I dip my toe into the waters of self-publishing

I’ve begun Operation: review self-pubs (or ORSP, for short), and I’m super excited about it! I’m pretty new to the world of reading self-published books. Several years ago I put a short story of mine on one of those websites like fictionpress.net. I got a positive review from a stranger, so I checked out her profile. She said that she had written a novel, and I was just so flattered that a published novelist liked my story! So I looked for her book in my local book store. It wasn’t there so I ordered it.

And that was how I first learned about the world of self-publishing. I think the book was about vampires. It may have been lesbian erotica. It was definitely poorly formatted (huge gaps in text). I couldn’t finish it.

Moving on in my self-pub journey, through Goodread’s first reads program I received free copies of two self-published books: Hiding in Sunshine and and collection of erotica stories called Single and Sexy Confessions. Hiding in Sunshine, it was so bad I couldn’t finish it. It wasn’t that there were typos. It was just a bad story. And I felt so bad writing a review for it since it was written by a teenager and her dad. Single and Sexy Confessions was actually not bad, for erotica, once I got past the typos. In terms of higher quality self-published books, I’ve enjoyed Nicole Hamlett’s books.

So now it’s on to experience more of the joys of self-published novels. But I’m cautious.

Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet.

African proverb

So I go to Smashwords looking for something short and find this: Charmed City. I’m excited! It’s local!

It’s also bad. I read the first story. Thumbs down. Interesting concept but poorly executed. It’s also published by what I suspect is one of the fake presses the Insatiable Booksluts was trying to tell us about. But I’m the kind of person that gives people the benefit of the doubt, so if it’s a real press, then it won’t further my goal of reading self-published books.

I move on and find a free young adult novella (well, the author called it a short story, but I’m calling it a novella because I want to) titled Shattered by Sandra Madera.

Image from smashwords.com

The price is certainly right (give me a break! I’m just testing the waters). So I download it and give it a try.

Right now I’m about half-way through. How is it? I’m happy to say that so far so good! Stay tuned. Later this week, I’ll bring a review.

About emmawolf

I'm a freelance writer living in Baltimore with my husband, son, and two cats. I'm working on editing my first novel. I love reading, traveling, and the cello.
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8 Responses to I dip my toe into the waters of self-publishing

  1. sj says:

    Ooooh, I look forward to your review!

  2. Muriel says:

    I just realized I might be reading a self-published novel right now. It says “Mind Mess Press” on the amazon product page, but there seems to be no homepage for that publisher, so it’s possibly something the writer entered because Amazon prompts you for a publisher.
    Or I might just have overlooked Mind Mess Press’s world-renowned online presence, who knows?

  3. smadera23 says:

    Hi, Emma.

    I am happy to see you have mot given up on Indie or Self Pub. and are taking a chance. Not all of us are bad. I have had some great experiences. I hope you like Shattered, but I also recommend Weeping Willow 1 and 2. Everyone seems to like those.

    Keep seeking Indie and Self Pub novels and shorts, and I guarantee you will find some gems.

    Sandra Madera

    • emmawolf says:

      Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I didn’t mean to imply that I thought all self-pubs were bad. I’m embarking on this project with the expectations of finding good and bad and doing my part to add a review-voice to self-pubs.

      I did like Shattered. I hope to write something resembling a review in the next few days.

      • smadera23 says:

        Hi, Emma.

        I totally understand your point and thanks for the upcoming review.

        I would like to recommend two action fantasy books. The first one is Insight by Jamie Magee. It is the first in a series and is free to download on B&N. The second is Elemental by Alexandra May which is also free and the start of a new series.

        Sandra Madera

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