Too Many Good Ones




Before I chose to go indie, I put a lot of thought into the decision, researching the pros and cons. Since my books exceeded the standard word count for popular fiction and blended genres rather than conforming to one, my research told me it could be hard to get an agent. So, after getting positive feedback in some contests, and spending years in the critique and revision process, I had my first book professionally edited and proofread, and I self-published. I figured other people self-published for similar reasons: writing off the beaten track, or coloring outside the genre lines–or wanting the 70% royalty and full creative control. It never occurred to me that some writers might self-publish because they didn’t want to go to the trouble of producing a professional product.

Then I joined Goodreads. On my first day as a participant, I read a forum post in which an author said she thought of bad reviews as free editing. What? Did she really sell books and expect readers to find the typos and plot holes? Free editing for her—but it cost the readers. Finding out that a number of writers published without the services of a qualified editor scared me off reading my fellow indies. Then I got involved in a short-lived but fascinating group, The Source, a project for screening and reviewing indie books. Through it, I discovered some great authors—and got hooked on good indie fiction. There are reviewers who seem to get a kick out reading a book they dislike and trashing it, but I’m not that kind. The “prematurely published” are easy to avoid with a quick perusal of the online preview. The more I buy and explore independent authors’ work, the more I realize, the problem isn’t that there are too many bad books out there; it’s that there are too many good ones, and I may never find time to read them all.

You can find some of the books I’m working my way through, and the ones I wrote, at


One thought on “Too Many Good Ones

  1. Yes, there are a lot of good books out there… I only wish there were enough hours in the day to read them all.

    I also wish those people who published their books before they’re really ready wouldn’t do so, because those people give the rest of us a bad name. They may be in the minority in the grand scheme of things, but one bad experience like that can put a potential reader off ever reading an indie book again, which is a real shame, and can potentially cost those who’ve made more effort with making sure the book is ready what might have been a loyal reader.

    Personally, I self-publish because I want to have full control over every stage of the process: content, deadlines, covers, and the actual publishing process included. I want to be able to decide what I write, and when I need to finnish it by, and I want to be the one who gets the final say in changes to the content or cover, as well as when and where it gets published.


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