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Who Let The Dogs Out? Quality Books Lost in the Flood of Easy Self-Publishing

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Remember your neighborhood book store? It’s probably long gone as most have gone the way of the VHS and Polaroid. Yet there is a renaissance in the writing of books as everything in print and electronic form is available with a few clicks of a mouse. Writers and want-to-be writers from all walks of life can now bring their ideas, imaginations and special grammar to the world. Here is the catch. Self-Publishing services now make it extremely easy for anyone to upload their book and sell it along side books from main stream publishers on the big box sites like Amazon and Boarders.
Why does that matter? The “Main Stream Publishers” can’t gamble on new writers any more. When book stores and libraries needed to fill their shelves with new product year round, publishers were confident they could sell at least a first run of any book that had an eye catching cover and clever description on the book jacket. However with internet shopping killing the book stores and e-books cutting into libraries foot traffic books has become a high risk business. So they hedge their bets by only publishing books from establishing authors with existing audiences or those with celebrity status that has nothing to do with good story telling. Today’s undiscovered talent is limited to writing contest, internet blogs and self-publishing.
The ease and low cost of self-publishing has given an opportunity for thousands of talented writers to be published in a market with fewer and fewer books being produced by the big name publishers, but the cost to the public are the tens of thousands less talented writers who are going to print without the aid of qualified editors and proof readers. The result is a sea of trash smothering the diamonds in the rough.
So how do you find the cream from crap? Do one, or all, of the following. 1. Read the reviews. Most of the larger book sellers will post reviews written by readers with ratings and personal comments. Don’t just read the first few as they are often from friends or fans of the author, go at least 10 reviews down to get the true dirt. 2. Look for sample pages. Sometimes you can find some of the pages on the seller’s site, but you will find that many writers will set up a personal website with examples of their writing, links to other works and often samples of the book you are interested in. 3. Ask a friend. The best books are not the ones with all the press and promotions, but are recommended by word of mouth. Before you spend your money on an unknown download, get a recommendation from someone who you know and trust.