by M. Ruth Myers
Are you a book snob? Oh, go on, admit it.
Many years ago I had a wonderful middle-aged friend who refused to read a paperback book because they didn’t “feel right” in her hands. An avid reader, she bought her books through a book club, even through she could scarcely afford to feed her family of five at the end of some months.
Both she and her husband came from good families. One side, in fact, boasted a nationally recognizable name. She was gracious, intelligent and a wonderful conversationalist; open-minded in things that truly mattered. She just didn’t want to rub elbows — or fingers, more accurately — with paperback books.
Today there are plenty of people who don’t want any books that aren’t on paper they can hold on their hands. No ebooks for them, thank you. They want the feel of a “real book.” They like the feel of turning pages.
There are also legions who won’t even consider reading an indie book. If it’s not from a “real” publisher, they reason, it can’t be up to snuff.
And you know what? In many cases they’re right. There are many truly lousy indie books out there. Lousy writing. Grammatical errors. Poor proofreading and/or formatting.
But you know what else? There are plenty of really, really good ones too. Many indie writers once were published by New York houses. Some wear two hats. One is for Series X which they publish as indies. The other hat is for Series Q, which is published by a traditional house. Do they suddenly forget how to write when penning titles in Series X? Nope. More likely, that series is in a genre or time period that trad houses feel won’t add as much to their bottom line as they want. Meanwhile, fans of Series X are delighted to find a series that appeals to them.
Oh, and here’s a dirty little secret. Typos and formatting errors rear their ugly heads in books from Big Five publishers and their cousins as well. I’m talking print as well as ebooks here. I’m talking hardbacks.
If you’re tempted to walk on the wild side after you read this, don’t forget that Amazon and other retailers let you download a sample of any book (about 10%) for free. Reading the first few pages should give you a feel for the writer’s style and degree of professionalism. Who knows? You might find a new author to love.
Fans of “craft beers” are growing by leaps and bounds. People who want real taste in their food instead of chemicals flock to “artisan cheeses” and “artisan breads.”
Maybe it’s time to think in terms of “artisan books.”
What do YOU think?
— BOOK BARGAIN —
A .38, a nip of gin and sensational legs get Depression-era private investigator Maggie Sullivan out of most scrapes – until a stranger threatens to bust her nose, she’s hauled in on suspicion of his murder and she finds herself in the cross-hairs of a sadistic crime boss. Amazon iBooks Kobo Nook