Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Founder of Book Recommendation Service “Slams” Self-Publishing


Simple post today… 

Book Recommendations

Image courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/nkzs

Let’s start with the idea that most readers don’t mind having books recommended to them.

Also, it seems many recommendations come from friends.

However, Aaron Stanton, founder of The Book Genome Project, feels there are certain books that live in some subterranean world that one should avoid.

I’ll let him speak for himself (quotes from an article on Digital Book World):

“The relative ease that independent authors can publish content directly to a digital store has created a tremendous swell in content with no editorial oversight. The vast majority of these titles have almost no reliable meta-data about what’s in them. It is a large, invisible ocean of content that most people are not really aware of.”

Sounds somewhat reasonable, eh?

Well, what he’s describing is what he calls a “DarkNet” and he’s talking over-generalizing about Self-Published books:

“On the internet, the Darknet is a collection of underground or largely unindexed websites that you have to know exist in order to find. A lot of questionable content has grown around these Darknet communities — if you’re familiar with the Silk Road that was recently taken down by the authorities, you’re at least partly familiar with the Darknet.”

To be fair to the man, he’s talking about “incest, rape, and underage erotica”.

However, the way he argues could be misunderstood:

“Do I really think that the combined categories of self-published Erotic, Incest, and Bestiality compete in scale with Computer or Literature books? I certainly think it’s possible

He then gives three caveats that add up to proving absolutely nothing

Then he finishes with a sales pitch for The Book Genome Project:

“In terms of accuracy, our tools for identifying erotic content has a better than 99% catch rate, and a less than 1% false positive rate. The same is true with bestiality.”

So, if you’re walking down the street, and someone hands you a book, don’t you dare look inside it—have it checked by an expert before you’re polluted.

My God, there are plenty of places to find reviews, descriptions, and opinions about books

Like one’s friends

~~~

This post was brought to you by Alex’s rant machine ( which only works about once a year :-)

By the way, the title of the article all those quotes are in is The Literary Darknet of Independent Publishing—great way to misrepresent the best thing that’s ever happened for books, eh?

~~~

BONUS MATERIAL (former posts about book recommendations)

10 Places to Seek and Offer Book Recommendations

How Do Readers Discover Books?

A Free Personal Librarian?
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