One of the problems with being a voracious reader is that it’s an expensive habit. If it wasn’t for the library, I’d be broke. My children would probably starve or—even worse—I’d have to go without Starbucks.
Like it or not, price is a factor I have to consider when buying a book, and I want value for those dollars I’m investing. Who doesn’t? Self-published books are generally less expensive than traditionally published books, at least when it comes to digital format. Sometimes they’re even free, which makes them very enticing to a voracious reader like me.
But a pattern began to emerge with some of the self-published books I bought. My excitement would dwindle as I started to read. Three pages into the book, and I’d find myself doing more editing than reading. “Than” and “then” are not interchangeable.
After a few poorly (sometimes horribly) written books, I found myself less and less willing to read indie books. I gravitated toward the traditionally published ones, thinking that if it had gone through a publisher, then it had at least been professionally edited. Yes, there are plenty of traditionally published (professionally edited) books that are less than print-worthy. I just figured my odds were better with a traditional publisher.
I admit it. It was pure laziness. I wanted someone to sift through the millions of books out there for me. The truth is that I let a few poorly written indie books ruin it for all the others, and I ruined it for myself in the process. I’m sure I deprived myself of some great reading.
Indie publishing is not what it was a couple of years ago or even what it was six months ago. Talented authors are investing the time and money it takes to produce a quality product. They learn the craft of writing and create a story worth reading. They act as a general contractor for their book, securing professional editing, formatting, and cover art. They build a frame that will make their masterpiece shine.
I’ve seen some fantastic authors emerge, authors who’ve proved that an independently published book can be just as good—or better—than a traditionally published book. A few hard-working authors restored my faith in indie publishing, and they took away my excuse for being lazy. But I’m okay with that. It’s good news for a voracious reader like me because I’m no longer limited by a publishing method. There are more books to choose from, more possibilities. Stories that might never have reached print otherwise are there for me to read. If some of those books cost a little less, then I’ll be able to buy more books and still have Starbucks once in a while. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
Do you read indie books? Do you rely on the library to satisfy your reading habit?
©2014 Kim Vandel