putting my idealist hat on…

This post was inspired by Chuck Wendig’s “Why Your Self-Published Book May Suck a Bag of Dicks.” (Very funny, by the way – go have a read!) And I also have my indie author hat on today too, so this is what you get. I’m gonna crap out some rainbows here, so bear with me.

There needs to be a system of checks in indie-publishing. Not gatekeepers, like the traditional publishing industry has, but it will serve the same purpose.

There needs to be a reputable reviewer, somebody with a website, who is opinionated and *loves* to read. And they need to charge less money than fracking $425! I don’t expect it to be free. I’d pay twenty-five bucks or something for the service.

Because you know what, readers DO NOT WANT to slog through 90% bullshit to find one gem in self-published books. I don’t want to either. And until they don’t have to, I’m afraid self-publishing will always carry that stigma.

Aren’t bloggers already doing this, to some extent? Sure, some of them are. But I’m not sure their voices are being heard. And still, even with independent book bloggers, a lot of them won’t even read self-published books.

We need someone with a loud voice, somebody willing to slog through the slush. (That’s where the twenty-five bucks comes into play?) Someone who comes with some weight in the publishing industry, somebody everyone will respect and listen to? (That person is not me, definitely not me, or anybody I know. Maybe you know this person?) And by reviewing, they’ll put a sort of “stamp” on this indie book. Let’s say three-tiered. Passable, good, and fracking amazing? Then indie authors can go ahead and put that stamp on their cover. “My book was rated “good” by Joe-Schmoe-book-reviews.” Then the book stands apart from all the other self-published slush out there.

And some people will fail. I say, let them fail. If they don’t put in the hard work, why should they pass? That way, there’s still no gatekeeping. If you want to get your book out there, then by all means, go for it! But at the same time, we’re not all flopping around in the same slush. Those of us who work harder will be allowed to shine.

“But what if Joe Schmoe just didn’t like my work!?! He didn’t get my vision!!!”

Fair enough, this does happen sometimes. Maybe it can be a panel of reviewers? 12 of them, like a jury or something. Readers who enjoy work from across all genres and styles. That’s fair then? I mean, really, if 12 people all agree that your book sucks, then it probably does.

But we need this. We need something like this. Because all the other esteemed reviewers out there, the prizes and competitions, they don’t want us to play. So why can’t we just make up our own game?

So there’s an idea. Pass it on. Talk about it. Somebody start it up!