08/13/2012 02:10 pm ET Updated Oct 13, 2012

The E-Books Are Coming! Run for Your Lives!

Many reviewers have been complaining for a while about the democratization of publishing and the "flood" of e-books.

These traditional reviewers who tend to review books published by major houses are troubled by the supposed difficulties of finding good books now that Amazon has so many hundreds of thousands of indie authors. How are you supposed to weed out the crap? And how are good authors and good books going to make it?

That last question is one that authors, editors and agents were asking way before e-books became a possibility. And the first question has a very simple answer: you do what you'd do in a bookstore. You read a few pages. It's not that complicated. People spend a long time surfing on-line? So what? Many readers can spend a whole afternoon or evening browsing at a book store. What's the problem?

The complaint about quantity driving out quality strikes me as a bogus one. How is that even possible? The good books won't disappear, and the bad ones are pretty obvious. I don't bother with any book that is badly formatted and has more typos than normal. In just a few minutes, I recently passed on an original e-book because the first two pages were a mess in several different ways.

But no matter who's published it, I avoid e-books that I consider badly written and I don't see why it's difficult for reviewers and other readers to do the same thing.

Is there a lot of junk being published now? Yes.

So what else is new?