#BookBloggerHop | Indie Published versus Traditionally Published

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.

Are you more willing to read traditionally published books than self-published (indie) books? Or do you not have a preference?

(submitted by Julie @ JadeSky)

This is a tricky question. I would say that I am willing to read both equally, BUT I tend to be more cautious with Indie books – only after a bunch of bad experiences, though. The quality of the editing in a traditionally published book is almost always good, whereas the quality of the editing of an Indie published book fluctuates wildly. That was how I realized that I don’t particularly appreciate overwriting and forced dialogue. I never knew that was possible in a published book until I read a few Indie books, and then I learned that having good and experienced editors is a must. 

I love to support Indie writers, though, but I need a sample before committing to a review. This helps ensure that I can at least get through to the end and that I won’t be tempted to write a scathing review because I’m not particularly eager to do those. I haven’t tapped into that side of myself.

Are you more willing to read traditionally published books than self-published (indie) books? Or do you not have a preference?

36 Replies to “#BookBloggerHop | Indie Published versus Traditionally Published”

  1. What an interesting question! Years ago, I dabbled in self-publishing, so I know how hard it is to get a book out there. The quality can definitely be problematic, but I know how much goes into it that I’m always happy to support indie authors. So many of them these days are actually quite good and some have even fooled me into thinking they might have been traditionally published. It really feels like a grab bag with so many potential outcomes, so I like to use traditionally published books as something of a palate cleanser. I don’t think I’m more likely to read one over the other and it just comes down to whether the description interests me or not.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. You can look the book up on Amazon and if no publisher is listed or if it’s a publisher you don’t recognize (be sure to google the publishers you’ve never heard of – some authors create their own publishing companies and some publishing companies just print the book – any book – no editing services) – then you know it’s a self-published or indie book. If it’s on Amazon you can grab a sample to and they are extremely helpful.

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  2. I agree with your thoughts. I have read Indie books before and I still do and some of them turns out really good but I had more bad experiences with them than books and tend to traditionally published buy more traditionally published books than Indie books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read both, but I’ve had bad experiences with some indie books due to bad editing. Now I’ll make the decision to read it based on the quality of the description. Editing is soooo important.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another great question!

    Obviously, I consume more traditionally published books but I’m fiercely loyal to the Indie writers I’ve discovered. In fact, I included one on my post yesterday, a fairly new discovery who is a member of one of my Goodreads groups where she’s highly active as a reader. You’re right about getting a sample but because you can get a sense of a writer through conversation posts, I accepted her first book for review. Sometimes you just go with your instincts. I’m in LOVE with her books (three to date). There are quite a few others on my shelf that are auto reads. And, since I was a writer/editor for corporate communications, I’ve helped out a few self published authors with unpaid consultative advice that have gone on to achieve success, some getting signed on with major publishers.

    As a blogger, I feel some responsibility to be open minded to Indie writers. That doesn’t mean it’s an open door but I’m willing to take a look. Samples are essential.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a hard time with this question in general due to the terms used. When I did my MFA in creative writing, “indie” usually referred to small presses that hold their own, but are not affiliated with the big NYC publishers. Then, I started seeing “indie” everywhere to mean “I did it myself!” self-publishing. I had always just called that…..self-publishing. The sneaky one I would have to look out for back when I was still accepting ARCs was the vanity press. They make up a press just to publish their own books and sort of hide behind a name/website to make it look like they DIDN’T self-publish.

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  6. There are a great deal of excellent writers now going the indie route, many because they’re unhappy with how the big publishers are unfair to their writers financially. Not the same as self-published novels, since indie publishing includes editing and beta readers, but self-published works are often unedited and just slapped up on Amazon without much oversight.

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  7. I will read either, it doesn’t bother me (but bad editing does!) Quite a few indies are on KU so I mostly read through that (or arc tours) 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great thought-provoking post. I like that publishers have layers of quality control before they let a book be published. However, I understand that traditional publishing is not a good fit for all authors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes it easier to jump in feet first when you know you don’t have to even think about that quality control piece. But I do appreciate alternate paths – always ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. As you know I read mainly indie published books but your post has made me realise that ALL of them use professional editing services – it really does make a huge difference. Many are sent suggested edits which they do themselves and that dialogue also leads to better writing. I can’t believe I hadn’t really made that connection before, but good editing definitely IS important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is one of the most important things. And it’s something readers don’t even actively think about until they hit a book that isn’t edited well.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I do many promotions with other indie authors through StoryOrigin and BookFunnel. There is no excuse to put out a book without proper editing, and yes, that’s what gives indie authors a bad reputation.
    There are some very good stories out there, ones that may not have ever had the chance to be read if it were not for the different publishing platforms. Free samples and KU allow readers to test drive, which is how those hidden gems are found.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Amazon for both of those things and utilize both often. There are some excellent indie authors out there and I have discovered many that I love everything they put out. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Quality is certainly an issue. I’m more open to reading indie/self-pub books than I used to be (especially now that I am an indie author!) but so many times I’ve started to read a sample and it’s not properly proofread or formatted. I was interested to find that when I uploaded my book to Amazon KDP, it flagged up potential errors (for me, it was only to query the word ‘superkingsize’) so there is actually no excuse for spelling mistakes at least. I’m hoping that my book will prove to be a positive experience for readers of indie books in this respect…

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  12. Great question and answer, Tessa. I read more indies than I do traditionally published. Partly to support the indie community, but also because they’re about 1/3 the price so I can get more books for my budget. I’m pickier about my indie choices than I was several years ago, and though I’m frequently asked to review books, I decline those requests as a matter of policy. I’ve begun relying more and more on the “look inside” to assess quality before trying a new author. I have to say that I’ve read amazing indie books as well as poorly edited traditionally-published books (usually from small presses). After all that, most of the books that I want to keep on my bookshelf forever are best-selling traditionally published books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I lump in small presses with indie and self-published and do much more exploring (samples, reviews, etc…) before I delve in. I’ve had some definite hits or misses with small imprints and small independent publishers – agreed.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. What a great question. I haven’t had a lot of experience with Indie writers. I have read a few that I enjoyed and were well done and well edited. I read a few children’s books that the authors sent me and they were not good. The stories were not interesting and the editing was terrible. I do like to support them when I can.

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