Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Metamorphosis of Indie and Trad Pubbed Books in 2017

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today, my curious side has hold of me, and it's led me to ask of you something I've noticed myself. If you're ready for some thought-provoking, grab some coffee (or tea or whatever), and let's get going.

As you may know, I've been doing a lot of tangible book reading lately. Simply put, they were easy for me to read and not be distracted by texts or any manner of other things work related coming through. Silence is, in fact, golden. Plus, my MS crazy eyes seem to like print more than digital. Go figure.

Anyway, in preparation for that trip I went on, I moseyed into a bookstore and bought a couple of trad pubbed reads. Okay, it was a bunch, but that's neither here nor there. Now, I also snagged an Indie book while I was on my buying tear. Here's a shot of the trad pubbed books I snagged (my Indie title hadn't come in yet):

Also in my big pile was The Circle, but I bought it on the previous trip, so it wasn't pictured in my haul for that day. I read Keeper of Crows by Casey L. Bond when it first released, and I ordered Keeper of Souls from her because I was invested in the story and wanted more. First book was amazing. Second one was scheduled to be read while I was traveling. It DID come in before I left, so that was awesome.

Before I started thinking about what books I'd bring, I'd blazed through Red Queen and the little novella from that series, Cruel Crown, so I got (what I thought were) the last two in that series as well.

I took my pile of books and hit the road (yay)!

First up was Vitro. I was super interested in the premise of the story, but put it down several times because the editing was so very bad.

While waiting on the courage to pick it back up and try again, I read some of Glass Sword. I bumped into a couple of inconsistencies in that book that had me rolling my eyes, so I went back to Vitro and finished it.

Then, I moved on to Keeper of Souls (which I read in about 8 hours and ADORED).

Because I was annoyed with the Red Queen series, I went on to try The Circle. That title was abandoned for.e.ver after just fifty pages or so. Back to Glass Sword I went, and I finished it and King's Cage (laborious reading right there), and that ending had me throwing the book on the damned floor. I found out only later there's another one in the works (I mean, REALLY?).

I'm nervous to even crack the cover on The Diabolic because of the quality of the other trad pubbed books I've gotten hold of. I love the cover so much...

Anyway, all this reading caused me to stop and ponder. Why did the Indie book breeze by while I plodded and struggled through the trad pubbed options?

While on the phone with my bestie and writing/business partner, Tia, today, she mentioned that she thought trad pubbed books have declined in quality because they're rushing to press. Why? In order to keep up with the Indie market.

Indie authors are publishing books at an astronomical rate, and their quality has jumped ahead by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Meanwhile, trad pubbed books seem to be getting worse (if you MUST have an example of the kinds of things I found, I'll dig them up, but this isn't me being nitpicky, I swear).

Are Indies getting better because we've become more educated about what we should and shouldn't publish? Or, perhaps it's the rise of Indie run and Indie focused editing houses (like IBGW) that are making the difference?

This leads me to open the floor to you all.

Have you noticed the change? What book(s) did it for you? What do you think is causing the shift?

If you think I'm just crazy, feel free to tell me that, too.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

14 comments:

  1. I so agree with you. I have been disenchanted with traditionally published books lately, and it's kept me firmly in the indie world. If quality is what the trad industry was banking on for differentiating their books, they are failing. Sadly. Indie quality is on an upswing for the most part.

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    1. There's rarely anything new, and what is new I find it to be the same old tropes in different words. Indies are bringing some serious creativity to the world right now.

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  2. My daughter has been disappointed in her recent traditionally published reads. She's a teenager so she wont' read anything I suggest but I've been happy with my indie reads

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    1. Oh man. She needs to listen to her mama for once! LOL

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  3. I rarely read traditional published books anymore. They quality isn't as good and they feel a little too cookie cutter.

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    1. YES! That's exactly it. I've also been disappointed with the level of detail paid to the writing. It's as though they believe anyone will buy and read anything. Indies have learned, through several missteps, that readers demand quality. Thanks for the comment!

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  4. I like both, but I've found that the trade books that are really hyped by the publishers seldom live up to their expectations. There is excellent writing all along the publishing spectrum, unfortunately, not everyone has the fortune of visibility that some authors do. For the record, I'd say try Diabolic, I really liked it, but know it's part of a series, not a standalone.

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    1. YES! I just find more excitement in the Indie books I've read, I guess. LOL! Yeah, it is. I'm gonna wait until the series is done before I start it. Thanks for the warning! <3

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  5. Wow! Thank you for reading mine, Jo and for the mention. While I love books in general, I definitely think the days of considering Indie books sub-par are over. I think there is room for everyone to produce stories of quality. <3

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    1. ABSOLUTELY! I wish the trad-pubbers would realize it, too. :)

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  6. I think you are spot on. I have a hard time reading any trad pub YA today because I feel like they have become A. Formulaic and B. terribly, terribly written. I've read some that were so bad, I literally flipped to the front pages to see what publisher let this go to press. What really irritates me is when these books consistently get 5 stars despite their clunky plot lines, editing issues and poor writing simply because they are trad pub. I've veered away from the trad pub YA genre almost entirely now and stick with my indies. It's not just about solidarity, I just really think indies have some of the best books on the market right now.

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    1. I agree 100%. It has nothing to do with solidarity and more to do with the quality/ingenuity of the stories being told. :) Indies are killing it!!!

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  7. I know I definitely read more traditionally published books than indie (blaming my scars from reading some horrible self/indie books when that tidal wave began years ago) and have also noticed the decline of quality, mostly with editing. For whatever reason, I've always felt it was the author who was, ultimately, to blame for this. I guess I can blame my line of thoughts on my blue-collar roots work ethic when screaming "Lazy author! Why didn't you proof this better?" I know, I know: supposedly, so much control of those kinds of things are not really in the hands of authors - especially first timers. But, ARCs and 'proofs' are still part of the standard process, meaning that even if the publisher has already sent it to 'print', the author can still (and should) read their advance copy. When something isn't as it should be, there are options for correcting, as the publisher (hopefully) wants a decent product out there, as well (right?), especially given that most books out on the market are part of a series and future sales are at risk.

    The business of publishing has become so strained on both sides of the fence, in my opinion, with the flood of self/indie and their push to improve the quality (covers, editing, marketing) as well as the obvious desperation for traditionals to improve their 'speed to market' situation for their releases, seemingly the primary drawback to going this route (other than the author making pennies per sale on these types of books).

    I'm not sure if we're not witnessing yet another change in the market; maybe some of the traditional publishers are adding a step and final proofing is now up to the (newbie) authors, with some authors not following through? I haven't heard of this but would not be surprised to find this was true. Newer authors have now been made more responsible for so much of the marketing and what once was considered work only expected by indie/self published authors, so what's one more added responsibility?

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    1. And you've hit the nail right on the head. Most authors don't recognize their own errors. :) But that's what a great editing team is supposed to do. I look at it like this: If I'm going to invest $XXk in a product, I'd like it to be the absolute best it can be. Isn't that just the publishers being wasteful? Readers talk. If a product is crap, it won't sell--no matter who wrote/published it.

      I agree. One thing ALL Indies say to a newbie is? Do NOT rush to market. I think it's starting to stick. Maybe we should send the big 5 a memo. LOL

      Oh, I believe we are. A HUGE change. Remember, it used to be the big 6. ;) I think more trad-pubbed authors will hop the fence, too. I just hope the bookstores don't let it kill them by refusing to purchase/shelve Indie publications.

      GREAT comment. :) Thank you, Jamie!

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