There are many writers out there and far more books being published than at any time in history. But just because someone declares themselves a writer and has a book in print does not mean they are any good. That is something the public, their readers only can decide. But with so many indie and traditionally published books on the market, how do you, the reader, decide if a book is worth your time, is worth the investment? Well, the simple answer is that it’s become somewhat of a gamble. Of the millions of self published titles out there, as few as five percent are any good. Even fewer are comparable to traditionally published works. So how can the task of filtering out the garbage from the gems be made easier? Again, the short answer is, with great difficulty.
There are some clues though.
- Does the author have a number of reviews that don’t appear to be written by friends and family?
- Are some of those reviews critical reviews written by someone from the media or similar?
- Does the author provide samples of their work?
- Does the author have a consistent track record for producing quality work for a broad readership?
- Is it easy to locate and contact the author?
- Has the author been interviewed?
- Does the author have a domain name and a brand?
- Do the book covers and other illustrations appear professional?
- Has the author produced book trailers and other media?
- Are at least some of the author’s books available in large print (for sight impaired) and audio books (for hearing impaired)?
- Does the author offer to send signed copies out on request?
- Are the author’s books available on multiple publishing sites, including the better known ones in addition to Amazon and Smashwords?
- Does the author maintain a healthy social media presence?
If I, or any other author has most or all of the above in their favor, chances are they are in this for the long haul and are not just a fly by nighter.
Check my own work against the above criteria and see how I stack up.
Paul G Day (author of five novels and eight children’s books available in digital and print forms)