Over at Gav Reads, we get a list of reasons a reviewer might not review your self-published book, prefaced with:
We are still coming to terms with writers not only being able to self-publish but being able to get those words easily to anyone with an Internet connection and reading device or a postal service.
One thing that just isn’t happening for self-published authors on a large scale is breaking into the various circles of critics and reviewers, of which I’m one.
I'll quickly list the headings, but each point is elaborated upon in the original post:
- We don’t know who you are
- We don’t know how you’ll react
- We’ll feel guilty when we don’t read it
- We know you’re not going to generate hits
- We don’t read cute bunny love stories set in Ancient Rome (or whatever genre you’ve written in)
- We know it’s going to be rubbish
Obviously these are sweeping statements, but it's worthwhile to have a look at the rationale behind them. Especially the last one:
Not only have you compiled your opus without being consciously aware that what you’ve written needs to be redrafted or thrown away as it’s obvious that you’ve not yet mastered the craft of storytelling to an engaging degree. But you’ve got an ego that makes you think that someone else will not see your flaws.
Unfair? I'm not surprised that the majority of unvetted work is produced like this. It takes a lot of painful experience to get to a professional level in your writing, and it's trivial to skip that and go straight into publishing your work these days. It's also trivial to spam as many reviewers as possible with your work, regardless of suitability (refer to point 5 in that list above).
However, this produces a lot of prejudice towards self-publishing at large. 'Jay' wonders in the comments of the article:
On a more serious note, this trending view – that to self-pub means you were probably rejected by a major publishing house, is a little disturbing. What if you’ve rejected a major publishing house? Does your work automatically shift from ‘publishable’ to ‘suckable’?