I got a new Amazon review this week that I’m really proud of.
It’s my first four-star review, and of course that stings a bit, but that part of it was inevitable. It’s actually nice to finally have one of those, I think. No one keeps a perfect record forever. (But, that’s enough, world. You can resume the endless avalanche of perfect reviews now. *cough*)
Anyway, here’s the part that I’m really happy to read:
“[O]ften it is easy to see why any given writer *had* to self publish (and often seemingly without any editor). That is definitely not the case here. The writing was intense, compelling and intelligent.”
– Beth C.
Self-publishing is a frightening and exhilarating experience. I’m still coming to terms with everything it means for me: how much work it creates, how much risk it entails, how much reward there is.
But one thing I still have not experienced is any kind of shame or embarrassment for self-publishing, and this review is acknowledging my reasons why. I produced a good book. It is well written, it’s formatted well, it’s reasonably priced, and your average reader in the appropriate genre will not be able to tell the difference between the Kindle book I published, and one published by a massive traditional publisher.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The first part of the review is true as well – namely, that a lot of self-published work is, frankly, terrible. I’ve encountered it repeatedly myself, and it even threatened to turn me off to self-published works at one point. You do need to be careful when you’re considering a self-published novel. Certainly reading through the sample is warranted, and checking the other reviews. But it says a lot about the market that we are reaching a point where self-published authors can produce work of indistinguishable quality from those produced by traditional publishers.
Not everyone shares this view; I’ve run into a few roadblocks already, trying to promote Alex, where people are unwilling to review it or look at it because it is self-published. This chafes, obviously, but in my heart of hearts I can’t hold it against them. The self-published market has a lot of crap, and that’s just the truth. Standing out in a sea of mediocre work and fighting against the stigma is not easy. But it’s my fight, and I can approach it my way, and I’m not encountering anything I didn’t expect going in.
So thank you, Beth C. Your review meant a lot to me, and I’m glad Alex met with your editorial expectations. I would accept nothing less.