View Full Version : eBooks - Self Published

12th Dec 2013, 05:18
Does anyone else buy the Kindle books from Amazon that are obviously self published ?

I like the idea because subjects will get out there that may never be picked up by Publishers. But the quality of writing is quite simply appalling.
I'm currently reading some alternative history stuff, mostly WW3 scenarios, and the level of writing trade craft is terrible. Scenes that make no sense, events that happen right next to a character and get ignored and my worst offender the 'Ghost in the machine' moment when everything seems to work out.

When this self publish stuff first appeared you only payed 50p or a pound at most. My last 2 cost 4 and 5 pounds. I bought Graham Green's Brighton Rock on Saturday for 7.

A friend of mine self published a book, which I have never read. I asked him 'How many rewrites did you have to do'. His reply was 'None, it worked first time out'. That is why I never read the book.

Do these authors not feel that had they applied basic self criticism they may have got themselves a publisher ?

The really annoying thing is that the author of the current book I am reading has so much subject matter knowledge he could have made a very good Clancy type book. But it just get lost in overly complicated exposition.

So I implore anyone out there considering self publishing - go do a Creative Writing course first. And if you think your first revision is good enough you, quite simply, are wrong.

12th Dec 2013, 05:53
It is estimated that 25% of these e-books are self-published.

Editors do useful jobs.

Worrals in the wilds
12th Dec 2013, 06:35
I've read a few self published non-fiction books that were quite good, but NF is probably easier to self-edit. Also, both authors were experts in their field, so the editing glitches (and there were a few :ouch:) were balanced by the high quality information and personal experiences they were presenting.

If you want to read some scary, free self published fiction, google 'My Little Pony fanfiction.':eek: This article summarises the genre nicely (NSFW). There are some strange people out there...:}
4 Insane Pieces of 'My Little Pony' Fan Art (By Grown Men) | Cracked.com (http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/4-insane-pieces-my-little-pony-fan-art-by-grown-men/)

12th Dec 2013, 06:58
You could try Smashwords - I've read some of the free fiction there and some are ok.


Loose rivets
12th Dec 2013, 08:17
Mr Radar, would you mind, if you haven't already done so, looking at my novel's free bit. Just a glance to see what you think.


Despite working on it for years, I rushed into e-publishing because of dashing back to the UK for what I thought might be a serious medial issue. Suffice it to say I didn't think I was coming back. But the stress of all this made me hurry the book onto the airwaves where it could have done with another major cropping of the dross that's tiring the reader. Frustrating, because it lights up further into the book. Common murder turns into something rather more bewildering, and while I'm at it I explain the reason for the creation not only of our DNA code, but the reason the Universe exploded into action. There are some serious concepts in there.

I'm more than a little disappointed that I can't be settled enough to polish the first book and finish the sequel. Sales have been erm, slightly slack since family and kind PPRuNers purchased a few.

I've just finished Stephen King's 11/22/63, and I really feel he does a lot of the things my friends criticize me for. One really does get carried back in time, but he labors the point to incredible degrees sometimes, and not skipping large chunks is a matter gritting one's teeth and staying with it. He of course does not have to beg an agent to take it on.

The other book that's left me bewildered is Lights Out by David Crawford. We're led to believe it made 11million in three months at one stage. Boy, I could do with some of that. The book is on old premise, and the writing is basic at best. One sentence had three viewpoint changes. It's something you just do not do - or so I thought.


Worrals in the wilds
12th Dec 2013, 08:47
I've just finished Stephen King's 11/22/63, and I really feel he does a lot of the things my friends criticize me for. King is...florid. I adored his short stories and novellas, but found his full length books a bit overwrought. They had great stories, but could have been two thirds shorter and still told the same great story without a whole lot of waffle. Just my 2 cents. :}

IIRC in his forewords for both Night Shift and Skeleton Crew he acknowledges the frequent criticism of his full length novels that they needed harsher editing, and says sucks to the critics. Given that the guy is one of the most successful novelists of the 20th century I guess he cried all the way to the bank :E. However, while I enjoyed his big novels as a teenager, as an adult I find most of them an uphill battle, though that may be my three second Gen X/Y attention span coming into play. :\

I still like reading his short stories even though I know how they end up.

Loose rivets
12th Dec 2013, 08:58
Oddly, and I almost missed it, his son rewrote the end of the aforementioned book. He thanked him in the ramble at the end, saying to his son, You rock!

12th Dec 2013, 09:09
Loose I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining read and certainly didn't think I had been diddled or had just bought it because I knew the author.

I do hope you do the next one in the series.

12th Dec 2013, 11:50
Loose when I get home I most certainly will have a look at your book.

As for Stephen King's11/22/63 - I would go so far as to say if that had been a 1st or even 2nd novel it would not have been picked up. And I loved King. Sadly that book has made me realise my tastes must be changing and SK is far past his best.

Please do not get me wrong - I know how incredibly hard writing is. But you have to be your own fiercest critic, and in the words of Ernest Hemingway - "The first draft of anything is sh*t"