Every day, more writers are turning to the world of self-publishing. While I understand their tendency to take this route, the result – for me at least – is that the lack of proof reading and editing is having disastrous results in the literature we’re reading.
I own a Kindle, and I have the Prime membership that Amazon offers – so I get one free book per month to check out of the Kindle ‘library’. After I joined, I realized that most of the offerings (not all, but probably about 85%) are self-published authors. I have read a few good books from this selection, but what’s interesting to me is that in checking out many reviews, I find that readers are really on top of things like typos, grammatical errors and lack of character development!
Last week, I read a book by someone I met who has successfully self-published several books. I decided I would take my pen and edit the beginning chapter (my degrees in both journalism and organizational management have given me years of experience of writing and editing on a daily basis, so I consider myself qualified). The first four or five pages were marked up to the point, I told myself to just stop and read the story – which wasn’t good enough to look past the other flaws.
Last weekend, I was at a reading festival and I asked a couple of people who were selling their self-published books who does their proofing/editing – they all said the same thing – that they do their own, or if possible they had a trusted friend do it for them.
So…not only do I have to work on trying to score some side work doing editing for self-published writers – ha – but I need to know from you guys out there…does this bother you at all? Are you in agreement with those who give self-published authors a bad review for the lack of work they do on the tail end of their creation? I just find it inconceivable that I would spend months or even years writing a book and then not do it the justice it deserves before it goes out to the reading public!
Self-publishing is not the route I plan on taking, but totally support those who do. I’m still shooting for the stars; I still believe that if your story is good enough and you work your ass off there’s a chance to get an agent who will work their ass off to find you a publishing house.
Writers must support writers – I truly believe that. I just want us all to care as much at the end of the process as we do in the beginning.