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Do You Want to Know if a Novel is Self-Published?

CindyInOz
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Post by CindyInOz » Sun April 10th, 2011, 11:47 pm

I use HistoricalNovels to choose at least 50% of the books I read as I tend to go through 'phases', e.g French Revolution one month, Tudor England the next, and I love being able to go to your site and see an entire list of books from the era I'm currently looking at.

With regards to self published books, I definitely prefer these to be labelled as such. I will only buy a self published book if it is recomended to me by someone with similar tastes, or it has been talked about and received good reviews here or on Goodreads. I've bought and read many self published books that I've loved, but I've also spent good money on really bad ones.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon April 11th, 2011, 12:02 am

I hate to say this, because I think of books excellent books that were self-pubbed like the Traitor's Wife and Paths of Exile. But as a reader, yes, I want to know. Also very small-press books. To make an informed decision on the use of my time and $$, I would like to see how deep the vetting process has been.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Mon April 11th, 2011, 12:28 am

I'm going to start calling myself non-traditionally-published. :D

I don't see any reason not to oblige those who've said they'd rather have the listing removed if the label stays on. By all means, I would remove them. I might remove it for those who've asked nicely.

If the request of labeling them came from your readers, I think you already have your answer. It's what the readers want.
Last edited by LoveHistory on Mon April 11th, 2011, 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SarahWoodbury
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Post by SarahWoodbury » Mon April 11th, 2011, 3:35 am

Speaking as someone who has five self-published (or 'indie' pubbed) books, I think if the book made it to your site and you liked it, it shouldn't matter, right? The issue with price, fortunately, is no longer much of one with ebooks, as most indie books are 99 cents to 2.99--and with the opportunity to sample, it's hard to see how you could go wrong. Even if a reader only buys paper books, she could sample the ebook for 10 minutes on her laptop before she commits to purchasing the paper book to see if your review matches her experience.

The real conundrum, in this context, is when you have a mid-list author who has gone indie . . . they made their name already, so your readers would know and trust them, but they've gone out on their own because of the collapse of the mid-list in US publishing.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon April 11th, 2011, 4:25 am

[quote=""SarahWoodbury""]Speaking as someone who has five self-published (or 'indie' pubbed) books
[/quote]

I wrestled with that too. But the site is to serve readers, not writers. Separate from all the sampling questions (which might be valid for Amazon, but not HFinfo, as Margaret can't possibly review every book, nor does her site offer samples.)
So how would you answer as a reader? For instance, if you had to take only one book with you on a vacation, and had to select from a list of books and writers you knew nothing of and would be stuck reading the choice or going bookless, would you want to know ahead of time which were self-pubbed?

That's what I based my answer on.

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Mon April 11th, 2011, 8:41 am

[quote=""Divia""]But self published books tend to be high. So you are wasting valuable dollars on something that is less than stellar.[/quote]

Not on Kindle. Most of the indie or self published Kindle books I see are $2.99 or less. There are Kindle users who mostly only read indie books for this reason so even though there is a stigma for some readers, others specifically look for them.

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Mon April 11th, 2011, 10:03 am

Yeah, well, once again I don't have the kindle so I dunno about the price of ebooks.


But, if I did have a kindle I still wouldn't buy self published books, for the simple fact a lot tend to forget to edit. Or they edit poorly.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
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SarahWoodbury
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Post by SarahWoodbury » Mon April 11th, 2011, 3:07 pm

Yes, you're right, MLE. I thought if she put the books on her site, she had reviewed them. If that's not the case . . . then she probably should put 'indie published' next to it. If only because there is a lot of dreck out there--once again, not that traditionally published books are necessarily great--but it's hard to sift through the volume for the gems.

That said, mine are obviously wonderful ;)

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donroc
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Post by donroc » Mon April 11th, 2011, 3:24 pm

It is a rare self-published book I have read and enjoyed.

Regarding small POD indies, I am biased towards them because one published my historical novel that was generally rejected by the biggies because I did not have a "marquee" MC.

There is bookstore bias against POD thanks to the self-pubs who have burned them because their books cannot be returned. As a result, I have had many arguments with some stonehead managers and help trying to convince them to take the time to read that mine can be returned. Even the lone local chain bookseller in my area refused to put it on the shelf despite my showing mqanager the proof and my publisher calling him despite local people ordering at least a half dozen copies within months of its release.
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Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Tue April 12th, 2011, 3:41 am

For Divia's benefit...

I know a lot of self-pubbed books are really expensive, but there are some of us who make every effort to keep our prices competitive. In my case I'm not making any money either but that's ok because I'm still learning.

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