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Reality Check Self-publishing perils (useful to know...)

Robinne Weiss

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I have fortunately not been trolled by bad reviews--I'm simply not popular enough for the trolls to bother with. LOL! But I stay away from Goodreads, because I've heard it's a cesspool. I ensure I have a presence there, and that it looks professional and all, but I don't spend time there.

As for having published things I regret? No. Not really. My first book on Amazon was a 'test' book, to decide if I wanted to go the self-pub route. It's not as good as subsequent books, but I'm not embarrassed by it--it was professionally done, with a decent cover and proper editing.

I have bowed out of certain writing groups because of the subtle (and not-so-subtle) put-downs from trad-published authors. Folks who haven't even finished writing their first book telling my my work was shit because it was indie-published ... Organisational biases against indie-pubbed authors ... But self-publishing is more the rule than the exception here in NZ, because we essentially have no publishers in country (a few very small ones, and that's it), so there's great support within the writing community here for self-publishers.
 

CageSage

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The issue with updating books on 'zon: not all countries get the update notice to the reader, so they can't get the updated version, nor can they buy the new version unless they delete the old one. Only the US, and sometimes the UK (not always) get the notification of the update to the novel (unless the novel is published by a trad publisher, of course, because they want all their markets updated).

And I have become wary of writing groups, too, where it seems I have nothing of value to offer, and places like Goodreads have librarians with fangs and tridents, let alone group members lying in ambush for a sign of weakness or doubt.

But the best way forward for writers is to join up and band together for a purpose, always keeping in mind that the writer can write only so many books a year, but a reader can read a book a day if they're so minded.

Writers need feedback, honest and clear, and a thick skin to go with the passion to fill the world with compelling stories.

We're not competing against each other for sales/readers, we're struggling to find readers who desire the type of story we write.
Yes, I've had regrets about the earlier tomes. I've pulled a few, which were written by a person qualified with professional and creative writing degrees (who'd been writing stories since she was eight years old) and edited by qualified and well-paid editors (and lauded by writing group members, who then found ways to [do what bullies do] when the stories tanked). Which goes to show how much we need to learn post-education, post-completion of a story or two.
At the moment, I'm in a group (not counting Litopia) that doesn't share writing outputs, but gives support.
 

Steve C

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Only published a few months ago and never heard of any bullying. Just not famous enough yet :) A whole series of clearly organised negative reviews are easily taken down by Amazon who do care about abuse of their precious system.
 

James Marinero

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I've had no problems with Goodreads that I'm aware of (I no longer read the reviews anyway). Netgalley was relatively costly but a positive experience, although the reviews were few and far between. One 5 star sticks in my mind 'the ending was a bit of a damp squid' (sic) :) . I now write (and self-publish) for my own pleasure, Being an indie is at my core, in whatever aspect of life. Don't let the bastards grind you down!
 

Jonny

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Interesting thread and article @KateESal

There are always eejits and to**ers all too happy to be moronic about everything nowadays.

Star systems (not those in Star Trek) are an open invitation for these types of people to 'pile in' if they feel minded to get at someone they know or wish to nobble. Because of this, the integrity of open door star rating is devalued and I'd personally I'd do away with it.

Letting the moron in the street have a say is a flawed concept. Not only with books, but also things like Trustpilot, Tripadvisor et al. These 'reviewers' are the same people who are allowed to vote on big issues and who also contribute to online newspaper comment sections.

I have seen book reviews on Amazon like this:

My book was supposed to be delivered on Tuesday but it didn't arrive until Wednesday. One Star.

Some poor sod may have sweated blood over writing that book, not to mention a year of their lives too.

Maybe a better the idea is to allow Joseph Public to comment by using words only, and not have the stars as part of the process. That would sort out some wheat from chaff. The one-star is a blunt instrument any idiot can use. Having to take time to formulate and post even the briefest review in a coherent manner is an entirely different kettle of worms ;)
 
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