You ever noticed that after the “but” it sounds like whatever you previously said is about to be contradicted by what you follow that up with?
I don’t mean that with this post. In fact, let me gush about why I read and love Indie.
One of the coolest things about indie authors and social media is having the opportunity to chat with them! Many interact on a daily basis with their fans and it really cultivates a special kinship between author and reader. Authors listen and are constantly evolving based on what readers want. This can be a good and bad. More on that below…
Indies are redefining the genre
Look at the New Adult genre. In many ways, the success and acknowledgment of that can be accredited to authors that started out as indie. Look at Tammara Webber, Colleen Hoover and Cora Carmack. These ladies were the trailblazers in writing about that awkward age between adolescence and adulthood.
Taboo topics/unexplored themes
I love a good villain/anti-hero. It comes as no surprise that I am a HUGE fan of darker themed books that blur the lines and push boundaries. Many indie authors have found a home in this community by writing dark, suspenseful and sometimes scary stories that many publishers shy away from.
Indie is exciting
Indie authors are taking over the book world and big publishing houses are taking notice. There are so many new authors and new books coming out everyday! It’s an exciting time in the book world and I, for one, cannot wait to see what is next in the indie community.
But….this is where the but comes in. There are some things that as a reader and a blogger that I would like Indie authors and the community as a whole to take note of. Some of these issues are disconcerting and really put indie in a bad light.
Bad Grammar/Lack of Editing
^Now there is a song to help you out!
A few weeks ago I read a post on Facebook from an indie author that was upset about bad reviews because of editing and when they were financial able to, they would hire an editor. I’m sorry if this comes off snotty or rude, but for real? I know editors cost money but this is your book! Have pride and invest in your work! At the very least, find multiple people that are capable of editing your work for free. How do you expect readers to take you seriously when you are setting yourself up for bad reviews?
Look, I’m sure many of you are reading my post and pointing out all of my own grammar mistakes, but I am not charging people to read my blog. I would not expect to go to Starbucks for a coffee and receive Maxwell House because they couldn’t afford the right beans. There are many books that I have DNF’d over the lack of editing. It’s one thing if it’s a typo here or there—published books have them too—but it’s another if the lack of editing takes me away from the story.
Preemptive synopsis warnings
This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I have no complaints about dark themes that might present triggers but PLEASE don’t tell me if there is a cliffhanger or HEA in your book/series. Many times I go in blind (i.e. glance at the blurb and start reading with no prior knowledge) but knowing beforehand what is going to happen takes away the magic for me.I understand that these warnings come at the demand of readers and to combat bad reviews but this is doing a huge disservice for those that like to be surprised. HEA’s, cliffhangers, and the like are all SPOILERS!
I hate spoilers.
Side note: readers please quit complaining about cliffhangers. They happen in almost EVERY series. That is not a gimmick. It’s a plot device used in order to get people excited/interested in the continuation of a series. If you are that worried about cliffhangers then do us all a favor and wait for the series to be complete before you start demanding authors to include it in the blurb.
I always have a hard time writing bad reviews. Mainly it’s because of the reaction of authors and fans of them that make me feel as if I just kicked a puppy. I know of quite a few authors that read and take note of bad reviews without offense. Many say that it helps them become aware of how to improve their future writings. But there are a few that take a bad review as a personal attack on them, their work, and their audience.
Critical reviews, especially those not in favor of a book, should not be demonized or exploited for personal benefit. There is an author (she-who-will-not-be-named) that has written post after post about bullying and has used that word in order to gain the sympathy of readers and generate sales.
It’s not that I don’t believe bullying exists in this community. It is been documented with published authors too, even some bullying reviewers (i.e. Emily Griffin), but this is a troubling abuse of a the word.
I hope this next one doesn’t come off as me disparaging popular reviewers or as a bad case of blogger jealousy (that’s a discussion for a different day), because I promise you that is not the reason for my next point.
As someone that follows authors on social media I find it sad that most of the reviews shared, praised or mentioned are ones from big name bloggers only. I understand that big bloggers + big follower counts=big exposure. I understand that there are literally THOUSANDS of books are released daily and getting the attention of a reviewer with a huge audience is exciting and possibly career changing. But there are plenty of blogs out there with AMAZING content. Blogs that review books in cool, interesting and thoughtful ways. Blogs that spend HOURS featuring up-and-coming books and authors on all their social media accounts. Blogs that have a great amount of followers but maybe haven’t found their audience yet.
For authors and bloggers this is a competitive market and it gets smaller and smaller when people only shed light on the few. It’s not that I think it’s possible to share all the reviews, but sometimes I wish to see one of the many blogs I follow be recognized for the content of their work and not just their follower count.