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Okay, so I have my fancy Kindle Fire. However, I haven’t bought any books.
I tried going through the best seller list and it is flooded with $.99 releases and free e-books. I am kind of forced to wade through these to get to something interesting to read, so I just started downloading samples. Most of them are crap. There, I said it. Poorly edited, badly written crap. I am usually more diplomatic, but Christ on a cracker, can’t these people take a little more pride in the drivel they put out?
Beginning of edit
Originally I went on about John Locke syndrome over here, but
John stopped by to defend his good name a little bit, so in the interests of clarity, here is a quote which is often used in support of the assertion that at 99 cents people are likely to buy anything, even if it’s poorly written.
“I’m new to the writing game. But if I’d started self-publishing even three years ago, I would have spent all my time trying to prove to the public I’m just as good as the top authors in America. These days, the burden of proof is on them. Now the best authors in America have to prove they’re ten times better than me. And in a game like that, I like my chances.” – John Locke
John, who is being very nice in the comments, does stress the importance of good editing and formatting. Sadly, the quote can be read as stating that one should only aspire to be 1/10th as good as a traditionally published author, but it probably wasn’t fair of me to call it the John Locke syndrome. Anyway, please be nice to John and don’t flame him.
End of edit
I don’t want to read crap even if it’s priced at ninety-nine cents. It’s still crap! What happened to taking pride in your work and delivering the best book you can possibly write to the reader? Books are not vacuum cleaners. The idea is not to churn out as many of them as you can as fast as you can to get the biggest pay day. They are an intellectual pursuit. They contribute to the cultural wealth of us as people.
And the reviews of these masterpieces say things like, “It was okay for ninety nine cents.”
::clenches fist and shakes: It’s not the point for it to be okay! Don’t do okay, do the best you can do! Be awesome! You are not just taking the reader’s 99 cents, you are taking his time. The hours of his life. Come on!
Dear people who have reviewer blogs: can you please get together and create some sort of graphic badge of coolness that can then be applied to the covers of awesome books, so authors can add them to their covers, therefore distinguishing them from the sea of self-published awfulness and so people like me don’t have to blow a gasket when browsing for something to read? Thank you.
I will start: Jill Myles – awesome books for ninety nine cents and above. Some are even free. Funny, sexy, some are a little improbable but super-fun. Conquistador on a Dinosaur Island – come on, I know you want to read that!