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All about the ins and outs of writing

So Many Self-published Authors

The Southern Cliff in the Lagoon Nebula Credit: Julia I. Arias and Rodolfo H. Barbá

The Southern Cliff in the Lagoon Nebula Credit: Julia I. Arias and Rodolfo H. Barbá

New Scenario

I like self-publishing at Smashwords, but I wish I could roll back the clock to the days when it took less than an hour to get a new title up, instead of the current 48+ hours. What a difference six months makes! Nonetheless here we are smack dab in the middle of the electronic self-publishing revolution. So what does this all mean.

Back To Basics

According to Stephen Leather it means self-published authors need to stop worrying about their web presence and sales and get back to basics, like how to right a good story. In a recent guest post at Newbies Guide, he put it like this; “The vast majority of self-published eBooks are bad. Worse than bad. Awful.”  …… Ouch that hurts. Well on second thought maybe things aren’t that bad. I can’t verify for sure because most of my reading material is printed on paper or found online within a blog, but I have started to check out a few free short-shorts on Smashwords and I guess I have been slightly amused at what I read. Maybe I would find more challenging material with ebooks put out by publishers or tree books sold at my local bookstore, but the online offerings are quite extensive and fun to check out, even if I must use my computer.

Sell, Sell, Sell

I’ll skip Leather’s unkind words about American literary agents and continue on the theme of criticizing the Indie Self-publishing movement. For next on Leather’s list of peeves is this little gem, “Every “Indie” writer is following the same formula. Sell, sell, sell. The quality of the work seems to have got lost in the process.”  Now, I have to ask everybody, who has ventured into the brave new world of ebooks how they have handled the necessary evil of self-promotion and marketing. I have to admit I have come up short on both accounts, due to lack of time. Unfortunately, I have also fallen way behind on my writing schedule as well. Where does all the time go.

It’s All About The Writing

And finally here is another quote from Leather to wrap everything up.

“I really believe that if the Kindle had been around twenty years ago and I had rushed into self-publishing I would probably have made a lot of money but wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good a writer as I am.”

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3 Responses to “So Many Self-published Authors”

  1. You’re a bit behind the times. Mark Coker posted in a couple of places that Meatgrinder’s speed has just been quadrupled. Maybe not a complete rollback, but I notice that new books seem to be popping up much faster on the site.

    Leather’s right about the crap being churned out. I’m devoted to self-publishing, but the vast majority is pretty poor-quality stuff.

  2. As someone who is considering going the e-book route of self-publishing this is interesting!

  3. You’re right I was not aware that the speed of meatgrinder had improved. Nonetheless, the increase of authors has increased the waiting time dramatically.

    Did I just found out about the plans for Smashwords to expand into the handheld-mobile field. Definitely, behind the times again, but this will be a big boost for those with titles on the Premium Catalog. It may also help explain why this venue is rapidly becoming more popular.


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