Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I Want To Know

Welcome to TNBBC's "What I Want To Know" - a mini series of sorts that will hopefully answer some of the questions and quiet some of the concerns I know fellow bloggers, authors, and publishers have regarding how to choose a reviewer or book to review, review etiquette, how to pitch and be pitched.. among other things.

Last week, We heard from the authors and publishers on how they felt when book bloggers refused to review a book that was self published or published by an independent publisher. So you know what's coming... I turned it back around to the bloggers and want to know

What's your opinion of self published or independent authors/publishers?

Here's what they had to say:

"At one point in time EVERYONE was an indie author. Stephen King was not always Stephen King. He used to be some random guy with a story who wrote it down and lucked out. The only difference now is the medium in which to make your product available.

In 1973 when Carrie was first published there was no such thing as the Kindle or Nook. You had the big 6 and you had to work at getting noticed. Today however is a self-made market. People can write and sell their own work. Sometimes you will have brilliantness and sometimes you will have a flop, in the end that is no different than what you can picked up printed off the shelves, and as for the Indie Publishing Houses.. well, they are just listening to the readers and forming their decisions based on their opinions versus a 6 figure copy editors." - Misty Baker, KindleObsessed.Com

"I think it’s a very important development in book publishing. Even the physical book itself may be left behind. This morning I caught a story that Rambo-author David Morrell has released a title exclusively to Kindle. Online publishing presents a fantastic opportunity to writers looking to go it alone and I am curious to see how this will develop further.

There have been some great success stories where self-published authors are concerned. Eoin Colfer put his own money into releasing the first Artemis Fowl novel. Now he has two book franchises for children in the shops, a sequel to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a television series based on his Half-Moon Investigations series and a comic book adaptation of Artemis Fowl. David Moody, a British horror writer whose novel Hater is to be adapted for the cinema by Guillermo del Toro I believe, had previously attempted a writing career working with a publishing house. He apparently didn’t enjoy the experience, went away for a few years and then returned with this blistering self-published novel that managed to be equal parts horrific and quite gripping.

I think control over the final product is very important for a lot of writers and if the necessary capital is a viable option, those who would like to get a foothold in the book market, should definitely explore options in independent publishing." - Emmett O'Cuana, ABookADayTillICanStay.wordpress.com

" Most of the pitches I get are from self-published books. If it sounds interesting, I'll accept." - Kelly Hager, KellyVision.wordpress.com

"It is hard for me to have an opinion as I haven't had much experience with them. At the Broke and the Bookish, when we first started out, said yes to a bunch of self published books and for the most part they were just utter trash. I should have known by the emails they sent me but we were so eager to review books that we realized too late. I've heard other people, such as yourself, have really great success with indie authors & pubs so I'd be more willing to build relationships with them." - Jamie Bennett, PerpetualPageTurner.blogspot.com

As I mentioned last week, indies are very near and dear to my heart. It upsets me greatly when reviewers turn up their nose at a book or author simply because they are self or independently published.

A good percentage of your self published authors CHOSE to be self published. They believed in the novel they wrote, they wanted to remain in complete control of it's content and packaging, and they invested their own money into it's production. The lack of a paid editor may cause the books to have slight grammatical errors, and the lack of a paid illustrator may leave the cover art wanting, but that doesn't make it an undeserving read.

Independent publishers and small press companies like Two Dollar Radio and GrayWolf Press continually amaze me with the novels they release. Most of my 5-star, "Next Best Book", favorite reads of 2010 were indies!

If you are declining the opportunity to review an indie, simply because it is an indie, you are really missing out on some breathtaking, heart stopping, gut wrenching novels. Do your research - check out the publisher, read the authors website, determine if the storyline or genre match your tastes - and have an open mind.

And, if I can't convince you to give them a shot, when you decline... will you at least send them my way??

What did you think?

Was this post helpful and insightful? Was there anything here that shocked you? What interactions have you had with publishers or authors that support or negate what you read here?

Next week, we head back to the authors and publishers one last time to find out how they handle requests for reviews from bloggers. Be sure to check back on Tuesday!

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