Can anyone be beautiful if someone doesn’t say to them, “I think you’re beautiful”? Can anyone be intelligent if the results of a test don’t confirm “you’re a genius”? And more pertinent to our discussion, can any book be good if not validated by a 4 or 5 star review? Can a book without reviews at all be good in any sense of the word? Doesn’t someone need to tell us it is? Otherwise, isn’t beauty, intelligence, and artistic worth a relative term, utterly meaningless without a verifiable source?
To me, the question of indie writers and books comes down to this simple question. When you browse the shelves of a bookstore or library, you implicitly know that these books have been curated for you by the experts. Not only publishers, but booksellers, sales charts, award committees, and librarians have each had their say, and personally picked through the debris of literature to offer these chosen gems: these are good and worth your time, they seem to say. So even if you take a book and decide it’s not for you, the reason isn’t that the book itself is bad, or comes from an inferior pen; it simply wasn’t your cup of tea, or what you were in the mood for. You don’t take it personally (or most of us don’t).