David Hadley (author) has just mentioned this post by Tara Sparling (also an author) on Goodreads, about what puts readers off self-published books (featuring a neat little graph to illustrate her point).
[Side note – authors, Tara’s blog seems to have quite a few useful articles on what to and what not to do. Might be worth checking out? Obviously, I can only judge from a readers perspective]
I found it really interesting to read. Tara says that, from the feedback she has received on her blog, readers are put off by three main things: pushy marketing tactics, bad book design and the writing itself (in that order).
I would have to say that while I have read quite a few self-published books that I have greatly enjoyed, pushy marketing tactics is one of the main things that will put me off a book, and even the author in general! Whether it’s emails, blog posts, blog comments, forum comments, or social media, begging someone to buy your book or bombarding them with information on it is sure to put that reader off reading your work.
Also, while I understand that getting a cover professionally made can be expensive, and seem unnecessary when you first become an author and don’t know if your work will sell, I think a good cover is greatly important, as I explained in my previous post about judging a book by its cover. A good cover is what is going to sell your book!
A lot of people seem to be put off by the term ‘self-published’, regardless of if the book looks perfect, the writing style is amazing and the author is lovely. A lot of people seem to think that because this book has not gone through a publishing house, it won’t have anyone to say ‘I think this is rubbish and shouldn’t be published’, and so the bad books are not being filtered out from the good books.
Of course, while this may sometimes be the case, it is unfair to tarnish all self-published authors with the same brush. I know for a fact that I have read some awful books that have been through countless editors as well as a traditional publishing house, and still ended up rubbish. There will always be books that have slipped through the net, but discounting a whole chunk of literature just because it was self-published is crazy.
I’m not saying go out and buy every single self-published book you can find, but I am saying that it might be fun to branch out of your comfort zone and read a self-published book. You might be pleasantly surprised.
I think that people get so hung up on judging others for their covers, tactics, writing, plot, character names (and, of course, I am guilty of this too) that we forget that it is books that should matter, not who wrote them or how they got here.
So, what do you think? Did you like Tara’s post?
Also, do you buy self-published books? If not, why not? Is it the reasons above, or other reasons? I’d love to know!