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Sad but true.  Publishers seem to be all follow the leader any more.  If vampires are sellingthen we see a slew of vampire books, if religious conspiracy theories res selling, then more of them.  Don't get me started on the "celebrity" authors and the fact they would publish their grocery lists if they could get them it seems.  Books have  tended to be more tolerant of individual likes and land dislikes, and one of the reasons I read is so I don't have like and read what everyone else does, unlike TV where you get a mass mind set for viewing.
 

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Gables Girl said:
Sad but true. Publishers seem to be all follow the leader any more.
The Kindle and Amazon's Print On Demand service is changing that.

You might check out the indie author threads on Amazon.com. I've been reading nothing but indie author's books for over two months. Some of the books are pure drivel but there are also some gems that traditional publishers would never touch.
 
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Jeff said:
The Kindle and Amazon's Print On Demand service is changing that.

You might check out the indie author threads on Amazon.com. I've been reading nothing but indie author's books for over two months. Some of the books are pure drivel but there are also some gems that traditional publishers would never touch.
The early stats show that Kindle isn't changing the trend at all. Check the Kindle Top Ten lists.

Much as it kills me to say this, I don't see this trend reversing itself for a number of years. The print/publishing industry is in its death throes, and publishers are increasingly unwilling to take a chance on a novel unless something else just like it has already proven successful. I hope that e-publishing can eventually reverse that trend by revitalizing an almost dead art/entertainment form.

Let's look at the numbers again in ten years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jeff said:
I've been reading nothing but indie author's books for over two months. Some of the books are pure drivel but there are also some gems that traditional publishers would never touch.
So far my experience has been that "some" vastly understates the number. :) :)

Care to share a few that have been gems? I'd like to support indie authors, but just haven't found any whose writing would hold my interest yet.

As the article indicates, the push to get only best-sellers out there has left a lot of mid-list authors without a way to get published. A case in point is the late George C, Chesbro, who had a pretty successful series of books going, and suddenly couldn't get any publishers to handle him except in France.

Mike

Edit: Changed "any with something to say" to "any whose writing would hold my interest." Much more accurate. Sorry.
 

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Jeff said:
No, Mike. Doing that would diminish any book I didn't mention. I have too much respect for anybody who has the guts to publish their own book. Even if their book's a stinker.
Jeff
By that logic, we would never talk about anything, since it would diminish all the things we didn't mention.

Mike
 

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jmiked said:
As the article indicates, the push to get only best-sellers out there has left a lot of mid-list authors without a way to get published. A case in point is the late George C, Chesbro, who had a pretty successful series of books going, and suddenly couldn't get any publishers to handle him except in France.

Mike
Put Nora Roberts in that category. She wrote several very successful series and standalones, and then suddenly, couldn't get published. Fortunately, she did find a new publisher and is one of the most successful romance authors out there.
 

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If you look at my top 10 list for the year (posted on the other thread) you'll probably say, "I've never heard of any of those books" (except for maybe the one by Walter Tevis). This is one of the great things I have discovered with my Kindle: ebooks from small publishers (bordering on indie authors) which are instantly available, reasonably priced, well written and very entertaining stories. It is like a whole new world has opened up to me and I am not forced to swallow alot of the dreck that big publishers are trying to force down our throats. It's great.

Very interestingly: one of the books that I listed as "most disappointing," Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander, was originally self-published by the author. A junior editor from HarperCollins "discovered" it in the Amazon catalog and the author was offered a contract. It was published last spring. Reading it I had one of those, "This is so bad it's funny" experiences.

I do think publishing is changing and am hopeful about what is coming down the pike.

L
 

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Well, I have to agree with Jim that major changes aren't going to happen overnight in terms of what we see in "bestsellers," and the monkey-see, monkey-do biz of the major houses as they pile on the bandwagon of the day (vampires, three-legged dogs, whatever).

Quality-wise, both in terms of what the author's trying to say and in basic things like proofreading, I think a lot of traditional publishers have been sliding downhill over the years. One of the reasons I decided to write In Her Name was that I got so frustrated with one book by a big-name author (and very irritated that I'd paid full price) that was, in short, a pile of steaming rubbish. I literally threw the book at the wall and yelled, "I could write something better than that!" And that's what I set out to do. ;D

But technology is radically changing things: devices like the Kindle, multi-platform readers like Mobipocket, and in the dead tree world, print-on-demand. This has given would-be authors unprecedented abilities to get their works published, and is really a golden opportunity for readers to expand their horizons. And with technology like the Kindle's preview feature, readers can sample the work of untested authors with no more than a modest investment in time (although you still may not always get what you expect).

This is really a double-edged sword, though. As Mike pointed out, a LOT of self-published books are - not to put too fine a point on it - garbage. And the reason so many are - and why self-published (SP) books are generally looked down upon by reviewers - is that the authors don't have editors (you can hire editors, but they don't come cheap!) to help them get their work into decent shape (or be honest and tell them that the would-be author has absolutely no talent), nor do they take extra time to try and clean their manuscripts up as best they can. I knew one individual, in particular, who will crank out a "book" and publish it on the Kindle without even basic proofreading. I enjoyed a lot of what he wrote, but that was a major distraction that's an automatic Big Red Button for any remote chance at more than a very narrow niche of readers (but maybe he's happy with that, and that's great, too).

But, getting to Leslie's point, the Kindle and similar devices simply give us so many more choices in a more convenient way than we've ever had before, whether the authors are published by mainstream houses, small-press, or self-published. And I believe that, over time, readers *are* going to discover a lot of gems like Jeff mentioned, authors who do go the extra mile to make their work professional or offerings from serious small presses, and do have something to say that many people might like to hear (although not everyone will like any given book, obviously)... :)
 

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We've been discussing Scott Sigler's offerings on the horror thread... He has some interesting distribution methods. I've only read one of his books - Infected - I really enjoyed it.

http://www.scottsigler.com/
 

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pidgeon92 said:
We've been discussing Scott Sigler's offerings on the horror thread... He has some interesting distribution methods. I've only read one of his books - Infected - I really enjoyed it.

http://www.scottsigler.com/
Hmmm, interesting. I'll have to study that a bit closer...
 

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Jeff said:
The Kindle and Amazon's Print On Demand service is changing that.

You might check out the indie author threads on Amazon.com. I've been reading nothing but indie author's books for over two months. Some of the books are pure drivel but there are also some gems that traditional publishers would never touch.
Good for you! I mentioned High Spirits on another thread, which is another quality indie book that's also on Kindle (besides mine).

A few reviewers attempt to sort out the good ones from the drivel. PODBRAM is one (Google it). It reviewed Distant Cousin early on, fairly and honestly. I volunteered to write reviews for them myself. The site lists others which can try to sort out the good ones also.

//////Al
 
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kreelanwarrior said:
Well, I have to agree with Jim that major changes aren't going to happen overnight in terms of what we see in "bestsellers," and the monkey-see, monkey-do biz of the major houses as they pile on the bandwagon of the day (vampires, three-legged dogs, whatever).
Thanks. :) But don't make it a habit of agreeing with me. You won't get to hang out with the cool kids anymore. ;)
 

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kreelanwarrior said:
Well, I have to agree with Jim that major changes aren't going to happen overnight in terms of what we see in "bestsellers," and the monkey-see, monkey-do biz of the major houses as they pile on the bandwagon of the day (vampires, three-legged dogs, whatever).

Quality-wise, both in terms of what the author's trying to say and in basic things like proofreading, I think a lot of traditional publishers have been sliding downhill over the years. One of the reasons I decided to write In Her Name was that I got so frustrated with one book by a big-name author (and very irritated that I'd paid full price) that was, in short, a pile of steaming rubbish. I literally threw the book at the wall and yelled, "I could write something better than that!" And that's what I set out to do. ;D

But technology is radically changing things: devices like the Kindle, multi-platform readers like Mobipocket, and in the dead tree world, print-on-demand. This has given would-be authors unprecedented abilities to get their works published, and is really a golden opportunity for readers to expand their horizons. And with technology like the Kindle's preview feature, readers can sample the work of untested authors with no more than a modest investment in time (although you still may not always get what you expect).

This is really a double-edged sword, though. As Mike pointed out, a LOT of self-published books are - not to put too fine a point on it - garbage. And the reason so many are - and why self-published (SP) books are generally looked down upon by reviewers - is that the authors don't have editors (you can hire editors, but they don't come cheap!) to help them get their work into decent shape (or be honest and tell them that the would-be author has absolutely no talent), nor do they take extra time to try and clean their manuscripts up as best they can. I knew one individual, in particular, who will crank out a "book" and publish it on the Kindle without even basic proofreading. I enjoyed a lot of what he wrote, but that was a major distraction that's an automatic Big Red Button for any remote chance at more than a very narrow niche of readers (but maybe he's happy with that, and that's great, too).

But, getting to Leslie's point, the Kindle and similar devices simply give us so many more choices in a more convenient way than we've ever had before, whether the authors are published by mainstream houses, small-press, or self-published. And I believe that, over time, readers *are* going to discover a lot of gems like Jeff mentioned, authors who do go the extra mile to make their work professional or offerings from serious small presses, and do have something to say that many people might like to hear (although not everyone will like any given book, obviously)... :)
Right on, bro. Ref my previous post about PODBRAM, about sorting gold from dross. (I still haven't figured out how to quote several posts at once; sorry.)

I'm sooo glad to be an indie author. If a traditional publisher had published Distant Cousin it would have had a small print run, not been adequately marketed, sold some, and not been reprinted. It would now be out of print. Instead, it's still in print and doing better and better as word gets around. Kindle has been great. I don't blame anyone who's hesitant to gamble $20 on a multi-niche book, even if they read the samples to see it's decently edited. Linda said she was almost put off by that "another planet" stuff, but is now glad she took a chance. Kindle made that possible!

We don't need no stinkin' giant publishing conglomerates!
 

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I read what I like. And if I ever look at a top 10 list, I am surprised if I have even read one of the books on there. And am even more shocked if something I loved is on a top 10 list, they usually aren't.

The thing that really saddens me are the authors who spend many years writing excellent fiction, then start writing uninteresting junk that could have been fantastic. You can see the bones of a good book in there, but it just ends up so bad you don't even want to finish it but you keep on because it just has to get better. It's enough to make you cry.
 

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jmiked said:
So far my experience has been that "some" vastly understates the number. :) :)

Care to share a few that have been gems? I'd like to support indie authors, but just haven't found any with anything to say yet.

Mike
That depends on what you mean by "anything to say." Personally, I have nothing trenchant to observe about the human condition. I just have a story to tell. Remember what Mark Twain said in his foreword to Huckleberry Finn?

"Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."

Or how about Samuel Johnson? He's a pretty respectable critic: "We read Milton for instruction, retire harassed and over-burdened, and look elsewhere for recreation; we desert out master and seek for companions." Art should be "harmless pleasure."

If that is acceptible, then yes, I am an indie author with something to say.

/////////Al
 
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