Self-Published E-Books, $2.99
February 13, 2011
I, like many others, have published several books on Kindle, etc., as e-books and published them at $2.99. (I've also re-published out of print books as e-books and priced them at $2.99). Within the industry there's a fair amount of fighting over e-book pricing, with one business model hitting on $9.99.
Anyway, I was reading Rick Riordan's blog today and he made this comment:
I don’t talk about books that I didn’t like, but I must mention that I read a very hyped e-book on my Kindle – or tried to read it. About a hundred pages in, I started wondering why it seemed so poorly written. How did this get past an editor? Then I looked at the Kindle site and realized it was published straight to e-book. Ah, it didn’t get past an editor because apparently it never had one. I will be more careful in the future to check the provenance of e-books. Don’t get me wrong. While I still buy a huge quantity of physical books, I love my Kindle and my iPad, too. They are great for travel especially. But publishers and editors do serve a vital role in shaping manuscripts and making sure they are ready for prime time. It’s possible to circumvent this process with the advent of e-reading, but that’s not necessarily a good thing for readers. Caveat emptor.
Indeed. Which caused me to rant a bit to a writer friend of mine about how... Oh hell, I'll just cut & paste the relevant statement:
I read Rick Riordan's blog today and he commented about books he'd been reading, and he read a Kindle title that he'd been hearing great things about and about a third of the way through he thought, "The writing is really lousy on this book," and went back and noticed it was self-published for the Kindle. Granted, Rick's a writer, so he's fairly attuned to bad writing, but one of the things I think XXXXXX and some of the others aren't tuning into is the fact that, yes, there IS a huge amount of self-published dreck out there and the amount is increasing and how can you identify most of that self-published dreck?
I'll tell you how people might start identifying it: it has a $2.99 price tag on it. If readers start getting burned by self-published crap that's priced at $2.99, they're going to start associating the price with self-published dreck and this whole "the market will sort itself out" philosophy could burn people. Granted, that's a negative POV, but I can easily see how people like myself and others might view it.
Hmmm. Well, I was spending a lot of time today doing work that I had to do, but was annoying and mind-numbing, so maybe that explains the rant, but what do you guys think?