Literature is dead… At least, for self-publishers.

Seeing as I’ve started reading more and more ‘indie’ novels and novellas I decided to have a look through the new releases in the Amazon Kindle store. I managed to get to page 30 out of 400 and, I have to say, I’m pretty shocked.

Every page displayed 48 books, a good number which, I assumed, must contain at least something along the lines of what I was and, indeed still am, looking for.

I would say out of every 48, that at least 44 were essentially porn for bored housewives. Every other cover had some topless man, with abs you could use to file your nails, and short black hair. Oh sure, on some he was dressed in period costumes, some he was a cowboy, even occasionally he was dressed as some stereotypical Arabian Sheikh, and some he even had a half-naked woman draped around him. Of the four remaining there was, say, one or two fantasy novels, usually bordering on copyright issues with some previously established universe, and there were always a couple of Minecraft related books because, obviously, now there is such a popular game in the world why wouldn’t you try to make money out of it?

That is not what I assumed self-publishing would be.

I thought self-publishing would be a place of innovation, of a certain underdog writer desiring to maintain full creative control of his or her work, of not wanting such a large percentage of their profits to go to someone who put little to no work into the creation of the work. I thought I would be able to find interesting narrative, or even a subversion of the narrative rules. But no, it appears to be the same, tired, narratives, the same tired genres, the same overused genres beaten to death by the demands of ‘We want more of the same’ which must still echo from the average reader’s lips.

Now, I think of myself as an average reader, but I want new things. I don’t want to see Twilight rip offs, (the original was bad enough), or Hunger Games with more romance. I’m trying not to get annoyed, or to come across as bitter as I am currently feeling, but when the same images of the same narrative repeat themselves across the screen over and over and over again, I really get disheartened.

I would never dare to call myself a legitimate writer, at least until Orwell’s ghost rises from the grave and gives me a high five for writing something badass, but I understand and, at times, agree with, the stigmata that still comes with being self-published.

But anyway, if you disagree, be sure to let me know! I could do with a debate to liven up all this coursework rubbish.

2 thoughts on “Literature is dead… At least, for self-publishers.

    1. How do we judge what IS ‘quality fiction’ though? For all that I say that most self-published books are terrible, ones titled, say, ‘His Hired Girlfriend’ or ‘Break My Fall: Broken #1’ still sell to a wider audience than, say, ‘Disrupted Worlds’ have done. Narratives which provide innovation, prose which needs a sense of creativity in order to be created, is not what it appears people want to read. Why do people like, say, me, get to decide what is, or is not, literature?

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