Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: possibly the biggest publishing story of the year

From: Don Lee (
Date: 19 Dec 2009

  • Next message: Joy Matkowski: "Re: RARA-AVIS: e-books/e-readers"

    Books get vetted by reviewers, by word of mouth, by the efforts of the author him/herself to gather this material together and self-promote. I have bought probably a dozen books in the last couple months based on reviews, or promotion of one sort or another. Just b/c it's small press doesn't mean there's no editorial screening. If a writer goes to the trouble to write and self-publish a book, and doesn't follow up to the extent they're capable of in promoting it, that's on them, but otherwise, it's usually possible to find feedback from *somebody* saying what they thought of it. Even a few reader comments on is often enough to me me press the GO button. This isn't an either/or scenario.


    On 12/18/09, davezeltserman <> wrote:
    > --- In, Steve Gerlach <stezzariffic@...> wrote:
    >> Read some Dan Brown.... or try to. I'm sure there are plenty of
    >> self-published books that are 110% more worthy to see print than a Dan
    >> Brown.
    > Steve, I can't explain Dan Brown. But he did sell 80 million copies of Da
    > Vinci Code worldwide, there has to be something there. Anway, regardless of
    > what we might think of the quality of his writing, there's clearly a
    > commercial appeal to his books that few other books will ever achieve.
    > Yes, there are a ton of books being published purely on their commercial
    > appeal that have no real literary merit, and there's little question that
    > the large NY houses put more value on a book's commercial strength than on
    > it's literary merit, but the vetting process (at least for fiction) is still
    > important and usually does means a book at least meets a level of
    > competency.
    >> I'd rather have a choice of what to read than to be guided by a
    >> personal preference of some nameless editor sitting in an office in
    >> some multi-national conglomerate, publishing the latest
    >> "blockbuster" to meet bottom lines and shareholder expectations.
    >> Newscorp anyone?
    > Right now you can go to iUniverse and shop their 20,000 or so titles of
    > self-published novels, but I'm guessing you don't do that very often because
    > you've probably already figured out that traditionally published books meet
    > a higher level than these self-published ones, and you have a better chance
    > of buying a good book from someone like Morrow or Random House (and
    > definitely Serpent's Tail!!) than you ever would from any of these
    > self-published outfits.
    > But in an ebook only world, how are you going to distinguish what's worth
    > reading and what isn't, especially with 100s of thousands of titles buried
    > in these future ebook stores??
    > The reality is in this world the only writers who will make any money will
    > be the biggest names who've already been established. The chances of any new
    > author ever being able to make any money will be close to zero. Yes,
    > everyone will be able to be published, there will be no barriers (nor will
    > there be publishers), but how will the worthy books be found among this
    > massive amount of future ebooks?? And why would anyone who has talent waste
    > their time writing when there's not even the faint glimmer of hope of making
    > any money at it?
    >> The game's changing, and all for the better. More choice, more variety.
    >> Power to the readers. :)
    > Steve, you're right, the game is changing, but it's not going to be any
    > benefit for readers, unless you count having to sift through 100s of crappy
    > poorly-written self-published books to find one halfway decent once.
    > --Dave

    "Go soothingly on the greasy mud, for therein lies the skid demon."
    -- Chinese Road Sign

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