Numbers count

My list of books to read and review keeps growing and I’ve noticed that it’s pretty unbalanced in the genres I select. If the sample of a book looks bad, I trash it, and unfortunately, most of the books I’ve been trashing are in genres I’d like to review. So far, I haven’t found any science fiction worth bothering with and that led me to think about numbers. It seems that the vast majority of books are in a very few genres — fantasy, romance, YA, and mystery/crime. There aren’t a whole lot of science fiction novels out there in indie land, compared to those, so the chance of finding something worth reading is pretty low.

I do read some fantasy, but only if it’s extremely well written, original, and doesn’t have fairies, magicians, talking animals, etc. I have zero interest in crime/mystery, families, coming of age, female-centered stories of career struggles, recovery from trauma. Whether I misspent my youth too submerged in literary fiction, or the seen-it-all ennui of old age has taken over, I find that I’ve seriously narrowed down the number of genres I find interesting. Which isn’t exactly a good place for a would-be reviewer to be in.

So, I’m in the process of rethinking my whole approach to reviewing indie books. I haven’t decided whether I’ll try to force myself to broaden my interests, as least far enough to allow me to read samples in non-favorite genres (unlikely). Limiting myself to Smashwords authors seemed like a good idea, but it makes it that much more difficult to find books worth reviewing. I’m going to sign off on the Smashwords affiliate program, partly because I doubt I’ll ever make any significant amount of money from it, partly because it could taint the legitimacy of my reviews (in the minds of some readers).

An indie author is an indie author, whether they’re publishing through Smashwords, Amazon, B & N, or selling from their own site. And a good book is a good book, no matter where you find it.


3 thoughts on “Numbers count

  1. Interesting post. I confess I had to look up ‘indie author’ on Wikipedia. The definition was rather brief. Perhaps, you could elaborate or provide a link. I haven’t investigated the problems with publishing a novel.

    I’m a fan of and write mostly short stories–new short story collections disappeared from the bookstores several years ago–and it wasn’t until I started using the internet that I discovered where they had all gone. In a large part, this is the only reason that I surf.

    1. An indie author is any writer who publishes their own work rather than submitting it to a publisher. That’s my 25 words or less definition. There are thousands of discussions of indie publishing on the web, but I couldn’t hook you up with a more extensive definition. There’s a lot more to it, of course, and the question makes me think it would be an excellent topic for a blog post.

  2. You want a sf indie book to review. You could review mine, Zollocco: A Novel of Another Universe. It has already been reviewed (all favorably)in a few places. It will be up at Smashwords as soon as I fix the ToC. You might want to look at my page about it at

    I’d be happy to send you a pdf of it. Originally Zollocco was published by an e-publiher, but that publisher went out of business when the owner had to go into the hospital. This was early days of e-books when so many people were die-hard “I’ll never ever read an e-book!” sorts. Now that people have a better view of e-books, I’d like some new reviews of it to get the word out on it.

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