Saturday, 9 June 2012

Is the quality of self-publishing putting off readers of the future?

Note the question mark at the end. We aren't saying it is, but in the spirit of our controversy themed issue released this evening, we thought it would make an excellent topic for debate.

It has been around for a long time. Now, self-publishing for authors is both easier and cheaper than ever before, and with ebook availability through the likes of Amazon, it's more accessible to the wider reading public too.

Inevitably many self-published works don't go through the rigorous editing, proofreading and packaging stages with are so important and form a large portion of publisher's budgets.

So with that in mind, is the mass of self-published work encouraging readers to read widely, or is it pushing them to buy from supermarket shelves filled with the major publishers who they trust to put a novel through its paces before it's released to the world? Is the quality of self-published work putting off readers of the future?


  1. That's "its paces", Words with JAM.

    (May I call you JAM? Or Words...)


  2. And to think two of us proofread that. Shame on us!

  3. I believe we have all heard or read of the success stories with self publishing, in particular via Amazon but for every success story there are hundreds if not thousands of not so successful self published books. It very much depends on what your goals are. If you want something for friends and families then self publishing is an ideal platform but if you want to gain a career as a writer and make a living from it I don't think it is a good platform. I gave this topic a lot of thought as I have written a children's book, I have edited it and had others edit it too, I sent it around to a few agents with no success and during that time I considered self publishing and whilst it sounds easy on paper, if I were to self publish the marketing, promotion, editing, proofs, etc would solely come down to me. I am a writer, and that is what I want to focus on. If I have to do all the work of publishing it and selling it as well then where will I get time to write the second or third book. I believe literary agents and publishing houses are invaluable to authors and makes the whole process so much easier for authors.

  4. I've wondered about this as well. On the whole, though, my view is that most readers won't worry too much about the odd typo or even mistake, as long as the author tells a good story.

    Also, the fact the a book has gone through a traditional publishing process is no guarantee that it won't have any mistakes or just be boring! I've read plenty of conventionally published books that I thought were dull and poorly written. And equally, I've read plenty of self-published books that I've very much enjoyed, while making allowance for the odd mistake/typo.

    I think that in future readers will probably need to become a bit more discriminating, including reading samples of a book before buying it (as you can do with Kindle e-books) and checking out independent reviews. The best books will still rise to the top, though, whether they are published or self-published.

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