On one hand, I do love the idea that the traditional gatekeeping system has been removed for authors who wish to publish their books directly in a way quite unlike any other time in history. Let the market decide if the book has a market/merit. Authors get a shot this way and the truth is, I will always be a fan of “power to the people”.
However, I can’t even begin to rave on about how much positive benefit I derive from being professionally edited by professional editors. Traditional publishing houses vet for content, continuity, punctuation, sensibility and on and on and on. And the way that more and more and more books are flooding the ebook market without have been “refined and shaped through the eyes of editorial experts” has me wincing at the flood of genuine crap being dumped into our literary ocean. Not that I have a problem with the idea of anyone writing a book; it’s the fact of having to wade through a host of self-proclaimed .99 cents thrilling, funny, exceptional insightful, John LeCarre meets Amy Tan with a touch of Voltaire love child novels that has been shaking my head.
Some of the tragically gap-filled books arriving each and every day via twitter announcements which go straight from an author’s keyboard to available NOW! for purchase are muddying what was already some very muddy waters.
I want everyone to have access. But I would prefer if the material was curated. One thing we can all rest assured of right now is that if one of the Big Six Publishing Houses publishes a book, it may certainly be junk… but the level of junkiness will never be as low as some of the things we are starting to see become available for less than a buck.
Welcome to the new world where Borders no longer exists.