Why Don’t I Read More Self-Published Books?
I’ve been thinking about this a bit since Jason over at Off The Tbr first started talking about having a month dedicated to self published books, and I have come to a couple of conclusions. Yes they may seem unfair and I might come off like a judgemental mole, but hey, sometimes I am.
1. For a long time the term Self-published automatically made me think of spelling mistakes and bad formatting.
When I couldn’t afford to buy books I used to get the free ebooks from iBooks. Mostly romance, paranormal romance and some fantasy. 99% of them were self-pub and easily 50% didn’t seem to be edited. There was simple spelling mistakes on most pages, characters names getting mixed up and sometimes parts of the stories seemed to be missing. I find those constant errors really mess with my reading experience.
2. Fantastic ideas, bad execution
I thought this happened a lot more in the fantasy self-pub that I got from iBooks. The ideas were there, but it would seem like the plot wasn’t fully fleshed out. Maybe the author needed a bit more guidance. I’ve since learnt that a lot of self-pub authors get there books edited and such but I guess it doesn’t come cheap and so a lot don’t do it either.
3. This was pretty specific to self-pub romance that I came across – Once you’ve read one book by an author, you don’t need to read anymore as they were basically exactly the same but with different names for their characters.
They are the three main things that put me off self-published book. I never used to do reviews, I wasn’t on Instagram or Twitter. I didn’t know anything about the bookish community. So if I only put a rating in, I didn’t feel bad if it was low.
Two years ago I joined Instagram and found my bookish people. Last year I started making an effort to review what I read on Goodreads. Late last year I started my blog, hoping to overcome my anxiety and learn how to write reviews that made sense. I also joined Twitter and discovered readers and amazing authors at my fingertips. And now I’m here, I still don’t know much, but the few things I do know are; The publishing world is tough, most authors have a full-time job and fit their writing in on the side. Authors are real people and self-publishing is a big deal.
I guess this leads me to:
4. Not liking a self-published book. I’ll do my best so this makes sense.
Once you realise authors are people and you interact with them and watch their excitement over their work grow, it can become pretty tough to write a negative review.
But, true or not, I feel like a book from a big publishing house can handle a negative review or low stars given on Goodreads. They seem to be able to get the books into a lot more hands and therefore my thoughts and rating will get lost in the crowd. The author probably won’t notice my review rating or review.
But when it comes to self-published books you might be the first person to ever review it on Goodreads (yes this happened once) or there might only be 10 ratings, if you didn’t like it and you put your thoughts out onto the interwebs, there is more chance the author will see the review and rating. I feel mean if I rate it low. I wont bump up the stars but damn I feel so mean. I don’t put a star rating on my blog and in the past I might of just skipped doing a review if it really missed the mark for me, but joining the self-published fantasy month, I want to review everything I read.
Kudos if you are still reading, because this has all lead up to me saying – I feel really fucking mean guys. Really mean. Like a total asshole. I’ve been trying to come up with an angle for a book review that is honest, but not negative and I’m drawing a blank. I’m going to review them all, but why oh why did I wander over to Goodreads to see what others had thought. Now I’ve seen a picture of the author, I’ve read their bio, they are 100% real and I feel so bad for not enjoying the book.
Do you have any tips for reviewing a book you didn’t enjoy? Do you just skip it? Do you ever feel mean giving a low rating?
Don’t forget, to find out all the information about Self-Published Fantasy Month, click HERE.
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SelfPubFantasyMonth