Thursday, January 20, 2011

ebooks - self published mixed with the non

I posted this on my new blog but I'll mention it here too: I''m irritated by the way B&N mixes self published ebooks and regular ebooks all together, side-by-side on their website and when you browse on the Nook (or I guess just "Nook" - they don't want you to say "the"). This makes for a disaster in my opinion. I'd posted images of some of the covers - very amateurish. One must imagine that the text also mirrors the covers - as in needing much editing, etc. I find this insulting. Is this what they think of published books? That all the editing and design and illustrating means nothing because they'll just throw them along with something that someone did without 10 or more years of training.

Well, this is the impression that I get and I don't like it. Not one bit. This is just one of the many reasons that I don't like where ebooks are headed.



Anonymous said...

Meghan, I respect and follow your opinions about the publishing business. Here are some fun ideas for dealing with the infestation of self-published books:

1. Force them to ride in the back of the bus, I mean search results
2. Do not do business with ebook stores that deal with "those" kind of books.
3. Mandate the stores to print a big star on the covers of self-published books, so we can easily recognize them from a distance and steer our kids away.

Just kidding of course.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with self published books at all. I probably worded it like I do. I just don't think they should be sold with regular books BECAUSE they're not in stores. I always come out sounding like a jerk. I don't know. Maybe I am.

meghan "the jerk"

Anonymous said...

No, I take it back. Why am I always apologizing? Bookstores do not carry self published books for a reason in their stores. Why? Because they're not vetted. It's only reasonable to assume that the same rules should apply to ebooks.

Let's put it this way: Would you want your child to read a book with bad grammar? How about a book with incorrect information? OR WORSE? A book must be flagged before it will be taken down. A child could see it first!

Something to think about.


kelly andrews said...

It's a feature, not a bug. Many people think that the wide selection of ebooks is an advantage. Others see noise.

I think you're wrong about why bookstores don't carry self-published books. They don't do it because self-published books:

*Don't have good distribution
*Aren't returnable
*Aren't likely to sell in large enough quantities to justify limited shelf space

As ebooks mature, I'm sure someone will come up with a better way to sort them. (And I'm not an ebook person or a self-pub person -- I like them the old-fashioned way too :) ).

Anonymous said...

also - some self published books are insanely expensive: like a 24 page paperback picture book for $24.95

and that is stapled like a pamphlet, not even bound.

Meghan McCarthy said...

Bookstores are only going to carry books that sell. There's no way most self published books will sell because there's not enough demand for them... if any. And you're correct that they have to be at the right warehouse and all of that. If a book isn't returnable usually the customer will have to "prepay" for it. I have worked for a bookstore for 9 years and counting so I do know some things about this. There needs to be a barcode and blah blah blah. We have on occasion carried a few self published titles (one that was literally stapled together) that was given a dummy code - basically, I think, because the manager thought the "author" was attractive (or so I heard). Maybe he just felt like being nice. I'm not really sure. Anything can be done if the store feels like it. The book was only sold in the store for one day and I think it sold no copies.

I wonder about that 24.95 paperback. Does anyone think that it will sell?

I know there are dedicated self-published folks out there who make sure that their books are ready to go to market, etc. but there are also people who write terrible stuff! Just browse the ebooks for a little bit and see for yourself! It's scary! You can tell from some of the blurbs that the grammar is terrible, etc.

Also, a trend is to take a published book that is in the public domain and put a new cover on it and sell that for 99 cents. Those things are ALL OVER THE PLACE.