Cyndy Aleo

Four Little Bees Writing & Editing

author, freelance writing, editing, and a little bit of web development, helping clients with content development, book editing, and blog set-up and customization

In which you, as an author, are essentially a sweatshop worker

I'm not sure which I should be more horrified by: this article or the comments that follow it.

It's click-bait, pure and simple, so please bear that in mind.

In this, a "book reviewer" (and sorry, but that's getting air quotes from me) argues that books are a buyer's market and only big names are going to get a living wage. Because they're big names.

Gee, where have we heard this before? Oh wait... the part where 1% of the populations has the majority of the world's wealth. You don't DESERVE to be paid for your book.

Where the author gets it all wrong is how this happened. It had to do with two self-published authors who led the pack in devaluing their own books in order to make money on a slim margin. Amanda Hocking and J.A. Konrath got rich with this, and left the rest of the industry to the "well, why would I pay more?" consumers.

By this argument, Starbucks shouldn't be more than 99 cents, because I can get coffee anywhere, including in my own house! And for WAY less than what their coffee costs, so how dare they? I have tons of other places I can go for less money.

Worse still is the commenters, some who work in publishing, SOME WHO ARE LIBRARIANS, decrying the full-price book.

I wish you could see my face.

According to the author of this article, and the commenters, there is no difference between the shoddily made, won't-last-long, probably lead-contaminated crap you buy at the dollar store and a book that has been professionally edited. Because only a few select authors deserve to make money.

By that mentality, Big Five publishers should skip on the editing--I mean, why bother when there are thousands of books out there for free with no editing, and apparently readers would rather a book be free than be good?

Self-publishers? Forget bothering with editing or cover design, because apparently "reviewers" like this one just don't care! It's not important, so long as you understand it's a buyers' market!

The overall impact on publishing, and on book quality, is completely lost on this blogger and the commenters. And that's a shame, when you can't see the worth of a professionally put-together book. 

Then again, with the overabundance of book blogs and review sites out there, you have your choice of those as well, especially when you're sending those ARCs for your overpriced books. I know where my reading will go, and from the looks of it, Book Riot is okay with telling authors they are worth the same as waxy chocolate and super-thin dish towels.