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In a society where instant gratification is one of the essential components of everyday life, it is little wonder that eBooks successfully outsold traditional books for the first time last year. However, are we paying a price for this convenience?

A quick search on Amazon’s Kindle store will reveal hundreds of eBooks retailing for less than the price of a bus ticket. While this provides consumers with a nice change from the overpriced books more often available on the market, the books themselves are proof that quantity is not always an improvement on quality.

Grammar mistakes, poor characterisation, rambling plots and unprofessional layouts are all risks readers take when buying an eBook. Self-publication has allowed writers to bypass more traditional methods of publication and this is causing books go onto the market with no more revisions than a simple spell check from the writer’s word processor.

Fear not though, because not all is lost. For every ten shoddy Twilight knockoffs, there is one glorious hidden gem. These books have escaped the pretension of the more traditional publication routes and emerged unscathed by the amateurish taint that normally colours self-published works. For this reason, I plan to continue to take the chance on those eBooks that have only a handful of reviews because you never know when you are going to stumble across the next big thing.

Even JK Rowling had to start somewhere. Who knows? Maybe Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone could have ended up as a self – published, unknown eBook.

This article was written by a Hypable user! Learn more and write your own right here.

  • ravenclaw1991

    I didn’t even know this was a thing. I always assumed you still had to go through a publisher to get an eBook published. Guess not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lilliempeterson Lillie Marie Peterson

      Self publishing is even a thing in printed books.

  • http://twitter.com/ChelseaV33 Chelsea Clark

    I don’t see the harm in it. Most of them offer samples, so you can read those, the description, the comments, and the reviews about the book, then decide if you want to pay the extremely low price. And then if you just hate it, then you’ve paid what, a dollar or two, sometimes nothing? And like you said, sometimes you find hidden gems!

    I think it’s great that people are getting the chance to make something of themselves, and really kind of test to see if they actually have what it takes to be a successful writer.

    • http://twitter.com/ChelseaV33 Chelsea Clark

      BTW, just a little spiel, my roommate and I discovered a great series with some of the funniest dialogue I’ve ever read by Tammy Blackwell called the Timber Wolves series (Destiny Binds, Time Mends, Fate Succumbs). Those were certainly gems!

  • charlton

    I read medievil fantasy and I see no problem with the author ,although it is the last book of the series.Actually, I would recommend them.The author is D.A. Adams and the series is The Brotherhood of Dwarves.I’m on the 4th book but there may be a 5th.Back to the subject at hand,this person writes well,and with books I had to keep holding them farther away(I’ll be 50 in Nov.) with the e-books I control the size of font I know that is my problem. There are good writers out there you just have to find them.

  • Lotte

    I only read one self-published e-book (ironically recommended by Hypable) and it was a disaster. It was one of the worst books I’ve ever read! I believe there are probably great self-published stories out there, but I will stay far away from self-publication. I am too lazy to skim through a large pile of stories just to find a gem.

  • HanLin

    I love the idea of self publication because it allows people to showcase their work, even if it isn’t the strongest. I personally will be using it once I finish my novels because even if no one reads it or buys it, it is out there and a validation of hard work. With my books, I don’t write them because I want to be a huge writer. I write them because it is something that I enjoy. My view is that if someone finds it and enjoys it, great. If they hate it, whatever, it is an accomplishment.

  • belac889

    Harken by Kaleb Nation, all I’m saying

  • dege0082

    After working for a self-publisher, I do not have too much faith in self-publishing. The sheer number of manuscripts that are unedited is enough to make me cringe. I believe there are gems hidden there but I don’t want to wade through the pile of slush to find it. On a positive note, I do have some respect for those authors who put their work out there, although I would find it far more gratifying to be traditionally published. It takes a lot out of a writer to be rejected, and self-publishing lets you avoid some of that, but then getting that publishing offer means so much more. Good luck to all the writers out there, whether you go for the traditional route or self-publishing.

  • Lookat

    Hence why I take a trip or two to Barnes and Noble when I’m looking for some good reads.

  • SnatcherGirl

    Honestly, there are bad books from publishing houses. Not saying that isn’t true for self-pub works (it’s even more so), but it’s a task to troll through the amount of garbage even out in Barnes and Noble. And this is coming from someone who genuinely loves YA (well-written YA, that is). Meh, maybe I’ll write my own article about the quantity-quality relationship of books these days.

  • http://xyue-mayx.deviantart.com/ Dreamer

    There are some amazing self published books out there that I consider better than a few done by publishing houses (not going to name names here). Anyone who’s read Angelfall by Susan Ee knows what I’m talking about (so amazing). Self publishing gives a lot of talented authors the chance to be read and recognized for their talents, but it also gives a lot of wannabe writers and outlet to publish their not-so-great novels. A lot of the books aren’t that great, but usually you can tell by previous reader reviews. The truly great self published books start to get popular on book communities like goodreads. I don’t discriminate against self published books, but I don’t usually go searching for them unless one comes to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.freemanfilmmaker Mike Freeman

    You can read a sample before you buy, readability is the most important factor and people who post bad reviews of often have an ulterior motive…

  • http://twitter.com/SarahKHansen S.K.Hansen

    I like the idea of reading self-published books, but in reality I have trouble keeping up with all the authors I like that are traditionally published. Also, yes ebooks are cheaper than printed books, but borrowing from the library is free. Libraries don’t often buy self-published books or ebooks, and that is were I go when I want to find a new gem.

  • DarrlynM

    I haven’t found a self-published book I like. The ones I have read for free on Amazon are sooo bad; everything from grammar to plot development. There is a reason why we have publishing companies with editors and such. I trust them to publish books I can (usually) count on being of quality, though I know sometimes that isn’t the case *coughtTwilightcough* I guess I don’t have patience to look for the hidden gem

  • Jim In Montana

    It’s one of the purist forms of FREEDOM of the press I know. The writer is FREE to write it (whatever it is-edited or spell-checked or not) and the reader is FREE to sample it, buy it, read it or not. What’s wrong with that? If the editors and publishers are so valuable, then they won’t go away. Writers will benefit from utilizing their services or not.

    But just because the thing comes out of a major publishing house and is printed in a hardcover book, that’s not telling the reader a thing. There’s no guarantee you’re gonna love the story and want more in any case. Nobody’s being forced to buy these things.

    The entire self-pub issue is bogus. It either works or it doesn’t. That’s all there is to it.

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