It’s easy to get daunted by the vast quantities of books published on Amazon every day, and also by some successful author’s suggestions that you shouldn’t be trying to charge for your books if your work has not been approved by legitimate traditional gatekeepers. Why bother putting in all the hard work of writing books if they’re just going to be buried by the millions, or trashed by the literati?
Why you should definitely bother is because of what self-publishing is. People who buy books from Amazon are fully aware that the vast majority of them are by Indie authors, and they’re going to be pretty sure that they want any given book before they pay for it. Not every book you write is going to be great. I never figured out what the point was to Stephen King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, so writing every book that you write that everyone will love is not something that even the greats can do.
The rules are that anyone can publish on Amazon and nobody has the right to try and prevent you from doing just that. Obviously we’re not going to purposely publish a book that is going to get trashed, because when we write books we’re doing it to make for pleasurable reading. If we do slip up and readers hate what we’ve written we can unpublish that book and try harder to get it right next time.
Before the advent of self-publishing, I would say that I absolutely loved about twenty percent of the traditionally published books that I bought. Some I liked. Some were just so-so, and some I disliked so much I never finished reading them. I paid for all of those books, but I never once thought I was entitled to a refund. If they’d been totally full of typos and illegible I would have though, so that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the actual stories.
Of the Indie books I’ve bought I’ve actually loved more than twenty percent and liked most of them. Only a small percentage have been typo riddled or illegible. Indies try harder to perfect their end product, and should not be discouraged by negative talk from any author, no matter how popular their own books are. Fair is fair, and every single writer fresh out of the gates is just as entitled to their own publishing journey.
Don’t let this sort of thing put you off Indie scribblers, and don’t feel that you have to submit your book for years and receive a hundred rejection slips before you share your tales with the world. Produce the best book that you can, and let your readers decide. This is a great time to be a self-published writer, and everyone has to start somewhere. Keep your eye on the prize, and write on. Never let the naysayers steal your mojo.