First a definition of terms to clarify this post:
- Trad = Traditional Publishing (one of the big 6/5)
- Self-Pub = exactly what it says
- Indie = small press
Over discussed topic you say. Yes, probably it is. But some of us are slower than others and I’ve never addressed this before (officially). I chose self-publishing for a multitude of reasons (discussed in previous posts).
Last week, for the first time, I purchased a book because of a tweet I read proclaiming the greatness of an author–“best-selling” and all that and I wanted to sample the work since I’d never heard the author’s name before.
I didn’t look to see who/how it was published. I ordered it, and when it arrived, started reading.
After the first few pages I thought, “wow this could have used a good editing.” I looked at the book’s details. Not self-pubbed. Not indie-pubbed. This book was published by one of the biggest publishing houses that is acclaimed for this genre.
I was shocked.
When I choose a book to buy, I don’t look to see how it was published (self/indie/trad). When buying on-line, I read the description and the ‘look inside’ portion. In a bookstore I read the back and the opening pages–and ending pages (yes I cheat). Then make my decision. Subconsciously though, I apparently expect a book released by one of the “big 5” to be of somehow better quality (maybe because of the much higher prices they demand???).
In the past few years my experience has been that quality (and lack of quality) is unrelated to how (self, indie, or trad) the book is published: diamonds and lemons can be found in any/all of them.
The reader becomes the “gatekeeper” in that he or she must decide which books they might enjoy and be willing to spend their money on (which was always the case). I know in the future, I’ll certainly be unwilling, to spend so much more for a product from one of the Traditional Publishers since one cannot count on improved quality = to the $ spent.