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How to avoid Indie authors

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Showing 4201-4225 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on May 27, 2012 10:13:53 AM PDT
Splinker says:
I enjoy reading all the free SP (Self Posters) here. Yes, many aren't page turners, but there a few gems .

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 10:14:09 AM PDT
Dog Lover says:
I always appreciate it when someone "asks" rather than goes straight for disagreement.

I hesitate to say that my first post on this topic was a sound basis for an "argument" or debate. Just noting what I had found in my own experience.



Posted on May 27, 2012 10:34:08 AM PDT
"With millions of indie titles on shelves, some are bound to be lacking. Sometimes, says Jenn, a book editor and blogger, also known as 'Picky Girl,' the lack of quality is immediately evident. 'A cover that looks childish, out of date, or amateurish often speaks for the story it houses.'...But not all traditionally pubbed books are Pulitzer-worthy either. The difference is, when a traditional title garners negative reviews, only that book gets panned. No one cites examples of poorly written traditionally published books to support any conclusion about all traditional titles."

Read the entire article here:

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 10:36:14 AM PDT
kelster says:

Okay (smile), maybe argument wasn't the correct word. But you made a valid point that hadn't occurred to me. In discussing some SP success, especially the success of those SP titles that I didn't care for, I always left with the conclusion that emotionally these readers connected to the book, characters, subject matter etc. to such an extent that they were able to overlook it's (IMO) inferior quality. But you have given me another explanation to mull over. Thanks again.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 10:46:54 AM PDT
At least one good thing came out of that book: An awesomely funny review.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 10:47:19 AM PDT
Audra, Thanks for sharing your success story. Hope you continue to do well.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 11:40:00 AM PDT
Good points about the various ways to find "good" material. Not fool-proof, but better than nothing, I guess.

But I wish they'd add a sub-filter sort of thingie whatchamacallit thingamajig.

That is, I use the average-number-of-stars ratings most of the time. But I'm frustrated at not having the option to -- within that filtered group -- see only those titles with a legitimate sample-pool.

A five-star title with only two reviews has, IMMHO, less overall weight than one with 245 reviews. Heck, I could write/publish a book. (Not.) Then I could ask my Uncle Gaylord and my Aunt Lorraine to give it five stars -- and great, insightful reviews, of course! And -- Bob's-your-uncle -- it would show up in the five-star category.

Anyway, I'd love at least the alternative to sort the filtered five-star-only books by number-of-reviews. ("Most Popular" just doesn't cut it for me.)

Annette :)

Posted on May 27, 2012 11:48:36 AM PDT
R.K. Finnell says:
Not sure if it has been stated or not, but the indie/self published writer does have the option of unpublishing and fixing the problems (editing, cover art, etc.) with their manuscript. I did and there's no reason the others can't. If the story is worth it, fix it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 1:04:06 PM PDT
Hear ye. Hear ye

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 10:22:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 27, 2012 10:34:22 PM PDT
Sorry it took me a few days. My reply will be my last for a while, and you are under no obligation to reply since I don't plan on contributing to this forum anymore anyway. It appears that the forums are pretty much all anti-indie or pro-indie, with little middle ground, which is to be expected in these sorts of intense debates. Makes them more interesting, I suppose.

1. How was it not the question? You accused me of not having a personal investment in the situation, which I do, either because you think my feelings and needs as a legitimate contributor to an Amazon product matter less than those of people who read the most popular books, or because you assume I am not a voracious reader of certain more popular things sold on Amazon myself, both of which are wrong assumptions. Also, customers' rights are important, yes, but so are sellers', and many people on Amazon are both. You say you wouldn't buy my work anyway, but what if there are readers out there who would, but who are prevented from doing so because they find out about Amazon's hypothetical new "forget the indies" search option? Some of us are cooked, no? I just perused a beautifully designed publication from my local bookstore today, and it contained nothing but indie titles. All gorgeous, all with decent-sounding plots and good reviews... while your claim about 30 out of 30 self-published books could be true, these were not self-published titles. Would this "filter" make a distinction between S.P.'s and indie? If so, I would be more inclined to support it, but I'm still skeptical.

2. No, I'm not equating a "customizable search filter" with "removal of my books from Amazon," which is why I chided another independent/s.p.'d author who compared this situation to "book burning." It's not, so your side's accusation of that being hyperbole is correct, and I concede that. Even so, I don't like the idea of indies being stamped or singled out as patently subpar, even on individual searches, and I know enough about history to worry that, if that is done for "individual customizable searches," it will probably be done in other ways too. I would like to think there will be some people on the flip side of the coin who will choose "indie, no traditional" but I rather doubt it... Also, why is ranking books by relevance and popularity not a good enough option for search criteria? I still don't see why adding a "no indie, yes indie" feature to one's searches is necessary, especially since independent presses run the gamut from very good stuff that can sell decently to lesser-quality self-published stuff which will be on page 1,327 of a search anyway. It's not exactly a one-size-fits-all situation. Also, you called my statement a "singularly fatuous claim" and then didn't explain why. Please do. Not being sarcastic, I'm just curious.

3. Your desire to read what you want is understandable, and I am the same way in that sense, but I'm not sure it gives mainstream readers or mainstream authors a right to undercut other legitimately published Amazon authors who have started to make some progress on sales. My book has steadily risen in the ranks since I rewrote and republished it, even though it's indie. We work very hard to produce good products, some of us, and while it may be true that you do not want to find indie books in your searches, which is actually sad to me since some of the best books my family and I have read have been more esoteric, I don't like the idea of other Amazon and Kindle readers being encouraged to practice this mindset. As I said above, you can search by category, relevance, popularity, title, author, etc. And honestly, does anyone think that, if Amazon makes available and advertises the ability to exclude indie presses from searches, that won't greatly hurt those indie authors and presses who have actually made some sales? Word gets out.

4. I think the exaggerated analogy in defense of the one-click argument doesn't work, but seeing as how we don't see eye to eye on any other point in this series of posts, it's probably a moot point, so I will leave it be since I do not wish to bicker about every little thing.

Phew. I wish you the best with your searches; hope the movement to (unfairly?) exclude independent publishers from searches does not succeed, especially since I think it would be encouraged even among those users who did not ask for such an option; and will refrain from posting further in this forum because I will respect the intentions of those who set it up--namely, how to best exclude unwanted non-corporate literature from searches. I understand some of the reasoning since indeed most self-published stuff is subpar, often greatly so, but being a self-published/indie author who takes my work very seriously, much like others who I know, I think it's a sad idea. Maybe I could get on board with such a search thing that makes a distinction between self-published and indie, but it seems like that may not be the case. Reminds me of someone who starts a burger shop in a city neighborhood and has McDonald's lovers protest outside for them to close the shop and leave town. Odd times. I'd like to be able to work my way up from the bottom as a writer, but maybe that's not possible anymore if you don't write what the millions want. Hope that fear is unjustified, but this forum's very title, "How to avoid Indie authors," has me worried.

Posted on May 28, 2012 3:49:20 AM PDT
I realize there's a lot to sift through here but it's already been admitted early on that the forum was improperly titled; it should've been about filtering search results as a whole. Most of the confusion/confrontation comes from not reading the thread from the beginning, instead dropping in along the way and constantly refueling it. Once again, the majority of readers/posters aren't actively against indie authors- you need to drop that chip off your shoulder. Or read the thread from page 1 to fully grasp the argument.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 5:59:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 28, 2012 10:40:05 AM PDT
Dog Lover says:

Very well-written post. I started to reply point-by-point but have decided against that approach. The problem begins with #1. In fact, I said just the opposite. I said that you DO have a personal investment in the situation and to such a degree that you care little if at all in anyone else's "personal investment" in the situation.

A summary of your post is: "I don't believe such filters are in my best-interest." A valid response.

In fact, that is what I said to you (in longer form) in my first reply. "Your" best interest is what is driving your position. Again- a valid response.

My (won't speak for anyone else) reply to that is: "ho hum"

Thank you for the very courteous phrasing. The very hard real world view is, frankly, readers don't "care" about how hard a writer works or how difficult it is to succeed in the career. Hard words but truthful.

When you (and others) continue to view things from that myopic perspective, you will never appreciate the position I and others are taking on this thread. To wit: we want to buy books we will love and to buy them from Amazon. The current situation is that our ability to use Amazon search and recommendation features to accomplish that is unnecessarily burdened by the excess of SP offerings that we choose not to purchase.

It doesn't matter that you perceive a "movement to (unfairly?) exclude independent publishers from searches." As I said before, if we are not going to select these books from those searches/recommendations anyway, the requested filter will have no impact on you.

I suspect that one of the logic fallacies to which you are succumbing is that the current situation is working for you. It is my opinion that the degree to which you are currently successful would remain the same regardless of any customer-configurable search feature that Amazon may choose to offer.

<<I would like to think there will be some people on the flip side of the coin who will choose "indie, no traditional" but I rather doubt it..>> This is the real thing here! I congratulate you on this sentence. I suspect that is what is lurking in the back of the minds of any of the "passionate" (referring to a recent post) replies from the writer community. I, however, do NOT agree with that. I DO believe that most persons will use the existing non-filtered search AND that there are those who will opt to search FOR SP offerings. There are many non-writers who have avowed absolute loyalty to that group of writers as evidenced by the explosion of irritation from these readers when Amazon created the MoA forum.

It really is that simple. The worries of the authors who have posted on this thread have been more over the "most self-published stuff is subpar" issue rather than the search-filter issue. That is something discussed in another thread and it is a valid concern because there does exist so MUCH dreck being offered. Even in that situation, though, defending the writing community on online fora will probably not succeed. The only way is to get your own stuff up to a recognizable level of quality and to get readers to post reviews about that quality.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your chosen field. I do appreciate the attempt to be courteous and responsive. You definitely succeeded with the first part. Not so much with the second as I "accused" you of nothing. All my replies to you were in the form of questions. No matter.

We disagree on the impact of the requested filter on the writing community (valid disagreements) and I won't engage on "quality" issues about the offerings I am seeking to have hidden from me in my use of Amazon's search and recommendations feature.



EtA: See the following post. You WILL have persons who may choose to search only or primarily for SP offerings!

Posted on May 28, 2012 6:07:15 AM PDT
Why would I want to advoid them? I have found a ton of free books by them that are much better than the books that cost big bucks.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 6:12:58 AM PDT
Dog Lover says:
Good for you! You should post reviews about the books you enjoyed. You haven't. Reviews are essential for writers. You should support them better than your current review history implies.


In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 9:32:32 AM PDT
esldonna says:
Love your humor! It looks like some people on here would take this option and run with it. Thank you for a good giggle.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 10:29:56 AM PDT
Thank you for providing a bit of perspective.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 11:12:41 AM PDT
R.K. Finnell says:
Just to get a feel for where you are coming from-When Amanda Hockings was an Indie/SP she was unreadable (you wouldn't have read her books), but now that she has been picked up by a "traditional" publisher her books are readable? Not trying to be sarcastic, trying to understand. You want a brand name rather than what you consider generic even if it started out as generic.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 11:53:00 AM PDT
Dragi Raos says:
Well, perhaps DL is simply willing to wait for that self-published gem* to be discovered by traditional publishers, whose job is discovering interesting new authors... They did so for quite a number of writers, but then, they are paid for it :o)

*) Not that I think that Hocking is a gem...

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 12:02:57 PM PDT
R.K. Finnell says:
I never read her books, but from what I'm told she was no diamond in the rough she just had parents to pay for everything-so she could market her book without worrying where her next sandwich was coming from. For those of us who have to struggle between writing, marketing, and daily life it's a bit more complicated.
A gem would still be a gem self-published or not and it wouldn't be a gem to everyone-regardless. Being discovered is, sadly, based on sales not good writing.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 12:23:04 PM PDT
@RK: Just a thought: It isn't just the fact that someone is picked up by a trade pub, but the FACT that the company will invest some attention to the book (content editing). For me, that kind of attention to a book is VERY important. I know there are some SPs who do treat their books this way and go through some appropriate editing, but I think at this point it is the exception. Going through beta readers and a proof-reader just isn't the same thing? Yes, there are mistakes in trade pub books (proof-reading errors), but for the most part, there has been some form of content editing, which is VERY important to me.

Posted on May 28, 2012 12:29:29 PM PDT
R.K. Finnell says:
No doubt the company goes over the book and does editing that's needed, but the decision to pick up a book is based on sales. The more sales the more attention the book gets from the traditional publishers. It doesn't necessarily mean the book is more worthy than another book that may not have as many sales.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 12:34:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 28, 2012 12:35:53 PM PDT
I agree with you R.K about how a book is picked up. With regards to picking one over the other is that there is one fairly known entity (trade-pubs) and a huge growing pile of unknowns (SPs). I am just one of those people who don't care to excavate through unknown (SP) authors to find the few that are edited on the same level as the trade pubs. People on this post have brought up a Trade-pub by a very awesome (not) reality star named Snooki. Regardless of the subject matter, I imagine that book has been ghost-written and edited to death.

ETA: word placement

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 12:46:44 PM PDT
M. Scales says:
Just plain nasty!

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 12:47:16 PM PDT
R.K. Finnell says:
I would imagine most (if not all) celebrity books are.
In my own experience I paid for editing and cover art because I felt it was worth the effort. Some just want to say they are an "author".

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 12:55:50 PM PDT
It would be nice if there was some way differentiate between the edited book vs. the slapped together ones? At this time, there doesn't seem to be. The idea of having a certifying organization that would look over the SP books seems to have been shot down by a lot of people in that field. I don't have a particular answer to the problem of distinguishing between quality vs. carp. The "look inside" feature doesn't appeal to me; If I haven't heard of you, or your book hasn't been recommended by a fellow reader I trust, then I won't waste my time. If it is a publisher that I have been reading for years, that has realistic appearing reader reviews? Then I will give the new author a chance.

Back to the original topic, I want LOTS of filters for my searches that not only include trade vs SP, but PNR to be taken out of my fantasy searches, science fiction to be differentiated from fantasy books, etc. I think it's okay to have advance search engines for people shopping here. In the end, if a person wants to buy a certain type of book they will; having lots of choices that a person is not interested in makes for a bad shopping experience. I REALLY do not think that this would affect the bottom line of SPs. I think the people in the market for this type of book, will go that search route. People who aren't interested should have the ability to modify their book searches.
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