Amazon has decided to move their independently published books to a separate division. This is to provide “readers a convenient way to explore and browse some of the indie selection available on Kindle”.
In addition I noticed that Amazon has removed the tiny photo of a Kindle off of the majority of the book covers on their site, further dissociating themselves from independently published books. I think it signifies the end of the indie free-for-all.
Don’t get me wrong. I think independently published books are here to stay, and they are generally a good thing. Now no agent or publishing house can come between us and our readers. We turn our noses up at the mountainous slush piles on the editors’ desks and head directly to “Go” to (hopefully) pick up our $200. It has truly been a revolution, but like any revolution some heads will roll. In this case, it’s our own.
By introducing a flood of poorly produced books, we have signed our own orders for execution. In the beginning I was excited by the flood of inexpensive books by undiscovered authors. Now, two months into my exploration I barely bother getting any new books, even if they are free.
Stories so riddled with basic spelling errors that a high school English teacher would have failed them are populating the shelves of Amazon and Smashwords. Plots that have the literary consistency of yesterday’s lumpy oatmeal are being presented to us as feasts. Character’s with all the depth of Bart Simpson are being paraded around like rock stars. Reading, once my favorite activity, has become very much a chore.
When I was a punk rocker in the 80’s I spray painted my jacket with the A in a circle along with my friends. Representing anarchy, I thought the idea of a lawless self-governed society was the way to go. I liked it until I realized that most of us were incapable of governing a party without having major issues, let alone a society.
I would like to see independent authors continue expanding, but not in anarchy. With carefully plotted courses and developed characters we can change the face of publishing to benefit readers and authors alike. If we continue to churn out garbage we will only succeed in furthering the distance between us and ‘real books’.
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