I just read a great blog post by Joe Konrath called “The Tsunami of Crap” http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/07/tsunami-of-crap.html
WHAT IS THE TSUNAMI OF CRAP? A frequent argument against indie publishing is that millions of wannabe writers are flooding the market with crummy ebooks–a virtual tsunami of crap–and that good authors will get lost in the morass. Konrath does a great job refuting this charge, and I’m not going to repeat his points, though they’re worth reading. But I do want to add my observations…
Are a lot of self-pub e-books crap? YES! Absolutely! Without doubt! But as a wise man once observed, “90% of EVERYTHING is crap.” A lot of self-pub books ARE crap. But the same thing goes for movies. The same thing goes for TV shows. (Maybe 90% is a conservative estimate?)
Go down to your local bookstore. Most of the books on the shelf are crap! Before an international trip, I used to go down to the dead-tree store and buy 3-4 books, hoping that just ONE of them might be good enough to hold my attention on a long flight! Most of those books were ditched in the trash when I reached my destination. Crap!
In my younger days, I’d go to the library and check out 5-10 books at a time. Most of them would be crap, but maybe, just maybe, I’d find one that was worth a read.
So the tsunami is not limited to self-pub books! We LIVE in a tsunami of crap, trying our best to wade through the garbage and occasionally find something of value.
But in that tsunami, self-pub ebooks give four distinct advantages over buying at the dead-tree store…
1. With e-books, you can usually read reviews online before you buy. This greatly increases your chances of finding something good.
2. When you find a book that sounds good, you can download a sample for free… and usually find out in a few pages if it’s worth a read.
3. When you DO buy a book, you’ve only invested $.99, or maybe $2.99… not the $15-$25 price of a traditionally published book! (And if you’re buying from Amazon… if you get through the book and find that it’s crap, you can return it for a full refund!)
4. Best of all, with indie authors, you can usually go on twitter and actually get to know the author!
So indie publishing is not only great for authors… it’s great for READERS! Indie ebooks have made it EASIER to wade through the crap! No wonder most of us are reading more now!
That’s why the e-pub revolution is the BEST thing that’s happened for readers since the Gutenberg press!