Quality Control in an eWorld

The possible benefits of self-publishing an ebook make the “writer” part of me do a double-take and reconsider the whole idea of self-publishing. However, the idea makes the “reader” part of me—a much larger part—worry.

Through the course of this class, I have become more comfortable with the epublishing industry. Print books won’t be disappearing anytime soon, and I don’t think I need to worry about the complete demise of the traditional publishing industry; being stubborn and shunning ebooks isn’t a progressive way to think. I should be accepting the future (heck, I’m only 19—it’s far too early for me to shun new technologies).

What worries me as a probable future reader of ebooks is the prospect of websites being inundated with self-published books that are poorly written and haven’t been edited. If I want to browse an ebook store like I can a physical bookstore and don’t have a specific book or author in mind to look for, then what will prevent these low-quality self-published books from sneaking into my cart? All I’ll have to go on is a description, right?

Without any “gatekeepers” to ensure the quality of books, I will find it hard to trust ebooks whose titles I haven’t heard before. In a physical bookstore, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy an obscure book if I like the description—because I trust that the book has been edited and that someone who at least knows about literature considers it worthy of others’ time. I fear that I will have no such assurance in a shady ebook world.

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