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Author Topic: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.  (Read 31923 times)  

Offline Jay Allan

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #175 on: January 28, 2014, 12:13:12 PM »
I really don't want to get in the middle of this thread, but it just seems amazing to me that people think the customer is the "gatekeeper" of basic quality.  If we're talking about subject matter, sure.  Some people love books that offend other people, for example, and it's a great thing if they can get what interests them.  But if we're talking about baseline structure, grammar, and generic quality assessments, what other business has no quality control whatsoever before the customer gets the product?

If you walked into a supermarket, and some of the food was magnificent and fresh and some of it was putrid and rotten, would you leave with a good impression of that establishment?  Would you rate it solely on the quality of the best of its products?  If you carelessly bought some of the rotten products, can you honestly say it wouldn't affect your opinion of the store, whether they let you return it or not?  Would you have a good reaction to a manager telling you that you had the option to look at everything and choose what to buy?  Readers are customers too, and they should be treated as such.  They deserve to be treated as such.

It's a great, noble sentiment to assume that everyone will put in the effort to make sure their books meet a minimal base level of basic quality, but it's just not true.

I'll say this to be honest, knowing full well it will send a lot of people to the barn for pitchforks, but I've bought a bunch of self-published books, and some are excellent...but others have an amateurish and poor quality.  My general subconscious reaction is to be more careful buying a self-pubbed book, simply because I have bought quite a few that I feel are below professional standards.  Yes, I've read others that were great...and lots of trad published books that I didn't end up liking much.  I'll say flat out that the best of self-pubbed books are every bit as good as the best of trad pubbed books...possibly even better since there is more freedom on subject matter.  But it is equally true that the worst of self-pubbed books are worse than the worst of trad pubbed.  

I have many reviews on my own books that say something like, "very clean for a self-published book."  That is NOT good for this industry.

I'm not suggesting anything specific, but this whole area is a huge blindspot among people in self-publishing.  When a group gets to the point where it can't examine its shortfalls as well as its successes, that is a danger sign.  When the first impulse when hearing someone discussing potential problems within an industry is a mob attack that brings the site's moderator on here 3 or 4 times to scold people, that does not bode well for the future.  

We are all getting a chance to watch publishers misunderstand change and ignore their own weaknesses.  There seems to be an urge to attempt to copy those mistakes on the part of self-publishers.

Merely suggesting that poor quality self-pubbed books can tarnish the entire industry is not an attack on anyone, and certainly not on those who make an effort to produce good work. Beating up on someone for suggesting that this could hurt the industry long term (whether that proves to be right or not) is not productive in any way.


Offline vrabinec

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #176 on: January 28, 2014, 12:13:41 PM »
Again, who is talking about policing anybody?

Why does it keep coming back to this point, despite constant statements from me (and Chuck, and others) that nobody is saying that?    

But that's the whole point of the original post. Indies are cheerleading and need to stop and give the bad writers an earful so we're not all embarrassed, right?

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Offline cinisajoy

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #177 on: January 28, 2014, 12:20:52 PM »
For the record, I own more than one ereader.

Acknowledging Jay's post.   I have found it runs about 50/50 if you just pick up by genre and blurb whether the book is good or not strictly on grammar/spelling etc.
Now I have seen some self-pubbed books that make me cringe and I don't finish.   Others I have actually told the author exactly what I thought of their book.  (They asked for my opinion).   
Some books had a great story or could be a great story with some editing.
Others have left me wondering why didn't you do your research?  (both fic and non-fic)

But as far as content goes, how does one person decide for others rather 50 shades of Gray is good or bad?   That should be up to the reader.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

Please help our friend and fellow kboarder Craig Hansen.

Offline vrabinec

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #178 on: January 28, 2014, 12:44:04 PM »
I really don't want to get in the middle of this thread, but it just seems amazing to me that people think the customer is the "gatekeeper" of basic quality.  If we're talking about subject matter, sure.  Some people love books that offend other people, for example, and it's a great thing if they can get what interests them.  But if we're talking about baseline structure, grammar, and generic quality assessments, what other business has no quality control whatsoever before the customer gets the product?

If you walked into a supermarket, and some of the food was magnificent and fresh and some of it was putrid and rotten, would you leave with a good impression of that establishment?  Would you rate it solely on the quality of the best of its products?  If you carelessly bought some of the rotten products, can you honestly say it wouldn't affect your opinion of the store, whether they let you return it or not?  Would you have a good reaction to a manager telling you that you had the option to look at everything and choose what to buy?  Readers are customers too, and they should be treated as such.  They deserve to be treated as such.

It's a great, noble sentiment to assume that everyone will put in the effort to make sure their books meet a minimal base level of basic quality, but it's just not true.

I'll say this to be honest, knowing full well it will send a lot of people to the barn for pitchforks, but I've bought a bunch of self-published books, and some are excellent...but others have an amateurish and poor quality.  My general subconscious reaction is to be more careful buying a self-pubbed book, simply because I have bought quite a few that I feel are below professional standards.  Yes, I've read others that were great...and lots of trad published books that I didn't end up liking much.  I'll say flat out that the best of self-pubbed books are every bit as good as the best of trad pubbed books...possibly even better since there is more freedom on subject matter.  But it is equally true that the worst of self-pubbed books are worse than the worst of trad pubbed.  

I have many reviews on my own books that say something like, "very clean for a self-published book."  That is NOT good for this industry.

I'm not suggesting anything specific, but this whole area is a huge blindspot among people in self-publishing.  When a group gets to the point where it can't examine its shortfalls as well as its successes, that is a danger sign.  When the first impulse when hearing someone discussing potential problems within an industry is a mob attack that brings the site's moderator on here 3 or 4 times to scold people, that does not bode well for the future.  

We are all getting a chance to watch publishers misunderstand change and ignore their own weaknesses.  There seems to be an urge to attempt to copy those mistakes on the part of self-publishers.

Merely suggesting that poor quality self-pubbed books can tarnish the entire industry is not an attack on anyone, and certainly not on those who make an effort to produce good work. Beating up on someone for suggesting that this could hurt the industry long term (whether that proves to be right or not) is not productive in any way.



But I haven't read ANY posts on ANY  writer site, particularly this one where a single author siad there aren't poor self-published books out there. There's no burying the head in the sand here. And if someone posts a "why am I failing?" Thread, almost invariably, not just the cover and blurb quality is addressed,  but the style as well. So why flame indies? Hell, we're more than happy to give suggestions on how to improve. Usually, the OP throws his hands up to stem the tide of critical advice. As a group, we are all about improving the quality, so the "just a bunch of cheerleaders" accusation is wrong. Now had the post been directed at the individual indie author who decides quality doesn't matter, nobody here would've even linked the thing. It's the big umbrella that gets the thing linked. It's the accusation that we indies as a community aren't doing enough. Well, I say this as much as we can do. We give honest critique when asked. We give constant reminders that we all need to be working toward improving. And we provide encouragement when someone thinks they're ready.  NOT providing encouragement once someone has made the jump is counterproductive.

Bedrich Pasek VIII | Website

Offline Jay Allan

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #179 on: January 28, 2014, 01:46:35 PM »
But I haven't read ANY posts on ANY  writer site, particularly this one where a single author siad there aren't poor self-published books out there. There's no burying the head in the sand here. And if someone posts a "why am I failing?" Thread, almost invariably, not just the cover and blurb quality is addressed,  but the style as well. So why flame indies? Hell, we're more than happy to give suggestions on how to improve. Usually, the OP throws his hands up to stem the tide of critical advice. As a group, we are all about improving the quality, so the "just a bunch of cheerleaders" accusation is wrong. Now had the post been directed at the individual indie author who decides quality doesn't matter, nobody here would've even linked the thing. It's the big umbrella that gets the thing linked. It's the accusation that we indies as a community aren't doing enough. Well, I say this as much as we can do. We give honest critique when asked. We give constant reminders that we all need to be working toward improving. And we provide encouragement when someone thinks they're ready.  NOT providing encouragement once someone has made the jump is counterproductive.

I didn't say no one ever discussed that some indie books need work, but invariably, any suggestion that poor quality works actually affect the market in any way is treated to, at best, outright dismissal and, more likely, a good self-righteous pummeling.

It seem to be self-evident to me that a market is affected by everything in that market. I've seen repeated posts to the effect that poor quality stuff slips so far down no one ever sees it. I'd be more inclined to believe it if I hadn't bought so much stuff myself that was amateurish and poorly written. Certainly, as I stated before, there is a lot of very good stuff as well, but the topic of how poor books affect the market is a serious, credible, and legitimate topic. It's just not one most people want to face. Better to shout down anyone who fails to follow the orthodoxy.

The blog post that started this is not particularly incendiary. I certainly understand agreeing or disagreeing with it, but the fact that it has become a pummeling that has repeatedly brought the moderators here is, to me, a sad indication if where things are going.

The self-publishing industry is certainly catching the conventional publishers in terms of arrogant self-righteousness. Not a source of enormous pride in my book.

Offline GMSkarka

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #180 on: January 28, 2014, 01:51:24 PM »
I have many reviews on my own books that say something like, "very clean for a self-published book."  That is NOT good for this industry.

Amen.

It really does seem as though not a lot of people here are familiar with the concept of the Tragedy of the Commons.

Gareth-Michael Skarka | author website | twitter | google+

Offline GMSkarka

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #181 on: January 28, 2014, 01:55:29 PM »
But I haven't read ANY posts on ANY  writer site, particularly this one where a single author siad there aren't poor self-published books out there. There's no burying the head in the sand here.

No, it's even worse.    You've got people in this thread whose response to a general call for increased quality is, and I'm quoting directly here:  "I celebrate mediocrity. I celebrate half-assing things. I celebrate someone writing a book that objectively is terrible and going through the steps to make a terrible cover and a terrible blurb and publishing it"

...and a large percentage of folks here don't seem to see that as a problem, which, frankly, is astounding.

Gareth-Michael Skarka | author website | twitter | google+

Offline vrabinec

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #182 on: January 28, 2014, 01:59:39 PM »
I didn't say no one ever discussed that some indie books need work, but invariably, any suggestion that poor quality works actually affect the market in any way is treated to, at best, outright dismissal and, more likely, a good self-righteous pummeling.

It seem to be self-evident to me that a market is affected by everything in that market. I've seen repeated posts to the effect that poor quality stuff slips so far down no one ever sees it. I'd be more inclined to believe it if I hadn't bought so much stuff myself that was amateurish and poorly written. Certainly, as I stated before, there is a lot of very good stuff as well, but the topic of how poor books affect the market is a serious, credible, and legitimate topic. It's just not one most people want to face. Better to shout down anyone who fails to follow the orthodoxy.

The blog post that started this is not particularly incendiary. I certainly understand agreeing or disagreeing with it, but the fact that it has become a pummeling that has repeatedly brought the moderators here is, to me, a sad indication if where things are going.

The self-publishing industry is certainly catching the conventional publishers in terms of arrogant self-righteousness. Not a source of enormous pride in my book.

Clearly, everything put on the market affects the market. Bad books have an affect. They make readers cautious. Maybe they even make some turn away. So what? What are we supposed to do as an indie community? Start acting like gatekeepers? THAT'S the issue. Because, it obviously hasn't forced all the readers to stop reading self-published stuff. They're still reading it in droves. What are you guys lamenting, that some reader got turned off? Okay, I'll lament that as well. Where do we go from there. None of you are saying we should do anything about it. So, what's the next step? There is none. We keep calling fro everyone to put their best foot forward, and there will continue to be people who ignore that advice. That's not being arrogant, that's being realistic.

And as for the deleted posts, I plead the fifth. Anyway, I like to think of KB as "grizzled". One of the things you'll find here is strong-willed people. Hoooray.

Bedrich Pasek VIII | Website

Offline Alessandra Kelley

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #183 on: January 28, 2014, 02:08:14 PM »
I really don't want to get in the middle of this thread, but it just seems amazing to me that people think the customer is the "gatekeeper" of basic quality.  If we're talking about subject matter, sure.  Some people love books that offend other people, for example, and it's a great thing if they can get what interests them.  But if we're talking about baseline structure, grammar, and generic quality assessments, what other business has no quality control whatsoever before the customer gets the product?

If you walked into a supermarket, and some of the food was magnificent and fresh and some of it was putrid and rotten, would you leave with a good impression of that establishment?  Would you rate it solely on the quality of the best of its products?  If you carelessly bought some of the rotten products, can you honestly say it wouldn't affect your opinion of the store, whether they let you return it or not?  Would you have a good reaction to a manager telling you that you had the option to look at everything and choose what to buy?  Readers are customers too, and they should be treated as such.  They deserve to be treated as such.

It's a great, noble sentiment to assume that everyone will put in the effort to make sure their books meet a minimal base level of basic quality, but it's just not true.

I'll say this to be honest, knowing full well it will send a lot of people to the barn for pitchforks, but I've bought a bunch of self-published books, and some are excellent...but others have an amateurish and poor quality.  My general subconscious reaction is to be more careful buying a self-pubbed book, simply because I have bought quite a few that I feel are below professional standards.  Yes, I've read others that were great...and lots of trad published books that I didn't end up liking much.  I'll say flat out that the best of self-pubbed books are every bit as good as the best of trad pubbed books...possibly even better since there is more freedom on subject matter.  But it is equally true that the worst of self-pubbed books are worse than the worst of trad pubbed.  

I have many reviews on my own books that say something like, "very clean for a self-published book."  That is NOT good for this industry.

I'm not suggesting anything specific, but this whole area is a huge blindspot among people in self-publishing.  When a group gets to the point where it can't examine its shortfalls as well as its successes, that is a danger sign.  When the first impulse when hearing someone discussing potential problems within an industry is a mob attack that brings the site's moderator on here 3 or 4 times to scold people, that does not bode well for the future.  

We are all getting a chance to watch publishers misunderstand change and ignore their own weaknesses.  There seems to be an urge to attempt to copy those mistakes on the part of self-publishers.

Merely suggesting that poor quality self-pubbed books can tarnish the entire industry is not an attack on anyone, and certainly not on those who make an effort to produce good work. Beating up on someone for suggesting that this could hurt the industry long term (whether that proves to be right or not) is not productive in any way.



These are excellent points.  

The thing is, whether it's fair or not, readers tend to grow wary of all self-published books once we have bought and tried to read a few that are substandard.

To use the grocery store analogy, it doesn't matter if we can return bad food for a full refund if we have already spoiled a meal and upset our stomach.

A book is an investment of time and thought on the reader's part as well as the author's.  If that is not respected, if substandard books are excused away because readers can return them for full refunds, then readers will go away in droves, because wasting our reading time on a poor-quality book and then having to return it is a nuisance.

Many readers need and seek accurate information about books before investing our time, money, and thought.  We have not got the wherewithall to test every book blind first, which is why we rely on reviews and recommendations.

Encouragement of striving authors is a good thing, but clear-eyed, honest judgement is essential, not just for the readers' sakes but ultimately for the authors as well.

There needs to be a commitment to quality, not excuses for a lack of it.

Offline GMSkarka

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #184 on: January 28, 2014, 02:20:14 PM »
Minimum standards - this isn't good enough and you should be ashamed. Don't publish.

There's a difference between "don't publish" and "don't publish YET."    There should be no shame in "isn't good enough" -- especially if it's coupled with "here's what it needs to be good enough."


He described a self-publishing culture that doesn't exist.

Except, demonstrably, right here on Kboards -- hell, you don't even have to leave this thread to show that.


 
I still have not seen anyone say they don't care about readers. Where are these people?

Right here.  They're the ones who don't understand "putting out amateurish stuff is OK, because readers can get their money back with the click of a button" is absolutely not caring about readers.

 
If someone wants to write "The cat is very fat" twenty thousand times and film themselves doing it and then publish that few-thousand hours of boring typing to Youtube and publish that book to Amazon with a black and white cover and comic sans and charge $0.99 for it then go right ahead. There is no harm to anyone there.

Again, please familiarize yourself with the Tragedy of the Commons.  It does harm to the entire self-publishing category.  It results in a continuation of the perception of self-published work as Amateur Hour.  We fought for self-publishing to be viewed as something other than vanity press scams -- why can't we also fight against the quality stigma as well?   

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Offline GMSkarka

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #185 on: January 28, 2014, 02:23:18 PM »
There needs to be a commitment to quality, not excuses for a lack of it.

...and perhaps not taking it as a personal affront and making emotional knee-jerk attacks on those who call for such commitment.    

That'd be nice, too.

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Offline Andrew Ashling

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #186 on: January 28, 2014, 02:26:13 PM »

The thing is, whether it's fair or not, readers tend to grow wary of all self-published books once we have bought and tried to read a few that are substandard.


No, "readers" don't. A few of them may. People also watch a lot of substandard movies. It doesn't harm the good ones. I think there is a lot of confirmation bias here.

A few readers may complain and threaten never to read a book by an indie author again. So what? They're welcome to buy overpriced trade pubbed books and take their chances all the same. I just hope they'll keep their word.

You don't seem to respect readers very much, because ultimately you, and Chuck, think that they need to be protected from shoddy writers/publishers. And as always the problem is who is going to decide the standards and who is going to enforce them. Good luck with that.

Lucky for us most readers are far more intelligent (and better organized) than you and Chuck seem to think.

So there are bad books. Well, there always were. Doesn't seem to have kept people from reading a good story.













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Offline Alessandra Kelley

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #187 on: January 28, 2014, 02:35:49 PM »
No, "readers" don't. A few of them may. People also watch a lot of substandard movies. It doesn't harm the good ones. I think there is a lot of confirmation bias here.

A few readers may complain and threaten never to read a book by an indie author again. So what? They're welcome to buy overpriced trade pubbed books and take their chances all the same. I just hope they'll keep their word.

You don't seem to respect readers very much, because ultimately you, and Chuck, think that they need to be protected from shoddy writers/publishers. And as always the problem is who is going to decide the standards and who is going to enforce them. Good luck with that.

Lucky for us most readers are far more intelligent (and better organized) than you and Chuck seem to think.

So there are bad books. Well, there always were. Doesn't seem to have kept people from reading a good story.



I am a reader.

I don't expect us to be protected from substandard books, but I appreciate an early warning system in the form of reviews, word-of-mouth, etc.

We are, in fact, organized, with many review sites, personal recommendations, etc.  It's better than the headache of testing the waters with each single book all by our lonesome.

I have many friends who read and enjoy self-published works.  I have others who will not touch them after having been burned numerous times.  We readers talk to each other about what to read and what to avoid.

If a community has shown itself to be fairly reliable and honest in its efforts to communicate what is worthwhile to read, we readers pay heed.

If it is tolerant or even encouraging of those who try to sell us substandard goods, we pay heed to that too.

Offline Andrew Ashling

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #188 on: January 28, 2014, 02:42:17 PM »
If a community has shown itself to be fairly reliable and honest in its efforts to communicate what is worthwhile to read, we readers pay heed.
If it is tolerant or even encouraging of those who try to sell us substandard goods, we pay heed to that too.

Good.

I see no problem at all, except that there is no such thing as a community encompassing all independent writers. The word independent being crucial.

Readers are smart enough to determine whether a book offers value for money. Which is also a factor that should be discussed when the word substandard is loosely used.












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Offline jackz4000

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #189 on: January 28, 2014, 02:45:01 PM »
By that logic if I go to an Italian restaurant and the food is lousy do I then think that ALL Italian Restaurants are lousy? Or should I think that only the big chains like the Olive Garden are good?

Offline Edward M. Grant

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #190 on: January 28, 2014, 02:47:01 PM »
But if we're talking about baseline structure, grammar, and generic quality assessments, what other business has no quality control whatsoever before the customer gets the product?

"But all they are all there scraping along to sneeze out a likelihood that will solve and salve life's robulous rebus."

Unreadable crap, or work of genius?

Offline Jay Allan

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #191 on: January 28, 2014, 02:52:25 PM »
No, "readers" don't. A few of them may. People also watch a lot of substandard movies. It doesn't harm the good ones. I think there is a lot of confirmation bias here.

A few readers may complain and threaten never to read a book by an indie author again. So what? They're welcome to buy overpriced trade pubbed books and take their chances all the same. I just hope they'll keep their word.

You don't seem to respect readers very much, because ultimately you, and Chuck, think that they need to be protected from shoddy writers/publishers. And as always the problem is who is going to decide the standards and who is going to enforce them. Good luck with that.

Lucky for us most readers are far more intelligent (and better organized) than you and Chuck seem to think.

So there are bad books. Well, there always were. Doesn't seem to have kept people from reading a good story.



I am not trying to be argumentative, but putting the word "readers" in quotes doesn't mean they don't care when they buy something and it turns out to be of poor quality.  Readers are customers, the same as any other kind.  Most of those readers have lives that don't include hours spent trolling self-publishing sites, educating themselves at great length as to the differences between well-produced and edited self-pubs and poorly done ones.  They just read a couple, get disgusted, and become a harder sell for the next one.

Also, snapping back slightly veiled obnoxious remarks (as in implying that I ANYWHERE suggested readers are not "intelligent" or "organized") is utterly without factual value.  I credit readers a lot more than you seem to.  I credit them enough to assume that when they feel they got burned it affects their future attitudes and buying decisions.  I'd submit the people with no respect for readers are those who expect them to be perpetually willing to dig through offerings of highly variable quality to find the good ones.

Your movie analogy is flawed.  By their very nature, movies always have a barrier to entry...at the very least considerable cost relative to book publishing.  The issue isn't so much "gatekeepers" as zero barrier to entry.  If it cost $500 or $1,000 to offer a self-pubbed book, it would discourage those not willing to make a minimal effort at quality.  If any such thing was suggested, this board would erupt into the storming of the Bastille, but the point is still valid.  With NO barrier to entry and NO cost at all, you will have lower quality.  In any endeavor.

FYI, when I say quality, I am not talking about topics and genres and material some people consider offensive, nor do I mean stories I don't think are good.  I myself have bought self-pubbed books that used the language so badly I could hardly read them.  Of course that's not every self-pubbed book, but there is a considerable amount of that out there.  You presume a lot for readers (customers) to take it on themselves to weed these out.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 02:54:35 PM by Jay Allan »

Offline kurzon

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #192 on: January 28, 2014, 02:56:43 PM »
-I went to an indie restaurant and the meal was sub-standard so I never went to an indie restaurant again.
-I went to an indie concert and the music was off-key so I never went to an indie concert again.
-I bought a painting from a street artist but the more I looked at it the less I liked it so I never bought a painting from a street artist again.
-I bought lemonade from the lemonade stand on the corner but it wasn't as sweet as I liked it so I never bought from a lemonade stand again.
-I read a webcomic by some person I'd never heard of but the art was bad so I never read a webcomic again.

There are some people who have read none/one/some/dozens/many self-published books and then declared that they will never read a self-published book.  And, well, okay.  That's them.  These people don't seem to go "I read three books published by Harper Collins and didn't like any so I will not read any more Harper Collins published books."  And sometimes it seems very much that some people read self-published books looking for proof that they're bad (basically holding them to a higher standard than a book they've picked up from trade).  Whatever.  Individuals read what they will.

As I said before, I try to make my own books the best I can according to what I want them to be.  But the idea that self-published writers are somehow responsible for the quality of other self-published writers and should be _discouraging them_ from publishing?  No thanks.  There are many books that people love and are glad to have read that I do not love or even actively dislike and think are badly written.  Who am I to take that those books away from those readers?  And who is anyone else to tell me that I should not publish because I use too many sentence fragments?  [I love me some sentence fragments.]

I will point out things that seem bad to me if I'm asked about them.  But I will not police or try to prevent a book being 'inflicted' on unsuspecting readers - particularly because I'm perfectly aware that there's every chance there's readers who want those books, and have at their command tools to choose carefully, or to return with full refund things that they turned out not to want.  I do dislike people who, for instance, are aware that their books have a typo or grammatical error every paragraph and still publish - but I'm also aware that those self-same people have readers who want that book, errors or not.  If people are going to refuse to buy my book because someone else published something with a typo in every paragraph, so be it.

As a side-note, of the examples listed above - one of my absolute favourite webcomics of the moment is by an artist/writer who is learning to draw.  The first couple of years of this webcomic, the art was quite bad.  It's improved a lot, but it is clear the artist is still very much still learning to draw.  But I really enjoy this webcomic.  I backed a kickstarter for this webcomic, to get myself a PDF of the badly drawn comic I had already read because I just like the d*mn thing.  If you look at the early archives of many a now well-drawn webcomic you'll see a badly drawn webcomic.  The artists learned to draw as they went, and gained a following with their bad drawings, and people GAVE THEM MONEY through the donation system that many new webcomics use to survive (or, these days, backed their kickstarter).

I'm sure as hell not going to tut-tut at these artists for inflicting their learning process on me.  I chose to read it.  I chose to pay money for it.  [If it was an ebook I'd be choosing not to return it, or I'd be buying the next in the series.]  I'm a reader and I can bloody well make up my own mind.  I don't need my choices taken away from me.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 02:59:55 PM by kurzon »

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Offline jnfr

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #193 on: January 28, 2014, 02:58:39 PM »
I'm late to this thread and while I've read with interest the various views, I don't intend to jump into it.

But I have been watching, on Twitter and elsewhere, potshots being taken at this board and some threads here. I never really understood it and I still don't.

So I wanted to say that I really love you all. Smart and funny and opinionated and contrary and everything else.

I'm nobody in particular but I've never felt anything but welcomed here, and everyone has gone out of their way to help when I needed it.

So, I hope the Cafe overall doesn't let the snark get under our (metaphorical) skin. This is a useful place with good people. Even the ones I never agree with  :D

Offline Edward M. Grant

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #194 on: January 28, 2014, 03:00:51 PM »
The thing is, whether it's fair or not, readers tend to grow wary of all self-published books once we have bought and tried to read a few that are substandard.

As they say on Wikipedia, 'citation needed'.

Many people claim this, but I'm not aware of any evidence that it's true on any significant scale. Amazon recently said that we account for about 25% of ebook sales there, which wouldn't be happening if readers were somehow refusing to buy self-published books.

I don't buy books with bad covers, bad blurbs and boring or poorly-written openings, but if I get past those three, I certainly don't care who published it. Yes, most of the books that fail on one of those scores are self-published, but that doesn't mean I avoid self-published books. In fact, I don't remember ever buying a trade-published e-book.

Quote
There needs to be a commitment to quality, not excuses for a lack of it.

I believe you'll find that most people here aim to write the best books they can at the time they write them. We have no control over the books anyone else writes. We also have no control over the books trade publishers publish, and I've read some real stinkers there.

Offline SLGray

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #195 on: January 28, 2014, 03:01:56 PM »
I still feel the need to apologize for posting the link.

It has certainly been eye-opening though. And my lesson, she is learned.


Offline GMSkarka

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #196 on: January 28, 2014, 03:02:10 PM »
By that logic if I go to an Italian restaurant and the food is lousy do I then think that ALL Italian Restaurants are lousy?

If it's the only Italian Restaurant you've ever been to?   You might.   After all, how do you know whether it was "lousy" because you just don't like Italian food, when actually it's lousy because the chef couldn't be bothered to put out quality product?    What if the second Italian Restaurant you go to also was lousy?   Or the third?    Chances are, you're going to develop a negative opinion about Italian food in general, due to those experiences.

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Offline Alessandra Kelley

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #197 on: January 28, 2014, 03:05:14 PM »
By that logic if I go to an Italian restaurant and the food is lousy do I then think that ALL Italian Restaurants are lousy? Or should I think that only the big chains like the Olive Garden are good?

It's more as if half the time you go into any independently-owned restaurant it's really terrible and the food isn't inspected for safety and there are thousands of them and most reviewers won't review them.

After a while you crave a little quality control.

Offline lynnfromthesouth

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #198 on: January 28, 2014, 03:08:00 PM »
I believe you'll find that most people here aim to write the best books they can at the time they write them. We have no control over the books anyone else writes. We also have no control over the books trade publishers publish, and I've read some real stinkers there.

I've read most of this thread, and this is about all I get out of it. I can't see how we can make other people have good books, and I have yet to see someone suggest a way to do so beyond "Tell them to". Tell them to... how? How do you force other people to have some sort of subjective standard? Do you really think everyone is going to listen to you? I don't think most of us want Amazon or other distributors to turn into permanent gatekeepers. So what other solution is there?

« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 03:09:47 PM by LynnBlackmar »

Offline GMSkarka

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #199 on: January 28, 2014, 03:11:24 PM »
I don't need anyone deciding for me and I certainly oppose Chuck and anyone else who tries to scare people off putting their creative efforts out in the world.

I'm sorry, but if somebody is so weak-willed that being honest with them and saying they have things that could be improved "scares them off", then they haven't got the temperament to be doing creative work for money.  That's just pathetic.    We are not wilting hot-house flowers.

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