The problem with your analogy – while it is fairly easy to identify a rotten banana, the same can’t be said about a book.
Just as there are readers (customers) out there who would prefer to stick with books vetted by the traditional gatekeeper, there are readers (customers) looking for something different and appreciate the selection of censor free reading material now available.
For those readers who crave endless vampire stories – they can now find them, even when they go out of fashion with the mainstream and the big 6 decides it is no longer profitable to publish them.
It is my opinion authors can start making a real living when they develop a fan base – and readers come back again and again for that writer’s work. If the book is truly crap, and of no value to any reader, then the author will not be able to develop the necessary fan base, and eventually he will wither on the vine and his books will disappear in the searches.
Going back to the original post.
The mild mannered housewife, caring by day, looking after her children, seeing to their needs, but by night, the writer. Infusing her imagination into her words, disdaining the world of the published elite.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it an established writer?
No, it’s supertraci. Ready to combat the distracters, ready to swoop on the critics of Indies. Our champion in times of trouble. Well done Traci. This in no way satirizes you.
On a more serious note, the greatest problem with Indie writers is their American ideal of ‘Get Rich Quick’ or should that be Kwik schemes? A pity really, and I hate to say this but many have this delusional idea that writing is their way to riches. When it is anything but. Kindle is an outlet to showcase your talent, to put your novels out there. Okay, many will be seen by thousands, depending on your social networking and marketing skills, and has been said by others on this post many will sink without a trace. And that is also a pity.
As for myself, I’ve never checked my rankings, I’ve never checked my reviews, I’ve purposefully kept away from them. My ideal, my philosophy is to put my stories out there. And to this end I’m going to offer all my novels for free, as soon as I work out how to do it.
While an author will lose his customer base (or never develop one) for producing crap no one wants - I believe the report of Amazon suffering from a terminal illness is grossly exaggerated. If that were the case, you wouldn’t have the Big 6 all panicky over what is currently happening in the publishing industry.
Honestly, I don't really understand the gatekeepers argument. The paradigm hasn't changed... it just has new beneficiaries.
The publishing industry has never been about weeding out bad writers. It has always been about what sells and what doesn't. Now, the pool is much larger, but the proportions are the same. 10 years ago, if I went to a bookstore, the majority of books I saw there were crap. That's still true. Gatekeepers never protected the reader... they decided what the reader could read.
And let's not pretend that indie authors invented deceptive reviews. That practice was, is, and will always be a major tool of any PR firm.
If you ask me, the only difference between the old way and the new way is now there are more [i]good [/i]books hidden among the crap....
Terrible books have always been a major part of the book industry. Before, they were just harder to spot because they had good editors. I like it better this way... now, I can recognize a bad author on page one, instead of having to give them 3 chapters before I realize they can't tell a story.
Bobbi - i think the big six are panicking because they have lost the right to price fix, along with Apple on e-pubs...And becuase they have held the reigns so long...They were the original gatekeepers and now they are not!