I was inspired to write this post after reading Let’s Talk Bookish topic on Should Reviewers Go “Easier” on Self-Published Authors?
What are self-published books?
Self-published books are books where the authors are ones who handle the entirety of their books publication, without the help of a publishing company, and its release. Some examples of self-published authors are Jenna Moreci, Rob J Hayes, M.L. Wang, J.C. Kang, and many more.
I am, generally, very open to reading and reviewing self-published books. But in comparison to traditionally published books, I am way more critical of the self-published books I pick up. Though I am a part of many FB groups dedicated to self-published and indie books, I find that I no longer rely on word of mouth and the Amazon best-selling tag when picking up a self-published book.
Choosing a book or adding it to my TBR rarely depends on how the book is published but rather on, one, the premise, and secondly, what the reviewers I trust say about the book. In fact, it was through Novel Notions that I found out about The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang!
Were I not a book blogger, I would have the time to pick any which book but when you have a list of ARCs and backlists you want to get on, it is a bit difficult to throw caution to the wind.
Do self published books affect how harsh I am with my review?
That’s not an easy question to answer, for me at least. I do believe that I have a certain bias when reading self-published books especially when that book has less than 1,000 reviews on Goodreads. I do know that when I first got into reviewing I was lenient towards self-published books but by doing so I didn’t feel my reviews were credible. It didn’t help that some of the books I reviewed would be provided directly by the author and knowing that they are only a one-person team as compared to a traditionally published book, I feel bad about being harsh.
That is another reason why I have become more critical of the self-published books I choose to read. I don’t want to be lenient because of the path took to get published. At the end of the day, it’s the writing and the story told that I’m reviewing, not the author. With that said, one of my goals for the Goodreadance 2020 challenge is to go through past indie books I’ve read and re-review them.
I now prefer purchasing self-published books for my Kindle rather than requesting review copies which, I’ve found, has made me be better with the way I review self-published books.
How do I find more self-published books?
This list is targeted towards fantasy readers because that is the genre I am most familiar with.
🌸 Facebook groups are a good resource especially one like Indie Fantasy Addicts which not only promotes self-published fantasy books but also hosts a yearly summer indie reading challenge.
🌸 I like to stay up to date with the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off competition which was created by Mark Lawrence.
🌸 Check out the Self Published Fantasy Month twitter account for recommendations and interviews.
🌸 Are you more picky with self-published books?
🌸 Do you think it’s fair to be lenient towards self-published books?