If you Self-Publish, Please Please Please Please Hire a Copy-Editor

I don’ t knowhow I can be clearer.Lets just say that I’m so tired of reading messed up print from indy authors. “I’m also tired of missing quote marks, she said.

Did you like reading that? My guess is no.  I didn’t like writing it, either. It hurt my fingers to type it that way. Get the picture?  Ugh!!!

My Bachelor’s Degree is in English Literature from the University of Georgia. I also have a Master’s degree. I read ALL of the time. I chose not to go on and get my Master’s in English because I wanted to write genre fiction, specifically romance, and that kind of fluff was frowned upon in academia. It still is, for the most part.

With two kids close together, I had cut way back on reading, because I didn’t have the time. But with my Kindle, I can read wherever I want — while waiting during my daughter’s dance class, waiting at the school, waiting at the doctor’s office. I’m a fast reader, and having a whole bookstore in my hands at all time didn’t bode well. In fact, I spent a fortune on e-books. More recently, as I have begun to look more at publishing my own novel, I have turned away from the mainstream publishers like Harlequin and have looked at more of the self-published writers.  My thought was if I download their free book and like it, I’ll give them a good review and strongly consider buying something else from them. That seemed like a reasonable trade to me.

I just started a book yesterday that I downloaded last week. It has a compelling story, and a great cover, but there are issues. I won’t name the book, because I’m not sharing negative publicity, and I don’t want to cause any issues or problems. I’m two chapters into it, and while it’s a compelling story, the lack of a copy editor is glaringly obvious.  Words run together. Quotes are missing. I want to know what happens, but I don’t know if I can go on. It’s pure torture! (I’m borrowing my son’s words when I ask him to clean his room). I went back to the book’s listing on Amazon and it has two reviews, both a 3, knocking it for a lack of an editor. These aren’t style issues. These are flat-out typos. All I can say is I’m glad I didn’t pay money for it.

The sad thing is, I really like this writer. I have to check. I may actually be following her on twitter.  I just want to send her a tweet and tell her to hire a d@mn copy editor!  Maybe it’s formatting issues switching from word processing to the Kindle book format, but wouldn’t you read your own book on the kindle and pull it if it looks ridiculous?  She’s self-published, so it’s not an issue of another company giving her permission to pull it to fix it.

Traditional publishing is competitive enough. It seems that Indy-publishing is competitive in a different way. Since anyone can do it, rising above the trash and riff-raff will be difficult. I still have a lot to learn about digital publishing and the indy-author world, but it seems that the only way to make any kind of mark is to make ABSOLUTELY sure that you have a file that’s mistake free.  Most readers will forgive one or two, but when I’m two chapters in and there have already been several, I have to question the author’s commitment to her work.