Friday, February 01, 2013
Re-Thinking 'Indie' Books
For a while now I've been thinking on my attitude toward 'indie' books and authors. Back when I began writing it was pretty straightforward - avoid them at all costs. The truth is that I still generally feel that way. I simply don't have the time to sort through the dross to find something that is any good. And there are no trustworthy sources that I know of that do that sorting for me.
But, the face of self-publishing is changing. Established authors do it for some projects, for their back list, charity anthologies, etc. It can no longer be said that self publishing is synonymous with crap. It's harder and harder to sort out a traditionally published author from self-published authors. And it's becoming increasingly clear that there are some self-published books that are indeed very good - for example, at least one made the 2012 Locus Recommended Reading List - Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey (Amazon).
So, basically, I don't think I can outright refuse to read self-published books anymore. Now, I'm not changing my review policy (and for now the harsh language will remain). And generally speaking, review inquiries for self-published books will continue to go into my spam folder, or get deleted unread, etc. But, when I hear about exceptions often enough, I'll certainly consider them.
Over the past few months I've started to head down this road - I've ordered a few self-published collections/anthologies (mostly for charitable causes). However, over the past few days I've gotten copies of a few, truly self-published books. They are now lined up in the insanely long queue with all the other books I receive. But, I do imagine I will try one or two of them soon. And for me, that's a big change.