My thoughts on Indie books

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Yesterday I chanced upon a post that was, on the whole, critical of Indie books and the writers thereof. The view of the writer was that most bloggers and Indie authors collude together to give misleading and glowing reviews of each other books and that the books in question are often not worthy of the reviews given. To be fair, this post also mentioned that the writer had read some good Indie books.

I found this post on Sally Cronin’s amazing blog, Smorgasbord. I salute Sally for sharing this post as she is an Indie author herself who writes the most amazing books. You can read Sally’s post and the comments thereon here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-september-13th-2017-madelyn-griffith-haynie-janice-spina-and-the-non-smoking-lady-bug/?c=103230#comment-103230

I am prone to reflecting on things and the message in this post stayed in my mind overnight. Today I decided that I should share my views on Indie books, for what they are worth.

When I present to clients, regulators and even senior people within my own organisation, I find that it is useful to provide some background information about myself so that they can access whether what I have to say is worthy of their time and attention.

About me

I have always been a reader. Not just a reader, but a huge reader. When I was four years old, with a little help from others, I taught myself to read and my book adventures started. My family moved frequently during my younger years and I have lived in over twenty houses and attended fourteen different schools. By the time I was nine years old I had worked my way through nearly all the children’s books in both the school and the local library. Even though we moved often, the books at all the schools and libraries tended to be the same so moving didn’t necessarily provide new reading opportunities.

When I was eleven, I started at a convent in the small town of George in the Western Cape. I had a wonderful teacher, Sister Agatha, and she started giving me books that were difficult to come by for a child growing up in South Africa in the 80’s. These books included The Diary of Anne Frank, I am David, Fattipuffs and Thinifers, Helter Skelter, Cry the Beloved Country and many, many more. By the time I was thirteen I had read all of my Mother’s books [in secret behind the couch] and had started reading Dickens and Shakespeare with a dictionary and a modern translation. What wonderful months those were as the delightful worlds of these amazing authors unfolded before my eyes.

I did particularly well in English and Accountancy at school and decided to train to be a chartered accountant. My personal circumstances lent themselves to my studying via a correspondence course at university and working part time rather than attending full time classes at university. I was given a full scholarship for my correspondence course by the university and some additional, fully paid, tuition at a private collage. I passed my degree with distinction within the normal three year period. I then started my articles at a well-known auditing firm and studied for my Honours degree part time. I passed my Honours degree that same year.

I now work in corporate finance and I do regulatory compliance work. This means that I guide clients on the application of company law, corporate governance and listings requirements. I am well know in my field and am considered to be an expert. I also have written seven publications and fourteen news articles on the African Capital Markets and  have given significant input into the writing of certain regulatory guidelines.

The purpose of sharing this information with you is to highlight that I am a hard working, educated and well-read person who has been involved in publishing research documents and articles for many years.

How I came to be a reader of Indie books

When I had my little boys, I wanted them to share my love of reading and books. I have a massive collection of books but it didn’t take that long for me to have read every children’s book I own to my boys. They were introduced at an early age to The Famous Five, Secret Seven and every other book I could find written by Enid Blyton. I read them all the books that Sister Agatha introduced me to and some new ones such as When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. I read nursery rhymes, folk tales from around the world and fairy tales. We also read traditional tales from various African countries.

One day, there was nothing new left. I looked around and we found some wonderful modern books, Julia Donaldson’s books, the Winnie the Witch series and the Astrosaurs series. Oh, and I must not forget, the wonderful Humphrey the hamster series of books.

In my searching, however, I also came across some real duds. Books that, to me, advocated and held up as clever, rudeness, bad behaviour, laziness and insolence. These were all traditionally published books. The graphic novel wave hit and I investigated these – my shudder of horror at what I found says it all. Children picking their noses, snooping on neighbours, bunking school and bullying their peers; these were the new order of the day.

I had been dabbling in writing myself and had started a blog and it was through my blog that I first came across the concept of Indie authors. I was not familiar with the idea of self publishing. I started following lots of authors on my blog as the advice and information this community shares on their blogs amazed and helped me with my own writing. I gradually got to know a lot about each of the bloggers whose posts I read regularly and I learned about their books. Some of these bloggers wrote books for children or books that I thought I would like to read with and to my children.

A wonderful new door was opened to me on the day the first Indie book I ever read arrived. My boys and I have subsequently read many Indie books together including, inter alia, Notes from a Small Dog: Four legs on Two by Sue Vincent, Sam, a Shaggy Dog Story by Sally Cronin, Will ‘O the Wisp by C.S. Boyack and Polly’s Piralympics by Jann Weeratunga. I can tell you right here and now that there is no way I could get my son of eleven to read a book that he doesn’t like. Michael is a wonderful boy but he is, first and foremost a real boy, and reading does not feature very high on his to-do list. Michael loved all of these books and many others. The time we spend reading together has increased and my older son, Gregory, often pops in to listed to the stories too. Greg is also a big fan of Indie author Colin Garrow. I am going to mention here that Greg is also a very big reader and was part of the team that represented South Africa at the Kid’s Literature Quiz last year.

Indie books and me

About five years ago, I suffered modern book burn-out. I just could not get through any books that I purchased from a book shop. The books all seemed very similar and I could usually work out the entire plot by the time I was one-third of the way through the book. I stopped buying recent books and reverted to classical books. Over the course of a four year period I read my way through Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Scarlett Letter, A Journal of the Plague Year, all the Dickens books, all the Agatha Christie books, John Wyndhams books, War and Peace and a lot more.

At the same time I discovered Indie books for my boys, I also discovered them for myself. Indie books have rekindled my pleasure in reading modern books. I have rediscovered a world of unusual books and books about peoples lives. These books often make me feel as if I have climbed into the very skin of the characters and am walking at their side, feeling their emotions and thinking their thoughts. I have also found so many wonderful poets who blog and who have written books of poetry. I feel I have so much to thank the Indie author community for; their support and kindness but mainly for reigniting in me a love of reading that was slipping away.

One last thing, if you have managed to read this far, the little figurines at the top of this page, Hear No Evil, See No Evil and Say No Evil, were inspired by Teagan Geneviene and her lovely posts about Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam. You can read the latest post here: https://teagansbooks.com/2017/09/08/thistledown-midsummer-bedlam-9/.

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Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town

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115 thoughts on “My thoughts on Indie books

  1. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Robbie Cheadle is responding to a post this week that has given many of us in the Indie author community some food for thought. Not least that there are still readers who believe that if you are not published by a recognised mainstream publisher, the books that you write are not worth buying and that any reviews that you receive are from your friends and family and not worth paying attention to. It is a multi-layered issue which Robbie now covers very succinctly in her post today. I think the main point that I take away from all of this is that we have to make sure that what we do publish is of the highest quality in all aspect of writing and design. And to keep writing. #recommended

    Liked by 14 people

  2. Excellent post, Robbie. I think I read the post to which you referred and though it annoyed me I let it go. I do get irritated with people moaning about Indie authors’ badly written books. No one is forcing them to buy. It’s very easy to check out the first part of the book through Look Inside or Download a Sample. If they don’t like what they read they don’t have to buy. I suspect some of the moaners have their own agenda though I don’t know what it is.
    Anyway, well done you for sticking up for Indie authors. I suspect you felt pretty good when you write that post 🙂

    Liked by 12 people

  3. Dear Robbie, your “two cents’ worth” (as we used to say) is worth a million dollars to me. This was eloquent, and well organized. I enjoyed hearing about your professional history. I humbly thank you for mentioning me. I am really having a thriving Thursday now! Thrive on, my friend!

    Liked by 8 people

  4. You have said what i think very well. I’ve felt for some time that a number of well known authors are badly edited by their publishers desperate to get their books out there. If we Indies as Sally says maintain the highest standards there’s no reason to think the works are unworthy.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Geoff. I agree that it is important to present edited and proofed works but in saying that I find plenty of spelling and other mistakes in Traditionally published books. We had a book store chain locally recall a book due to [very] bad editing.

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  5. There are books published by “traditional” methods that are positively hideous just as there self/indie published books that would make better door stops. Thank you for your message, may it encourage those who write, to publish and those who have published, to be proud of their efforts!

    Liked by 8 people

  6. The only part of the original article that I will admit I took offense to was the suggestion that indie publishing is akin to taking a shortcut. While the process may be shorter for some it is in no way guaranteed to be easier. Like going over a mountain from point a to b rather than through the woods around it. I like you found myself reading the same story line over and over and decided to venture elsewhere if only to allow myself the feeling of being surprised. My decision to give these books a try was even easier when I saw how much further my dollar could go. Sometimes the result was good, sometimes it was terribly bad, but it was at least different.

    But the point of the post, as I read it, was her wish for a trustworthy rating system for books. It exists in three places – your gut, your heart, and your friends. The rest is just $s, 1s and 0s.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you, Allie. I am glad you have had the same experience of difference and uniqueness with Indie books that I have. I have only read one book that disappointed me so far but, as I said, I tend to read a lot of posts by the author before buying the book so I know that I like the writing style.

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  7. Great post. I agree–there are some real stinkers out there in the indie world. But there are also some terrific reads. And I used to end up giving away most of the trade published books I bought. So if I ended up being disappointed in many of those, I shouldn’t expect universal success in the indie world, either.

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  8. Robbie well argued and presented case. Mary has a point. There can be glowing recommendations but all you need to do is read the first few pages on Amazon to get a feel for the book as something you would enjoy. And indie has provided a way out of the stranglehold publishers and literary agents had on authors. I have read trad published books with rave reviews and they were tripe and no doubt I will also read indie books that are the same. But that is no reason for dismissing the huge amount of talent now available that would not exist but for the indie publishing movement.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Thank you, Paul, for adding your thoughts. I am lucky, I have read mainly wonderfully imaginative and delightful Indie books. That may be my choice of genre which is people and their lives and fantasy. I didn’t like the general dismissive tone of the original post. You can’t just dismiss millions of books as all being rubbish. Everything in life that is worth having requires effort, including finding good authors and books. Have a lovely day.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think it is a very difficult– as Sally says multi layered and Annette equally hints at–issue. There are books on both sides of the fence here that give both these sides a very bad name. (Then there’s publishers who give publishers a bad name which is why, having been traditionally published I’m looking at Indie.) Last week I was approached by the kind of Indie author–I just happened to personally know–who makes it extremely difficult for the majority of Indie authors who work every bit as hard and write every bit as well as a traditionally published author, Indie authors who put money into editing and covers etc. This particular ‘author’ who has chucked their book on Amazon, does not have a twitter account, an author’s facebook page, blog, website, anything but was hoping to be interviewed on my blog. There were twenty punctuation errors in the blurb alone. and did I mention that in the email this person said they had four five star reviews from friends but Amazon had not cottoned on and now was blocking their reviews. After unbunching my toes I said, ‘no,’ because some of my followers buy the books of those the hamstah dudes interview. To invite this kind of ‘author’ would only make it hard for those coming behind whether traditionally or indie published but probably by and large, indie authors take flack generated by these types of people when there’s some pretty bad publishing houses out there too. For me, it’s high time Amazon introduced some kind of quality control on any book that comes their way in terms of ten, twelve basic errors per page and also as a publishing house does, ask to see the social media presence which shows that an author, regardless of how they are published, is a professional.
    Sorry to witter on Robbie but was chatting behind the scenes earlier this week on this very topic xx

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Thanks for joining in Shey. Of course you are right, there are bad books everywhere. Amazon could not reasonably vet every book that goes onto their system; it is not practical for such a vast array of books. Possibly they could do random spot checks of quality [like the stock exchanges do]. I am fortunate, I have found the books through the authors and not vice versa so maybe that is why my experience has been good to date.

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  10. My husband published his own book which his clients had been asking for when he was unable to get a publisher interested. My daughter thoroughly edited it for him and a friend did the design. So while I agree that there are many awful books out there, both traditional and independently published, sometimes publishing it yourself gets the information into the hands of people who need it.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. I just left a horribly long comment on Sally’s post so will just say that I did read the original post but did not feel it was balanced in any way (despite her throw-away comment that there were some good indie books). That was buried in so much negativity, it was lost.

    I have read some terrible self-published books. And some amazing ones. I have read some terrible traditionally published books. And some amazing ones. I love Sally’s comment about just making sure our work is the best it can be (high quality) and getting it out there. 🙂

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  12. Thoughtful post, Robbie. I read the same post and decided not to respond. I have been traditionally published but couldn’t get my head around the general nature of the criticisms of indie books. You did a great job explaining your love of books.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you, John, for popping in and sharing your thoughts. At the end of the day it is all about having freedom of choice. I think this is limited in the traditional publishing world because of the nature of corporate and the need for a book to be a fairly sure thing as far as its story line goes. I don’t think this approach works well in the genre of books that I love best.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. Enjoyed every word here/ and whew – u are a true reader – I think here are causal readers – growing readers – speed readers – even speed skimmers – hah – but certain folks are true “book readers” and they really fall into a special category – I did not know this was you until this post – I knew you were an artist and author – and nice blog pal – anyhow –
    Also loving what u noted about indie authors here.
    I agree
    And I find the same thing with music – we were just jamming to a song by a local guy who self-pubbed and it was amazing and fresh!
    To me the difference in authors has to do with contracts and deadlines – but not in skill and quality (as you noted) – although some indie publishers might have lesser quality output – (as in maybe letting typos go at times – or having editing and layout bumps – cos – well there was not a team of folks working on the project)
    Anyhow- great post

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Yvette. You comment and thoughts are very interesting and I realized that when I read I don’t really even notice things like the cover and layout [other than peripherally], I am absorbed by the content of the book and writing. I think I see the heart rather than the fleshy shell. What you say is true that Indie authors don’t have the same resources available as traditionally published authors do but often, the books are well edited and presented even so. Have a wonderful day.

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      1. yes- I would say that most are well-edited and with the “cover creator options” and digital world we live in – well most Indie books look identical.
        and I personally love the options and might even say at times we get “better material” from an author because they can do their own thing. Just reading that Louis L’Amour was restricted to publishing two books a year – and finally allowed three by the publisher – and well, I need to read more cos I think he went to two publishers –
        but Indie authors get to move away from restrictions that might hinder.
        For example, during Louis’ prime writing years – he might have been able to whip out 8 or 9 books. It has to do with flow and tapping the skill. And so maybe publsihers nowadays allow for erratic pacing, but it seems that they schedule and it is really about marketing. Now sure, marketing has a place, esp. for those that need to make money with their books – but gray areas develop – as I know you know.
        ahhh – I could go on, but think that was enough.
        and again, I really enjoyed reading about your background and your seasoned view of literature! and congrats to the son on the lit quiz. 🙂

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  14. Good post Robbie. Yes, bad books exist from both trads and self published. I’ve read a few Indie books that badly needed it editing and couldn’t finish them. But I thought the stigma on Indie books was changing in the last year or so and sad to see there are still trollish people categorizing them under one lump sum. In the beginning of the Indie revolution anyone thought they could write a book and publish it, and they could, even if it was a pile of crap. Those people have been called out plenty and made to feel inferior. A lot of people self publishing say they can’t afford an editor or a cover artist, and a lot of those people found out after how important those elements were. Yes, many of us don’t make anywhere near from our books to live off of but my thought is, publishing books is a business whether we’re the writer or not, and like any other business, you have to put up some money to make some in the long run. So when I read trashing posts lumping all Indies together it pisses me off, especially when they say reviews are fake. I have no clue who most of my readers are that leave reviews and have never had a bad word about editing, and I’m sure most of us have no clue about the people that have reviewed them. So I found that post very degrading, demeaning and ignorant.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I think that you raise a good point, Debby. You can’t lump millions of books together and just write them off. It is the responsibility of the reader to read the introduction to the book [Amazon allows for this] and to determine the quality and story line prior to purchase. I must be very honest and say that I have very rarely read a review of a book on Amazon prior to purchase. My purchase choices have come about from a relationship with the author and exposure to their writing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for responding Robbie. Exactly. There is a look inside feature where you can get a feel for a book and the product description (blurb). I do enjoy reading reviews on every book I buy. I like to see different people’s spin on the book. If it has mostly 4-5 stars and the odd low star review, that doesn’t deter me, but I like to read the low rated just to see why they are different, and most usually it’s vague or nonsensical pertaining to the book. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Excellent thoughts and discussion, Robbie. I must say I have read very few badly written Indy books. I have ethics and standards and do not spend my time writing reviews on books that I believe I can’t rate. I have turned away guest posts and reviews if I thought the book or post was not up to par. Misleading readers will get us nowhere. Now, I also try to see the positive in everything. The non-smoking lady, who is not an author, has no idea what goes into the writing of a novel. It’s a shame she has not engaged in our group of authors who support and assist other writers. Obviously she is missing that sense of community. She could have learned a few things. 😘❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Colleen. Your words are very true. I was so lucky to meet Sally Cronin and through her such a wonderful group of authors and bloggers. I have been fortunate and only read one or two Indie books that I didn’t enjoy and couldn’t rate. I have given loads of unfinished traditionally published books to second hand book shops though. I find it interesting that no-one so far has commented on the content of traditional vs Indie. I have found some very disturbing books out their for children, as I said.

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      1. I used to buy my books through the local Walmart store because the prices were decent. All of those books were traditionally published and with the exception of J.K. Rowling (I own all of her books in hardcover) I’ve found few worth their salt. I had our youngest granddaughter give me some YA fantasy books she enjoyed so I could gage the content and writing. One of the books is visually stunning, with colorful borders on each page and fancy type. Yet, the story was juvenile to a young teens intelligence. The rest of the books are all right, but I’ve read much more engaging YA stories published by independent authors. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I don’t think that the traditional publishing house provides any guarantee of quality or that their idea of a bestseller necessarily aligns with what I want to read. I’ve read wonderful indie books and horrible ones just as I’ve read superb books from major publishers and horrible ones from the same major publishers. Writing is so personal for the author and the reader, there is no easy grading system. Things resonate with people for all different reasons and someone might love a book I can’t finish. In fact, I have it on good authority that millions of people loved a series I both couldn’t finish and credit with making my physically ill!

    As a recently self-published author, I’d like to find these friends that will write glowing reviews about my work. So far I’ve sent six copies into the world and received one positive review. Four positive reviews came from people that read the book on their own and reviewed under no prompting from me. One review was from a friend and no offense to her good intention, I rather wish she hadn’t written on Amazon that she’s “real happy” that I “finally wrote the novel” I always talked about. I think it’s commonly accepted that if you don’t have anything nice to say about a book you don’t say anything at all. So a book with a bunch of positive reviews might have had even more people that read and chose not to say what they thought. I’m okay with that. I don’t feel the need to crush other people’s dreams and can understand when something just doesn’t reasonate with me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Joey, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I think you have expressed your views very well. I agree, that it is best not to generalize as there is good and bad everywhere. You have to sift through and find the good things in life. All the very best with your writing.

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  17. Well said! I agree with you Robbie, it is unfair to judge indie authors without actually reading what they write and whether they are comparable to traditionally published ones. Whosoever passes that judgment is like a pond frog whose thinking cannot transcend beyond the water body he lives by. 🙂
    I have read some wonderful books by fellow bloggers.
    Many thanks for articulating the thoughts of indie writers who support each other. Such muck should strengthen our resolve to be successful and better. Stay blessed!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Balroop. I think the content of many Indie books is different to traditional books as Indie authors have free reign over what they write. My understanding, from friends in the industry, that traditional publishing now, as a business that aims to make money, is very perspective in its requirements for a book.

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  18. Reblogged this on Didi Oviatt and commented:
    Such an excellent message, from a very well-read and successful woman!. Robbies Inspiration blog has an amazing outlook on Indi published books! I love everything about this post! Especially as an Indi author. I too have read excellent books both traditionally and independently published, as well as very poorly written or run of the mill on both sides of the fence. This is definitely a must read post, with much thought and care etched in!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Like you, I am a prolific reader and have been since I was 3. I also went to Unisa. I worked all the way through my honours degree so I know how difficult that is. At one stage many now popular author would have been considered indie writers. I’ve self published and it’s harder but more rewarding. Well written post Robbie.

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  20. This was a helpful postRobbie. As a fairly new blogger who hopes to publish a book someday I’ve wrestled with the legitimacy of self publishing. Ultimately it’s out of my budget and part of me longs for the experience of being courted by a publishing house (oh dear, this probably means I still seeking external validation…sigh, human after all). The comments made for an interesting read as well. There are many good things about artists taking expression into their own hands. Turns out it truly is ALL good. 😉

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    1. Keep aiming for your dreams. People self publish for various reasons and not lonely because they can’t be published by a traditional publisher. Some people like to have total control over their books and retain ownership of all their rights and this isn’t possible in traditional publishing.

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  21. Excellent post, Robbie, and thanks for the mention (always appreciated). I don’t think indie authors will ever be free of the notion that we can’t write, can’t spell and can’t tell a story to save our lives. Thankfully, there are plenty of folk who know this is only true of a very small minority and that most of us do have at least a smidgen of actual talent. Long live indie.

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  22. Great post, Robbie, and so lovely to learn more about you and your reading journey. I read that post over at Sally’s too, and then popped over and read the original and the comments, including Sally’s. I’m an eclectic reader. I read a variety of material. I wouldn’t hazard a guess at percentages, but I read a lot of Indie books as well as a lot of traditionally published books. In each category I have read great stuff that I love, and horrid stuff that makes me cringe. I think to label one group better than the other fails to take in the trash that we overlook in bookstores, that is sold at cheaper and cheaper prices before it finds its way to landfill. Why can there be hundreds of crap traditionally published books in a bookstore that get no mention and don’t become the yardstick for all traditionally published books, but read one poorly written Indie book and paint all other with the same brush? There’s good and bad everywhere. As with everything one must choose wisely and not make generalisations. Quality varies even within a single writer’s work.

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    1. Hi Norah, what you say is true. From a presentation point of view, Indie books are not always as good as traditionally published as there is a learning curve. Indie authors also have to pay for their own design and covers, etc. The quality of the actual writing is often very good. That is what I really appreciate.

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  23. I think self publishing has a lot to recommend it. In my opinion some not all traditionally published books tend to be formulaic. Indie books allow stories to be read which might never have been read. Sometimes the quality might not be up to standard but as said by previous commentators there is a look inside on Amazon. If you don’t like what you’re reading stop reading It! Equally some traditionally published books have errors, or are just not my cup of tea. I read and enjoy a wide range of both traditionally and self published books. I know what I like and I ignore what I don’t. It really isn’t difficult to make an informative judgment.

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  24. Thanks, Robbie. I’ve also loved reading all my life and I know what I like and what I don’t. I’ve read fabulous books traditionally published and great indie books too, and neither thing is a guarantee of quality or of low-quality. As a writer, I know my books can’t compare to some of the best books I’ve read (not even the passable books I’ve read), but I like to write stories and I’m happy if anybody finds them interesting enough to read. Most of my friends are not particularly interested in what I write and those who are don’t post reviews in places like Amazon, so. It is true I have been approached by people offering 5 star reviews for a price, or exchanging reviews, but there are tricksters everywhere.
    I have author friends who, after publishing independently signed contracts with big publishing companies, and ended up far worse than before (as they couldn’t use all the marketing techniques they had learned to sell their books, and the company in question was only interested in spending money to promote some of their big authors).
    I wondered why the blogger in question was so interested in that particular website about books. It is clear that if a book only gets mentioned if it has been reviewed on commercial sites or big press, indie books aren’t going to make it there at all.
    Everybody is entitled to their own opinions and if what they were looking for was plenty of comments, they’ve achieved their objective.
    Thanks so much Robbie. Keep writing and reading. And baking!

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    1. ‘And This Year’s Indie Publishing Prize for creating one of the most relevant and heartfelt discussions goes to….’

      A hush descends. A quiet so dense it blankets the auditorium like fog. The sound of the gold envelope being torn open ricochets like gunshot through the vast open space. There are a few nervous coughs. A giggle is quickly stifled as frowning faces turn to the culprit, who whispers a shame-faced apology.

      The presenter clears her throat, gathers herself, and pauses (tick, tick, tick) before announcing with a smile…
      ‘Robbie Cheadle for her ‘My thoughts on Indie Books.’

      Rapturous applause erupts!

      In short great discussion Robbie, really enjoyed this!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you for you comments, Olga. I can tell from your reviews that you are a big reader and that you have a taste for the unusual. I have read some of the books you have reviewed an certainly echo your thoughts on them. It is always best in life to have an open mind about things.

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  25. Very well said, Robbie. Yes, there are some poorly written indie books out there, but there are also well-written, highly original, engrossing novels as well. And I very much agree with your statement about so many traditional books sounding alike. It seems as if they come in waves of popularity (right now in YA it’s fighting for the crown or space), but indie books offer much more variety, in my opinion. I didn’t see the post on Sally’s blog, but I’m on my way over.

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  26. I had the same experience, Robbie, though inspired differently. I started reading Indie’s because I liked the authors–much as you’d read a friend’s book because they’re, well, a friend. I found they were great, without the formulaic approach that agents and publishers think we-all want. They are wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. I liked your three fondant creations at the top: see no evil, hear no evil and especially speak no evil.

    As far as indie publishing goes, it is not going away no matter what anyone says about it. That means traditional publishers will face competition from these indie publishers for the readers’ time and interest if not financial resources to buy the products.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. This is an excellent response to those critical of Indie authors. I have read some excellent Indie books as well as some poor ones – my fault for not checking them out before I purchased. For the last 3 years I’ve read Indie book exclusively, because, like you, I tired of traditionally published books by best-selling authors that are totally predictable. I agree with Sally that we Indie authors have to conduct our business of writing and publishing in a professional manner. I think that Indie authors who edit themselves are doing themselves and their books a disservice. Our books need a professional edit by a person with fresh eyes. Some of us may be able to edit other writers’ books – but not our own. Thanks, Robbie!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are right, John. I have used a professional editor for my last two books. I picked up an error in my second book, now corrected, after all the proofing and reading by family and friends and that is when I decided to go professional as they pick up things other people don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I have been so blessed to discover through fellow bloggers, a wealth of indie books, so much so that I had to self-publish one myself. The whole process of self-publishing is difficult and that does not include the writing part. Your post is right on and certain books do look and feel alike over time as trends allow. So with the mountain of challenge and difficulty, would an indie author purposely publish a junk book? It’s rhetorical of course, as there are terrible self-published books out there (I’ve unfortunately read a couple). Thank goodness they were free or cheap but I won’t read those authors again. There are millions of would-be writers out there just like there are performing artists and visual artists who self-promote. The world is a better place for the creative energy we all share. And LOVE your fondants, speaking of creativity and talent, Robbie! Bravo on this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Terri. There is so much wonderful talent out there and, of course, there are those that don’t put the required effort in. That is the case for all jobs in this life. Thank you for your thoughts and kind comments about my art. They are appreciate.

      Like

  30. Hi Robbie! I appreciate your two scents and I agree with you too. Like you, I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I’ve read my share of good and bad books from both traditional and self-published authors. However, I do feel that we as indie authors should hold ourselves to higher standards. I haven’t read Sally’s post yet, but I will now. Thank you for the lovely post❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for adding your thoughts to this conversation, Vashti. From the comments you will have seen that this is very dear to may hearts. Any author should always strive to ensure their work is edited and presented to the best of their ability.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree, but would be surprised how many indie authors don’t bother to get their work properly edited. It’s hard to believe because that is not the case in our circles, but too many skip the editing process––this is where our problem lies. Everyone needs beta readers and a professional editor. 🙂 100%

        Like

  31. I have just read that article, and thought it was wrong to suggest that the good reviews that Indie authors received were all written by relatives and blogging friends!
    I have read some fantastic Indie books, and have many more on my TBR list that I am looking forward to reading.
    I agree with you Robbie that Indie authors have something a little different to offer the reader, but that in no way means that it is any the less worthy! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I must be honest, Judy. I find it really hard to get my family and friends to read my books let alone write a review of them. I would steer clear of that anyway as I prefer to get the opinions of people unrelated to me. I have read amazing Indie books and am a big fan.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Thank you thank you thank you for opening up this conversation for us all to be part of. And thanks to Sally also. You did an excellent job of putting together your essay on the values of Indie publishing. I am an avid reader as you are. I read at least a book a week. And I read both trade published books and Indie books and I have enjoyed the writing and the stories within both. I believe in the value and the necessity and the superior quality of many self published books. I better, since I’m one of those self-published authors!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Hi Robbie and happy Saturday!
    I’m working on the Thistledown episode for next Friday and I was able to add a part for Glitter Shimmerling. I set it up to fit your delightful Hear, See, Speak No Evil figures. Is it okay if I use your photo?
    Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

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