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keriflur
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Re: Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2


TnTexas wrote:

keriflur: there are a lot of folks who prioritize price.

 

And unfortunately (in my opinion), many of them aren't really concerned about the quality of the writing in those 99-cent books. They may not want tons of misspellings and obvious grammatical errors; but they're not all that concerned with the more subjective aspects of quality like style and pacing..


I'm always amazed by the number of people who regularly read books out of order (a surprising-to-me number of people read the end first, or read multi-POV books by POV), and the number of people who skim large sections, only actually reading certain parts of books.  For those folks I doubt style and pacing matter at all.

 

There are a lot of people who will forgive blatant misspellings and obtuse phrasing and grammar because, hey, it only cost a dollar or two.

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5ivedom
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Re: Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2

But the old lists won't be the important lists any more.

 

The important lists will be B&N Top 100 and Kindle Top 100 and Kobo Top 50. That's it. Perhaps 1 or 2 more.

 

However, the other lists won't matter. eReader and tablet owners are going to go to the store and look at those lists.

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2

I'm inclined to suspect that the period covered by bestseller lists will also become very relevant.  Many self-pubbed items (at 99¢ or $1.99) can jump to the top of the list for a few days, which can make them top for a week, but how much staying power will they have?  Can they be #1 for a month?

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bobstro
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Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2 on some list nobody's heard of

[ Edited ]

5ivedom wrote:

But the old lists won't be the important lists any more.

 

Which lists do you mean? Lists based on top sales will no doubt change, and shift to include new markets, just as TV ratings have adapted. But "best of" lists will still be around, and will probably be even more relevant and useful. 

 

I think a lot of what you and Keri are discussing will be more of a shifting of the work of quality review brought on by self-publishing. The importance of editing and review won't go away. Writers can just shift it off to the reader, in effect dumping what previously would have been considered "unpublishable" onto the market for them to sort out. That doesn't mean all readers will just start reading whatever crap writers push out. They'll find lists and trusted reviews to do the quality checking for them, or stick with books published by houses with a name for quality. Yesterday's editors may simply shift into becoming quality, trusted reviewers. For every market lost, one is gained.

 

Writers hoping to cash in by just publishing whatever they crank out without review should also be wary. Those same editors who previously were on their team won't be anymore. Any mistakes made will be done in public, and yesterday's editors will become scathing reviewers. Developing a reputation for shoddy work may take a very long time to overcome. Sure, you can now ignore those annoying people who tell you your work isn't ready yet, but what if they're right?

 

The important lists will be B&N Top 100 and Kindle Top 100 and Kobo Top 50. That's it. Perhaps 1 or 2 more.

 

Those will be lists tracking sales at a snapshot in time. Important? That depends on your definition. For anybody selling books, yes, those will be important. For discerning readers? Not so much. I don't look at Cosmo Magazine's lists. Why would I look at a list put out by people pushing low-quality ebooks?

 

However, the other lists won't matter. eReader and tablet owners are going to go to the store and look at those lists.

 

You seem to view readers and customers as cattle. If the stores only contain crap, readers will just as likely go to other stores. Remember that the ease of self-publishing cuts many ways. While B&N may wish to lock people in to their source of content, it will hardly be the only source. We can probably expect many, many more now that the cost of entry has been lowered. Some will develop a reputation fo quality. The challenge of "getting published" may simply change to "getting picked up" by those stores.

 

Another aspect to the 99 cent novel is that it's a lot easier to give up on one as a reader. If I'd invested $8-15 on a book, I might slog it out if the writing were poor. At less than a buck, screw it. Stop at chapter one and move on. Sure, you can sell loads at 99 cents, but your work is worth 99 cents to buyers. That's the bargain you've made. You get to dump unfinished work on me, I get to throw it away without much invested.

 

I don't see self-publishing and e-publishing as all that different than the advent of penny dreadfuls, yellow press and cheap paperbacks. They'll cause adjustments to be made and reset expectations by opening access up to a lower market, but that's it. Not everything printed is a vampire novel. Don't try to apply the success of pulpy fiction to all books, nor think that all readers are clamoring for more of that sort of thing.

 

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keriflur
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Re: Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2


5ivedom wrote:

But the old lists won't be the important lists any more.

 

The important lists will be B&N Top 100 and Kindle Top 100 and Kobo Top 50. That's it. Perhaps 1 or 2 more.

 

However, the other lists won't matter. eReader and tablet owners are going to go to the store and look at those lists.


So in your world there are no more independent bookstores?

Doug_Pardee
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Re: Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2


keriflur wrote:

 

There are a lot of people who will forgive blatant misspellings and obtuse phrasing and grammar because, hey, it only cost a dollar or two.


I suspect that there are a lot more people who don't even notice blatant misspellings and obtuse phrasing and grammar. I've written reviews of some self-published (Smashwords) e-books in which I took the spelling and grammar to task, and other commenters wrote to disagree with me, saying that they couldn't see any problems.

 

I'm convinced that somewhere around 7 out of 8 readers is unable to recognize poor spelling and grammar. They simply accept whatever was written as being correct. Heaven knows what the ratio is for non-readers.

 

In my opinion, most readers don't care what's on the bestseller lists, either. Nor do they care about logical plots, believable characters, or any of the other things that writers sweat over. What most readers want is entertainment. Give them that, and they're happy.

 

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bobstro
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Re: Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2

[ Edited ]

Doug_Pardee wrote:

I suspect that there are a lot more people who don't even notice blatant misspellings and obtuse phrasing and grammar. [...] In my opinion, most readers don't care what's on the bestseller lists, either. Nor do they care about logical plots, believable characters, or any of the other things that writers sweat over. What most readers want is entertainment. Give them that, and they're happy.

 

That's true. We see the same thing with television and film. But do you think that also means that there will be no place for "quality programming"? I don't see more access to trash as equating to exclusive demand for trash. Good films still get made, even if Iron Man 3 is dominating the boxoffice.

 

In fairness, Doug, wasn't your example more akin to going into a comic shop and asking if the readers cared than going into a shop selling literature and asking the same thing?

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keriflur
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Re: Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2


Doug_Pardee wrote:

keriflur wrote:

 

There are a lot of people who will forgive blatant misspellings and obtuse phrasing and grammar because, hey, it only cost a dollar or two.


I suspect that there are a lot more people who don't even notice blatant misspellings and obtuse phrasing and grammar. I've written reviews of some self-published (Smashwords) e-books in which I took the spelling and grammar to task, and other commenters wrote to disagree with me, saying that they couldn't see any problems.

 

I'm convinced that somewhere around 7 out of 8 readers is unable to recognize poor spelling and grammar. They simply accept whatever was written as being correct. Heaven knows what the ratio is for non-readers.

 

In my opinion, most readers don't care what's on the bestseller lists, either. Nor do they care about logical plots, believable characters, or any of the other things that writers sweat over. What most readers want is entertainment. Give them that, and they're happy.

 


I think this is also true of most writers (hence the ridiculous stuff that shows up in the slush and the self-pub).

 

It all makes me sad, as someone who hates reading cardboard characters and swiss cheese plots.  I read for entertainment, but unless the world of the book (characters included) feel real to me, I'm not entertained.

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5ivedom
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Re: Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2

So in your world there are no more independent bookstores?

 

*******

 

There are. But 90% of readers who buy ebooks won't go to them. So how relevant are they?

 

Seriously, think about it.

 

How many of the ebook sales that are happening do you think are happening due to 'independent bookstores'?

 

Is there any reason that ratio is going to increase in the future?

 

*******

 

It's a very big jump.

 

We're living in a world where people are buying purple cows with real money and buying their groceries online.

 

The shift is happening more and more. Something like ebooks that are easy to shift, are going to shift over a lot. For ebooks, indie bookstores are not going to matter much.

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keriflur
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Re: Self-Published Ebooks Are Nos. 1 and 2


5ivedom wrote:

So in your world there are no more independent bookstores?

 

*******

 

There are. But 90% of readers who buy ebooks won't go to them. So how relevant are they?

 


So in your world there are no physical books?