An Indie Hits Back

There is a thread on the Amazon Kindle Forum at the moment causing many a ruffled feather amongst us Indie Authors. The originator of the discussion is a bloke called Greg who is not enamoured of self-published e-books:

“Is there some way to hide them or weed them out when browsing and searching. It’s annoying to have to wade through all that garbage which has multiplied like a rat infestation in the Kindle store.”

In case anyone didn’t get the point, he clarified his position:

“I ask for a simple feature to toggle off the raw sewage of customer self-uploads for my searching and browsing pleasure…”

And just in case we were left in any doubt:

“…I am especially interested in eliminating the indie-chaff completely from my browsing experience.”

Oh dear, and how would you describe Indie authors?

“…a gaggle of pathetic nobodies hoping to make a buck. I bet they tell people at parties that they are ‘writers.’ LOL!”

Such heat! What has caused this all-encompassing dislike of Indie authors and their work? Has Greg had bad experiences of Indie Books? How many has he read?

“I’d rather have a poke in the eye with a sharp stick than sample self-published drivel.”

In fairness to Greg, I have lifted his quotes from a very long discussion – some fifty-three pages at the moment. However, in fairness to myself and other Indie Authors, I doubt if he would deny that they are representative of his views.

Greg calls himself an avid reader and sets great store by the correct use of grammar, punctuation and spelling. He gets agitated when other posters in the forum submit posts that have basic mistakes:

“Misspelling poll as “pole” and using a double negative (“not never”) are not typos; they are errors.”

He agreed to read a sample of an Indie book but came to grief very early on:

“There is misspelling on the first page. Why should anyone take you seriously anymore?”

“For those indies who have called me a snob, I admit it. My standards for literature are set very high.”

So here we have someone who would like to segregate all Indie books from traditionally published books. Is this because Indie books are universally bad? Is the writing, the spelling, the grammar etc. so inferior to that found in traditionally published books? Is all Indie writing crap?

“I have noted that not all indie writing is crap.”

“And to repeat a point that keeps needing to be made apparently, no one is saying that all legit novels are good or that all self-published writing is bad.”

Ok, so what is your problem, then? Could it be that you don’t like Indie Authors because they have chosen not to be dictated to by the big 6 publishing houses? Could it be that? Let’s have another listen at what Greg has to say:

“All are fine, just as long as they weed out the self-published.”

“Yes, that’s fine. Just as long as they don’t self-publish their own books.”

You know, Greg, I find I really can’t take you seriously. You seem to have misunderstood why writers follow the path of self-publishing. The truth is that the big 6 publishers cream off only a very small percentage of the writing on offer (those examples which they think will be the most profitable to them) and leave behind many, much better works.

The publishers go for the lowest common denominator of readers (the majority) and it would seem that you must fall into this category; ignorant of the often more artistically appealing work of the rejected authors and favouring the clinically edited, sterile mainstream pap.

I take it also that, in terms of music, you would rather vegetate to the over-produced, impossibly perfect studio output of top ten artists than expand your obviously blinkered mind in the presence of a live band. In any case you are siding with the profiteering establishment of big time book publishers and record producers, who are more concerned with the money they rake in than with the artistic value of their products.

I suggest you throw away your Kindle and buy your books in a supermarket. Their selection should suit you perfectly.

By Ellen Ghyll (proud to be an Indie)

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