As the indie movement continues to rattle the Goliaths of the publishing world (have you heard that Houghton Mifflin filed for bankruptcy protection?), many authors can find themselves on shaky ground.
Just a quick trip around the Kindle forums—if you dare—will tell most of the story. Readers are ticked off. They don’t want to pay twenty bucks for an e-book. (Heck, I don’t either, and it will be interesting to see how many people snag J.K. Rowling’s new novel at $19.99.) But spend less than four bucks on an unknown? They’ve been burned before. They’ve been bombarded with cheap books, some rampant with typos, grammatical errors, formatting problems, plot problems, and writing that reads like a first draft. Some readers gleefully tell their forum peers that they will NEVER purchase another indie book. On the other side of cyberstreet, at B&N.com, self-published books are locked into the “PubIt!” section, neatly severed from Big Guy Books. Forum haunters write that they are glad for this line of demarcation because, as one reader wrote, “I know to stay away from it.”