Recently, Melissa at Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf had brought up a wonderful discussion that I had always been afraid to admit/touch on/confess and that is this notion of reviewing self-pub authors differently than those that are traditional.
And I will be confessing to my sin right now: Yes, I do it.
I don't mean to do it. When I first started to accept self-published work I never thought, "I must go easy on this book because it is through the authors own hard work and dedication." In fact, for me, I always feel like whether self-pub or traditional, the same amount of work goes into both. Granted, traditional has to go through many hands and many more in-depth than that of the self-pub in order to rid itself of the roughness.
And that's where I go wrong. I am aware that when something comes my way self-published it was not given the same treatment as that of a traditional work. It has plot holes, poor character development, and grammar errors that an editor keeps an eye on when looking over a novel.
I admit, I feel like I give more leniency to self-published work is because of the different steps a book had to go through. I feel like traditional authors have more protection and a wider audience, only because they have the funds (i.e. publishing company) to spread the word about the book. They are able to ship to hundreds of bloggers ARC's and host launch parties and score interviews on TV and get authors on magazines. I get it, money has power, and with so many people behind this author there is no way people cannot not hear about this book. And what they mostly hear are good things.
I mean, I'll admit I get excite when I see a book buzzing around. That, I feel is part of the reason I give so much cushion to self-published work. I would feel bad that certain self-pub authors are only working with what they have (friends, family, dog, cat, good people) and so word of mouth is everything. Now, I know that self-published authors are not going to suffer if I give one bad review, because I have to be honest, but this is to the books I give higher ratings on. There are things that I catch on traditional published books that would lead them to get a score down, while if I see that same problem in a self-published book I do tend to over look it.
This is a habit that I've recognized and have to come to terms with and fix. Obviously it isn't fair and I have to look at the books the same, because when it comes down to it, are they really that different?
I'm going to work harder on fixing this habit, but it exist.