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Thread: Buying Ebooks from Self Publishers?

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    #1

    Buying Ebooks from Self Publishers?

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    Okay so this is new to me. After stumbling around Amazon I realized not all Ebooks are published by big companies and many are published by small time authors. Some of them have great reviews and others not so much, but I tend not to go by reviews much anyway. (Who knows what I'll like better than me right?!) Anyway, how do you pick from self-published authors? Do you have any special technique or do you just say "F*** It" and buy the first thing that pops up in your category?

    I'm sure there are a ton of great self-published writers, and the Ebooks run around $2.99 which is super reasonable, so even if it isn't a great book it's like spending the money on a Venti Starbucks. Anyway, just curious if you ever buy from self-publishers, and if so what has your experience been?
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    I've almost given up on self-pub stuff. I find most of the editing to be horrendous or non-existant. And frankly, a great many of them are under-cover Christian books. You get a third of the way in and realize it's basically a religious tract, proselytizing at you under the guise of a crappy story line. I'm not sure why, but the under-cover Christians seem to love to self-pub crappy books.

    But the biggest thing I look for if I am going to gamble is the description. A careful reading the description, not just for content to see if I'll like the story, but also for general writing and editing skill, tells a great deal. If there are typos, usage errors, bad punctuation, or generally awkward writing, I am out.

    I also check the reviews. If people are complaining about the quality of the writing, that tells me something. If they don't like the story, it depends on what they have to say. Not every story is for everyone, but if they say it didn't make sense (and that complaint appears frequently), as an example, then it's probably a bad book and not just a book they didn't love.

    If you want cheap e-books, look for the Amazon monthly deals, and sign up for a card at the local library (and the base library). You can check out ebooks for free and can do it without actually having to go to the library. It isn't quite as quick as buying from Amazon, but it's worth the 4 minutes it takes if it saves you $9.99 per book.
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    Usually I download the sample and buy the whole book if I like what I'm reading.
    I also read alot on fictionpress.com and many of the great writers on that site have ended up publishing the stories they posted on their fictionpress acount.

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I've almost given up on self-pub stuff. I find most of the editing to be horrendous or non-existant. And frankly, I great many of them are under-cover Christian books. YOu get a third of the way in and realize it's basically a religious tract, proselytizing at you under the guise of a crappy story line. I'm not sure why, but the under-cover Christians seem to love to self-pub crappy books.

    But some things I look for if I am going to gamble carefully reading the description, not just for content to see if I'll like the story, but also for general writing and editing skill. If there are typos, usage errors, bad punctuation, or generally awkward writing, I am out.

    I also check the reviews. If people are complaining about the quality of the writing, that tells me something. If they don't like the story, it depends on what they have to say. Not every story is for everyone, but if they say it didn't make sense (and that complaint appears frequently), as an example, then it's probably a bad book and not just a book they didn't love.

    If you want cheap e-books, look for the Amazon monthly deals, and sign up for a card at the local library (and the base library). You can check out ebooks for free and can do it without actually having to go to the library. It isn't quite as quick as buying from Amazon, but it's worth the 4 minutes it takes if it saves you $9.99 per book.
    This made me laugh because I totally understand! I like cheap books but not at the price of slowly losing my sanity weeding through grammar errors and overly cliche storylines.

    "The purpose of life is not to simply be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I've almost given up on self-pub stuff. I find most of the editing to be horrendous or non-existant. And frankly, a great many of them are under-cover Christian books. You get a third of the way in and realize it's basically a religious tract, proselytizing at you under the guise of a crappy story line. I'm not sure why, but the under-cover Christians seem to love to self-pub crappy books.

    But the biggest thing I look for if I am going to gamble is the description. A careful reading the description, not just for content to see if I'll like the story, but also for general writing and editing skill, tells a great deal. If there are typos, usage errors, bad punctuation, or generally awkward writing, I am out.

    I also check the reviews. If people are complaining about the quality of the writing, that tells me something. If they don't like the story, it depends on what they have to say. Not every story is for everyone, but if they say it didn't make sense (and that complaint appears frequently), as an example, then it's probably a bad book and not just a book they didn't love.

    If you want cheap e-books, look for the Amazon monthly deals, and sign up for a card at the local library (and the base library). You can check out ebooks for free and can do it without actually having to go to the library. It isn't quite as quick as buying from Amazon, but it's worth the 4 minutes it takes if it saves you $9.99 per book.
    Wow thanks for such a well thought out reply! Checking the description for errors is a great idea! I wouldn't want to read a book that had a lot of errors. (Though I've pushed through a few that actually had good content.) I haven't come across the undercover Christian themes yet, but can definitely see how it could happen. I love using my Kindle so am always looking for new interesting books to pick up.

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