By Darin L. Hammond
Article first published as The Chaos of the Ebook Market on Technorati.
I am a prejudiced reader. I won't read any book unless I know beforehand that I'm going to love it, and I've always been this way. I began to really read during my senior high school year when I picked up Animal Farm by George Orwell because the novel was thin, about animals, and well-loved by many.
I don't want to waste time on a book that might leave me with the feeling that hours of my life have passed in mindless oblivion. The ebook industry intensifies my problem, though I am a huge advocate, especially of indie authors. But, to be honest, a lot of crap is flooding the market. Not your ebook, of course.
The problem is that with the democratization of authoring, publishing, and reading we are currently in a void similar to the political disarray following the fall of the iron curtain. What happens when an industry that has always been restrictive and exclusive suddenly realizes freedom?
Chaos. A deluge of books are on the market,blessing authors and readers with freedom, but in that liberation lies disorder. We now lack an effective means of filtering the books that we pull up on our screens. The disorder of the new democracy creates a problem for readers like me.Forbes recently addressed this issue, concluding that the indie trend is an overall good.
I heartily agree, but still find myself in the midst of disorder, not knowing what to read next. The industry flourishes in new-found freedom, but what we lack now are trusted filtering mechanisms. The paradox lies in the fact that if we desire this liberation from the restraints of traditional publishers, we must be willing to live with a certain amount of disruption and disorder.
The freedom is at once liberating and confining, but in the mayhem are opportunities for new enterprises and readers who are willing to filter the manure from the choice animals on the publication farm.