems.

        Cheers

        MTM

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  4. When I purchase a book, I don’t know if the author is self-published or not. I try it for the story on the back cover. I self-published a paranormal thriller/mystery called, The Dead. If you would like to read it, I can send you a copy and you could see if you like an indie author or not.

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  5. Ian Miller says:

    I write and self-publish, and obviously I can’t comment on their quality. On the other hand, I also buy self-published ebooks (as well as other trad books) and I also review them, provided they are not too bad. I have reviewed something approaching ninety 100 indie ebooks and the reviews can be found on Amazon.com. As might be expected, there are the good, the indifferent and the bad, but I like to think that most of the time you can pick the good by using your judgment on the blurb, and the “read inside” feature.

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