Once again, I see folks on the message boards complaining about "self-pub" or "indie" authors and how shoddy "those" books are.
Problem: You can't clump every self-published book and author into the same bin.
Just as you can't clump every traditionally-published author/book into the same bin.
I just read a Harlequin filled with typos and errors.
I also read a self-published book filled with typos and errors.
I also read a trad book that was well-executed and produced. AND I also read another self-published title that had excellent quality writing and production.
So what's going on?
As far as trad-published books...the big pubs are clearly cutting editorial corners. As well as digital formatting corners. That's nothing new.
But what I would like to really address today is the whole "indie" thing because not all indies are created equal.
I own a business. A publishing company. For me. I make all the decisions. And because I want to produce a high quality and professional product, I hire professionals to help me with this business.
I hire a professional cover artist.
I hire someone to format my books for print.
I hire someone to format my books for digital release.
I hire someone to professionally edit my books.
I have a crew of beta readers who edit for content.
I pay money for ads and other promotional options.
Is this expensive? Maybe. It's an investment in MY business.
There is a very big difference between a publishing business (whether it's run by a New York company or a smaller company or a single person) and a DIY-pub.
A DIY-Pub could be your Aunt Ethel who wrote a family history and wants to throw that baby up on Amazon so she can say she "published" a book. Good for her. I have no problem with that.
However, if you...
--make your own book cover
--do NOT hire a professional editor
--do NOT hire professional formatters
--promote yourself by fighting with peeps on message boards
...I do not consider you a professional publisher.
That's a DIY project.
Maybe you're awesome at formatting. And maybe you have a graphic design background and can whip off a gorgeous cover. Fine.
But even the most experienced authors--who have been writing for YEARS--need an editor. They just do. I can tell when the big-wig NY-published authors are skipping the editing portion of the equation. It's glaringly obvious and pretty embarrassing.
Once again, the bottom line is JUDGE EACH BOOK ON ITS OWN MERITS.
Clumping all self-published authors together into the same barrel is ridiculous.
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Dachshund-lover, cocktail drinker, botanist, obsessive reader, author of quirky fiction. Titles include The Klaus Brothers Series, Lumberjack in Love, Apples Should Be Red, A Taste of Heaven, and Lucy the Wonder Weenie (children's fiction--W/A Nina Clark).
LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE
Because every dog's a super hero.
Penny On The Dark Side (illustration by Scott Fiander)