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  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Radone View Post
    For those put off by a self-published author, I would say you're missing out on the finest debut I've read (by far) since Rothfuss.
    My response is not directed at this work in specific, though I'm going to use it to illustrate my opinion regarding e-(self)-publication. This particular book may be fantastic, and I may be singing it's praises next year. I hope I am, since in general I find there are fewer good books being published than I want to read!

    But back to the topic of self-publication. If a book is truly as well written as Name of the Wind, it wouldn't need to be self-published. It'd have been snapped up for real publication almost instantaneously. So claims that an author is "as good as Patrick Rothfuss" but not actually in print, I take with a grain of salt. Or rather, a giant heaping handful of salt.

  2. #17
    Cthulhu's Red Bucket Lucas Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pendragon View Post
    But back to the topic of self-publication. If a book is truly as well written as Name of the Wind, it wouldn't need to be self-published. It'd have been snapped up for real publication almost instantaneously. So claims that an author is "as good as Patrick Rothfuss" but not actually in print, I take with a grain of salt. Or rather, a giant heaping handful of salt.
    i think in the very near future (well, actually right now), many publishers are scaling back on their intake of new authors. where traditionally they'd make a few gambles, these days it's much easier to pluck from the self-pubbed arena once the author has proven themselves there, as we're finding out. how many of the latest bestsellers were already selling well on amazon prior to a publisher picking them up? that list is growing.

    i feel many publishers are focussing too much on their brand names. like ludlum and the like. they're happy to keep dead authors alive as a brand rather than risk with young writers. or do a james paterson and write books for a relative mainstream as a team rather than as an author. it's a bit too hollywood and stale sometimes, i think. which is what's giving a lot of self-pubbed authors a bit of a go. because most readers like something fresh.

    so, for the future, i think the most interesting genre fiction will emerge from self-pubbed. of course, there's a lot to wade through, but it reminds me of the old pulp genres, where literally hundreds of titles were printed by countless authors. a lot of them bad. but, now and then, a chandler made it through.

    personally, i think it's an exciting time. one argues that works not edited could be bad. but there's another argument that less editors than a publisher unleashes on a book also keeps it fresh. it can keep edge to a novel. not always a good thing, admittedly. and many new authors will learn that pretty quick.

    but one or two might just change the genre for the better.

    edit: there's the other side of the coin, too, where self-pubbed authors are beginning to refuse being published by traditional publishers because they make more these days on their own...

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Thorn View Post
    edit: there's the other side of the coin, too, where self-pubbed authors are beginning to refuse being published by traditional publishers because they make more these days on their own...
    This is a valid point, and I recognize that my current strategy for sifting through the garbage may not last much longer. I know it's very hard to make a living as an author unless you're at the top of the field, and not everyone can be there, so self-publishing can be something that allows the non-Rothfuss's out there to make a living out of writing, rather than trying to do it and hold down some other job as well.

    I don't consider printed publishers to be any sort of sacred cow. While I definitely am of the opinion that every writer needs an editor of some sort, that could as easily be a writing group or friend or loved one, etc.

    My stance is, to be honest, purely practical. Trying to find new authors that I enjoy is an annoying and time-consuming process just wading through works that have made it past publishers into print. Trying to wade through the hundreds (thousands?) of self-published works to find something I like is simply impractical.

    Perhaps, as self-publishing becomes more and more mainstream, the tools to wade through all the terrible writing will also become more prevalent. Perhaps websites/critics will become more and more visible, and I'll be able to go to them for some idea of where to start looking.

    As it is, it feels like there are no barriers of entry into self-publishing these days, and there are far more people who want to be authors than people who have the talent to be so.

  4. #19
    Cthulhu's Red Bucket Lucas Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pendragon View Post
    This is a valid point, and I recognize that my current strategy for sifting through the garbage may not last much longer. I know it's very hard to make a living as an author unless you're at the top of the field, and not everyone can be there, so self-publishing can be something that allows the non-Rothfuss's out there to make a living out of writing, rather than trying to do it and hold down some other job as well.

    I don't consider printed publishers to be any sort of sacred cow. While I definitely am of the opinion that every writer needs an editor of some sort, that could as easily be a writing group or friend or loved one, etc.

    My stance is, to be honest, purely practical. Trying to find new authors that I enjoy is an annoying and time-consuming process just wading through works that have made it past publishers into print. Trying to wade through the hundreds (thousands?) of self-published works to find something I like is simply impractical.

    Perhaps, as self-publishing becomes more and more mainstream, the tools to wade through all the terrible writing will also become more prevalent. Perhaps websites/critics will become more and more visible, and I'll be able to go to them for some idea of where to start looking.

    As it is, it feels like there are no barriers of entry into self-publishing these days, and there are far more people who want to be authors than people who have the talent to be so.
    yah, i'm kind of looking forward to it opening up and settling down, too. at the moment, i tend to look at how many books that author's written. often (though not always), the bad ones only have one book in them. i like to think some of the better ones have the discipline to keep going, and they're the ones who'll emerge.

    david dalglish, for example, is a great example of a self-pubbed doing it properly. with every book, he gets stronger.

    on the thread, i haven't yet read the book in question, though i do have it on my kindle. at the moment, though, i'm kind of obsessing over '60-'70s sword and sorcery. there's a secondhand bookshop down the road which seems to have so much of it that i feel dizzy.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pendragon View Post
    My response is not directed at this work in specific, though I'm going to use it to illustrate my opinion regarding e-(self)-publication. This particular book may be fantastic, and I may be singing it's praises next year. I hope I am, since in general I find there are fewer good books being published than I want to read!

    But back to the topic of self-publication. If a book is truly as well written as Name of the Wind, it wouldn't need to be self-published. It'd have been snapped up for real publication almost instantaneously. So claims that an author is "as good as Patrick Rothfuss" but not actually in print, I take with a grain of salt. Or rather, a giant heaping handful of salt.
    I think Blood Song proves your point Pendragon, it did get picked up by ACE-ROC. Also that was just on the basis of a single book and that too within 7-8 months of it being published via Amazon. In his interview he mentioned that he had sent it to every UK agent with a reputation for dealing in SFF and they resoundingly rejected it.

    I think there are those outlier cases wherein publishers miss out on the good stuff and self-publishing gave us a chance to notice this one. I'm glad I managed to read it early as I believe its better than P. Rothfuss's debut based on two reasons, (a) his book has a similar if not greater narrative pull in terms of prose and storytelling & (b) the story has a better climax than TNOTW.

    You can choose not to read it now and wait till next year, but simply from the point of economics, you can get it for $2.99 now instead of $10-15 next year.

    Mihir

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperstorm View Post
    he mentioned that he had sent it to every UK agent with a reputation for dealing in SFF and they resoundingly rejected it...
    I believe its better than P. Rothfuss
    I find these two statements very difficult to accept together. The idea that every agent in the UK would reject a novel that is better than Rothfuss is nonsensical to me.

    You can choose not to read it now and wait till next year, but simply from the point of economics, you can get it for $2.99 now instead of $10-15 next year.
    This is where that website/critic I was mentioning would help me out. I understand the point you're making, but look at it this way. You're working from the viewpoint that the book in question is better than Rothfuss. If I were to accept that as truth, then absolutely I'd save money buying it now.

    But I'm working under the assumption that it's highly unlikely a book better than Rothfuss couldn't get published. I am highly skeptical it's better than Rothfuss for this reason, and firmly believe that 99.99999999% of self-published fantasy is garbage. So from my point of view, it's all about risk. I can pay 3 bucks now for something I am mostly convinced will not be worth three bucks, or buy something next year for 10 bucks that I am reasonably sure will at least be passable.

    Perhaps, as I spend more time on these boards, or even after I pay my 10 bucks for this novel, I may start to feel as if you and I share a similar enough aesthetic for me to buy ebooks off your recommendation (you'd be a critic for me as i mentioned above, in that case), we'll have to see.

    I've seen enough opinion on these boards, though, to know that we definitely don't all have the same tastes, nor opinions to what constitutes good writing.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperstorm View Post
    You can choose not to read it now and wait till next year, but simply from the point of economics, you can get it for $2.99 now instead of $10-15 next year.

    Mihir
    I'm firmly in the wait and pay more camp (not that you asked me).

    I place a value of $0.00 in ebooks, so I would feel that I was taking a loss if I had to pay for one. Whereas I feel much more comfortable paying $10-$15 for a physical copy, which I consider to hold intrinsic value, regardless of whether or not I end up enjoying the story.

  8. #23
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmethystOrator View Post
    I'm firmly in the wait and pay more camp (not that you asked me).

    I place a value of $0.00 in ebooks, so I would feel that I was taking a loss if I had to pay for one. Whereas I feel much more comfortable paying $10-$15 for a physical copy, which I consider to hold intrinsic value, regardless of whether or not I end up enjoying the story.
    For me, the cost of a book is not generally important right now. What is important is the quality. When I read a book, I am choosing to invest my time. To me, that is a more precious commodity than currency.

    I understand the idea that agents and publishers are gatekeepers and they toil through the generally awful dreck out there to put out some great, good, not so good, and terrible books. But at least, as a reader, we know that some kind of editing occurred to improve the novel.

    That level of trust is missing in self-publishing.

    However, in the current economic climate, agents and publishers do overlook great books from a previously unpublished author. They do so for various reasons that KatG could explain better than I, but it happens more now than ever before, I would suspect.

    After all, Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant was turned down by every publisher out there on several occasions before Lester Del Rey gave it a shot. Today, Donaldson might have given up earlier on and decided to self-pub. And after word of mouth relayed the quality and greatness of his work, a traditional publisher would have picked it up.

    I think that's going to be the new paradigm for future unpublished authors: self-pub first and get picked up after.

    To sort through the gruesome weeds to find these gems, though is going to be the struggle.

    I am happy to say that Blood Song is one of those sparkling gems. Now, if there were only an easy way to find the next one...
    Last edited by Davis Ashura; August 25th, 2012 at 07:48 AM.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pendragon View Post
    I find these two statements very difficult to accept together. The idea that every agent in the UK would reject a novel that is better than Rothfuss is nonsensical to me.
    That's your opinion and I think differently, I read both books and I feel BS is better than TNOTW. But again that's just my opinion and it doesn't mean much

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pendragon View Post
    This is where that website/critic I was mentioning would help me out. I understand the point you're making, but look at it this way. You're working from the viewpoint that the book in question is better than Rothfuss. If I were to accept that as truth, then absolutely I'd save money buying it now.

    But I'm working under the assumption that it's highly unlikely a book better than Rothfuss couldn't get published. I am highly skeptical it's better than Rothfuss for this reason, and firmly believe that 99.99999999% of self-published fantasy is garbage. So from my point of view, it's all about risk. I can pay 3 bucks now for something I am mostly convinced will not be worth three bucks, or buy something next year for 10 bucks that I am reasonably sure will at least be passable.

    Perhaps, as I spend more time on these boards, or even after I pay my 10 bucks for this novel, I may start to feel as if you and I share a similar enough aesthetic for me to buy ebooks off your recommendation (you'd be a critic for me as i mentioned above, in that case), we'll have to see.

    I've seen enough opinion on these boards, though, to know that we definitely don't all have the same tastes, nor opinions to what constitutes good writing.
    Different assumptions make both options equally viable and so I can suggest that you check out the smashwords sample to get an idea.

    As you mentioned there are enough readers over here with different opinions on what's good or not. So I would simply wait for you to read the book whenever you can and then perhaps we can talk about how good/bad it is vis-a-vis Rothfuss's debut.

    Mihir
    Last edited by Hyperstorm; August 25th, 2012 at 11:21 AM.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by AmethystOrator View Post
    I'm firmly in the wait and pay more camp (not that you asked me).
    I place a value of $0.00 in ebooks, so I would feel that I was taking a loss if I had to pay for one. Whereas I feel much more comfortable paying $10-$15 for a physical copy, which I consider to hold intrinsic value, regardless of whether or not I end up enjoying the story.
    That's a smart thing to do, in regards to newer, unheard-of authors. I believe you can also check out the sample and then perhaps decide what you make of it (The extract is nearly five chapters long). Or you can wait for next year when Ace-Roc puts it out. Either way I would like to hear your thoughts on it.

    Mihir

  11. #26
    I personally don't rate it quite as highly as The Name of the Wind, 93 out of 100 instead of 94 maybe, but I am prepared to put it in my top five fantasy debuts ever. Its brilliant, read it twice already. Fair enough if you want to wait, but this is the first epub book I ever bought - for the kindle app on my phone - and I am delighted with it, honestly I am certain I will pick it up in print to, so its not saving me money, but it has allowed me to read a wonderful book months earlier .

  12. #27
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ornery Wyvern View Post
    I personally don't rate it quite as highly as The Name of the Wind, 93 out of 100 instead of 94 maybe, but I am prepared to put it in my top five fantasy debuts ever. Its brilliant, read it twice already. Fair enough if you want to wait, but this is the first epub book I ever bought - for the kindle app on my phone - and I am delighted with it, honestly I am certain I will pick it up in print to, so its not saving me money, but it has allowed me to read a wonderful book months earlier .
    I'll be buying it in print also.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radone View Post
    For me, the cost of a book is not generally important right now. What is important is the quality. When I read a book, I am choosing to invest my time. To me, that is a more precious commodity than currency.

    I understand the idea that agents and publishers are gatekeepers and they toil through the generally awful dreck out there to put out some great, good, not so good, and terrible books. But at least, as a reader, we know that some kind of editing occurred to improve the novel.

    That level of trust is missing in self-publishing.

    However, in the current economic climate, agents and publishers do overlook great books from a previously unpublished author. They do so for various reasons that KatG could explain better than I, but it happens more now than ever before, I would suspect.

    After all, Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant was turned down by every publisher out there on several occasions before Lester Del Rey gave it a shot. Today, Donaldson might have given up earlier on and decided to self-pub. And after word of mouth relayed the quality and greatness of his work, a traditional publisher would have picked it up.

    I think that's going to be the new paradigm for future unpublished authors: self-pub first and get picked up after.

    To sort through the gruesome weeds to find these gems, though is going to be the struggle.

    I am happy to say that Blood Song is one of those sparkling gems. Now, if there were only an easy way to find the next one...
    I agree with what you say, though I don't know of any way to know before buying a book what I'll think of it's quality. Previews can help, but in the last year I've read a couple of books where I was very unimpressed by the initial chapters only to see them soon improve dramatically (imo). In those cases, previews wouldn't have been much help.

    I also see quite a bit of value in the traditional publishing structure, in their larger role as gatekeepers, as well as their doing more mundane activities, such as editing for spelling and grammar. While their books are not error free, every effort that can be made in service of that goal is worthwhile, and I understand the need to pay people for such work. I hope that I'll enjoy this book as much as you did Radone.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperstorm View Post
    That's a smart thing to do, in regards to newer, unheard-of authors. I believe you can also check out the sample and then perhaps decide what you make of it (The extract is nearly five chapters long). Or you can wait for next year when Ace-Roc puts it out. Either way I would like to hear your thoughts on it.

    Mihir
    Thanks for the compliment and the link Mihir. I'll have to wait until I have more free time to check it out, but I'll definitely do so, and let you know when I do. Thanks again.

  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by AmethystOrator View Post
    I also see quite a bit of value in the traditional publishing structure, in their larger role as gatekeepers,
    This is it exactly, and in this brave new world of self-publishing, it is my fervent hope that we'll develop digital gatekeepers for our digital age.

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