A work colleague was reading an ebook in the office recently, which is such a rarity in my corporate world, that I felt compelled to strike up a conversation with him about it. The usual "what are you reading" questions escaped my lips and I was thrown slightly by the bored and angry answer: “some awful amateur book. Never again.”
So ok let’s accept that all books, like other art forms, are ultimately a matter of opinion and no book is going to be liked by everybody. But it was the phrase ‘amateur book’ that stood out for me. I asked what he meant by amateur book and the response was that when he bought the e-reader, he purchased several new books that had been self-published by the authors in eBook format and found them less than impressive. This was what he was referring to as an amateur book.
It got me thinking that there is so much self-publishing happening by authors today that the entire industry is changing forever. And the bottom line is that it is so easy to publish. Look, I’m doing it right now by posting this blog. It does make me wonder whether in a decade the faces of literary, genre and bestselling fiction will be skewed by the availability and influx of this so-named ‘amateur’ work. Definitely something to consider, she says, continuing work on her debut novel.