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to think that there should be a warning on self-published books on Amazon, so that...

132 replies

ElizaPickford · 11/09/2015 12:50

... you don't end up spending actual money on the biggest pile of self indulgent, unedited, garbled bollocks by someone with the writing ability of an eight year old?

My poor DH recently bought me a book as a gift because it was about a subject I'm interested in and at a glance it had 5 stars and great reviews. I was looking forward to reading it, but when I picked it up on holiday I found it had capital letters randomly strewn throughout sentences, not a speech mark IN THE ENTIRE BOOK and as for the story line; it was so unbelievably incoherent and shit I was amazed. On closer inspection obviously someone (with no grasp of grammar or language) has just cobbled some ridiculous thoughts together and my well meaning DH actually spent a whole £6 on it.

This makes me really angry. I'm sure that there are perks to self publishing, but I really think there should be a warning somewhere so that you know that you could be buying utter drivel. It seems very unfair and almost fraudulent. I'm thinking I should create a coffee table compilation of my youngest child's most fantastical line drawings and charge unsuspecting victims customers £15 for a hardback edition.


OP posts:

exexpat · 11/09/2015 12:54

YDNBU. This another reason why I hope real bookshops never get killed off by Amazon - you'd never make that mistake if you could actually flick through the book before buying.


wasonthelist · 11/09/2015 12:54

YANBU but you'd be a hero if you posted the above as an Amazon review - also desperately curious to know what the book is so I can order one and leave a shit review :)


OctoberCupcake · 11/09/2015 12:54

Oh dear!! Was it a physical book or a kindle book? I often download the sample of a kindle book before forking out; but granted not always if it's got good reviews.

I'm not sure about a 'warning' as I've read some really brilliant books by self-published authors recently, but yes perhaps make it more obvious before purchase. £6 is a lot for a self-publish too!! I think I've only paid £6 for a kindle book when I've pre-ordered something by one of my favourite authors.



SlightlyAshamed1 · 11/09/2015 12:57

YANBU (and I've self published)

The best way is to have a quick look inside. On Amazon there is a feature to look at a sample, on Smashwords you can download a sample first.

There are no limits on what can be self published, and it is free to do as an ebook on Amazon and Smashwords and possibly other places as well. You could self publish a shopping list. Editing and a decent cover costs, though.

Mine's got spelling and punctuation and everything. It also doesn't have fake reviews.

I hope you find what you like soon.


herderofcats · 11/09/2015 12:58

I've read some fantastic FREE self-published stuff on Kindle, so I don't agree with you.

But then I always read the blurb, reviews and sample first. Obviously, I appreciate you couldn't have done that.


MsTargaryen · 11/09/2015 12:59

YANBU. Always look at a sample first. And you can return books too.


SlightlyAshamed1 · 11/09/2015 12:59

Just a thought, some of the processes when you upload text can mess with layout. It should be picked up, but stuff gets missed. It does sound like this one was worse than normal.


ElizaPickford · 11/09/2015 13:02

The Kindle edition of the book is available for 99p.

DH bought me the paperback version. If he'd read the author's biography Which Has Every Word Capitalised He Might Have Realised It Did Not Bode Well, but he bought at a glance in good faith.

I paid not much more than that for a hardback copy of Harper Lee's new book. (And Harper Lee it aint!) Wink

OP posts:

StormCoat · 11/09/2015 13:05

Well, that's what the publishing industry does, weeds out, edits and copy-edits the books they think will make money, which means that your purchase will at least be more or less error-free, grammatical and properly typeset.

I'm all for self-publishing, but when you buy a self-published book without looking, you are implicitly accepting that you may be buying the ramblings of someone who hasn't bothered to reread, let alone pay a proofreader.


lorelei9 · 11/09/2015 13:08

you can get a refund on Kindle books within a week I believe.

I felt a bit odd the first time I did that, but if the book hasn't even been correctly formatted for reading I think it's a totally valid thing to do.


ElizaPickford · 11/09/2015 13:08

I've just managed to get a refund on it! Grin

I'm going to write a review of it now so that no other poor suckers get robbed.

OP posts:

wasonthelist · 11/09/2015 13:09

Please name and shame it - or give a keywords clue OP :)


lorelei9 · 11/09/2015 13:12

PS silly question but is it clear that you are buying something self-published? And how does such a rule apply - if it was, say, Paul Kingsnorth, who I believe crowd funded his latest and self published, does that count?

I can't say I agree with the idea that a pp mentioned that you accept you might be buying rubbish rantings. Well, you might, that can happen with any book. but if you buy a book in a regular bookshop, read some, realise it's not for you, and the book shows no signs of having been read, you can often return it there too. I've done it. As long as it's perfect and they can put it back on the shelf and re-sell it, it's fine.

OP, going back to your idea of children's drawings - why not? Some people will pay for that!


squoosh · 11/09/2015 13:12

There's a helpful hint in the descriptor 'self-published'.


catfordbetty · 11/09/2015 13:14

Caveat emptor


notquitehuman · 11/09/2015 13:24

You can usually tell by the terrible cover pictures. And YANBU.


ElizaPickford · 11/09/2015 13:25

This is a link to all of the author's "books"

At a glance they all seem to be on a similar level... Hmm

OP posts:

squoosh · 11/09/2015 13:27


She's writing bad Anne of Green Gables fan-fic?



catfordbetty · 11/09/2015 13:28

You are interested in antique chocolate moulds? That's very niche!


ElizaPickford · 11/09/2015 13:29


I was really, really not impressed. Hmm

OP posts:

ElizaPickford · 11/09/2015 13:30

(Sorry - yup was to squoosh, not an admission of interest in antique chocolate moulds!) Wink

OP posts:

BoiteDeStinkyweed · 11/09/2015 13:32

She also likes the Suffragettes. I had a read of the preview of Suffragette Sisters - it reads like a stream of consciousness! And yet, five star reviews. Can't believe you could pay a fiver for it, I would want to sue...


GloGirl · 11/09/2015 13:33

I love the Green Gables books


CocktailQueen · 11/09/2015 13:33

Not all self-published books are bad, Squoosh!

Many self-pub authors have their books edited and proofread - I'm an editor and work with a lot of self-pubbing authors. Many are serious writers and keen to improve their craft and take advice. Others aren't. I don't work with them.

This author, however, has just typed up a stream of consciousness and uploaded it to Amazon, it looks like (just had a quick look at the first page of Suffragette Sisters. Oh dear me. Am amazed she had the gall to ask for £5 for it.


CocktailQueen · 11/09/2015 13:33

Cross-post, Stinkyweed!!!

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