December 1, 2011

Self-Publishing


I just finished reading a self-published book. It’s the first self-published book I’ve read and I didn’t go straight for a freebie. I actually paid $2.99 to an unknown author who hosts a rather witty blog. The verdict? Not good. In fact, quite disappointing. Most of the book was a classic example of tell and not show. It was well edited and formatted but, in my opinion, rather underdeveloped.  

Having said that, some readers enjoyed it. Opinionated but not a professional, mine could just have been a clash in taste but having taken several creative writing classes, I pretty sure this would have gotten a C grade. It did make me wonder though, how will I know when my book is ready? 

My friends, family and even hired help can fix my writing but who’s going to be courageous enough to tell me it’s boring or cliché or redundant? That’s a publisher’s job, much like gallery owner deciding what is worthy enough to go on the walls. It has its cons but also benefits. I fear, even reviewers will be overwhelmed by the plethora of self-published books stacking up on the e-book shelves. It’s going to take a lot effort and wasted money to find something good.

3 comments:

  1. Oh no... now you have me thinking that it could be one of mine because we interact here! Although I am very conscious of trying to implement good exposition. If it is, I want you to pm me or I'll be forever wondering. LOL - being that all my posts on blogger are witty an' all and it's all about me!

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  2. @S P Mount....no, no. Fear not. Your writing and this book reside on separate planets. I haven't purchased any of your books because I'm in the middle of a guilty conscience of having so many on my shelves unread. Like a wardrobe of clothes with price tag still on them. I wish I read faster but I'm trying to 'study' as I read.

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  3. Whoo... call me paranoid, but I do put my heart and soul into my work, and did take very particular note of my own creative writing classes, I would REALLY have wondered if this was about me nonetheless! LOL.

    But yes, you do have a good point here about self published work, it seems that there are no standards to be able to go by, save for some of the reviews, and I guess you can only really trust those if there are many. I know that I would not put anything up that I wasn't nearly thoroughly happy with and most I took down to rewrite recently at this stage in my writing career, a year later, even though they had great reviews already. However I have seen some reviews that completely annihilate what appeared to be a great synopsis and cover etc of other works, they mention typos and bad grammar and people who obviously never had any kind of training, and when you have had training you do of course see who hasn't, even if they believe that they can string a sentence together nicely enough, for creative writing, but its just not good enough on that platform.

    I have often said that just like trying to get an editor or a publisher, the amount of self-published works now, drown out those who have actually taken the time to train and have tried to write a quality novel and get it noticed. It's hard work trying to promote this in other ways, like blogging and hubbing, as I do now, not quite into the tweets yet, maybe that's to come. Thanks for letting me know though! I can rest easy now.

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