Last week,I read an article by Jessica Park talking about self publishing ebooks on Amazon. I had never purchased a self published ebook and was curious to check out one that has had success as far as sales/reviews, so I went for it and purchased Park's "Flat-Out Love" for my Kindle.
I need to preface this review with a bit of a disclaimer...I love to write and have several stories floating around in my head and on paper, but with the exception of NaNoWriMo, I have never written a novel.I don't think NaNoWriMo really counts, because although it was the semblance of a novel and was over 50,000 pages, I think the real work is in the editing process and I have not done that on the scope of a novel. I have not taken the time to do what Park has done and although I am thinking of giving self publishing a shot, I have not taken that step. So here is the disclaimer- Despite my following review, I admire that Park has taken the leap to self publish and has been successful at it. I hope to one day soon, be able to take that leap and actually be successful!
That said, I didn't care for "Flat-Out Love" and was a bit mystified that she was able to sell so many copies and get such great reviews. All of the technical aspects of the story are fine. There is a solid story, it's just painfully predictable and bland. I kept reading hoping that there would be a surprising twist, but no, the major plot points are very clear within the first quarter of the story. I was didn't like the main character, Julie. She managed to be naive and superior at the same time. I didn't like how all of the characters were written off as being misunderstood and tortured. It felt shallow and the last chapter of the book was saccharine.
Although I agreed with the sentiment that Park was expressing, I was very put off by the author's opening statement to readers. It came across as obnoxious and put me off before ever starting the book. I think that the same sentiment could have been expressed in a more eloquent way.
So, I didn't like the book. However, I think that this was personally valuable to me, to get a gauge on self-published ebooks and I will definitely check out some more authors. I also thought that her writing that article was brilliant, because she probably had a lot more people downloading her books. I had never heard of her prior to reading the article.