There’a always something interesting going on at Writer Unboxed. I read this article, “Ten Things I’ve Learned from Evaluating Self-Published Books for a Year,” when it was published last winter. The evaluating (and endorsing) was done by two publishing professionals, Jessica Bennett and Leslie Ramey, who’d formed a company—Compulsion Reads*—to “shine the spotlight on quality indie books by endorsing those books that meet CR’s strict quality standards.”
Since I’ve read very few self-published novels unless I was paid to do so, I was intrigued. Bennett tells us she averaged two self-pubbed books a week for more than a year, which I’d say is a pretty good market sample. What did she learn? Look past the amazings to the good stuff:
1. There are many amazing self-published books on the market.
2. Many self-publishers publish too early.
3. Self-published authors need to care more about grammar.
4. Self-published authors are amazingly kind and generous.
5. Writing a great novel does not mean it will be successful.
6. Too much telling!
7. Indie authors are incredibly creative.
8. Self-published authors struggle with making big edits to their books.
9. Things are going to get harder for self-published authors before they get easier.
10. Self-published authors need more love.
Read the entire article—there’s some valuable and encouraging information here for those who plan to self-publish, and, as I say, from someone who’s read nothing but indie authors for eighteen months or so. Listen to her!
There were no real suprises for me. Yes, grammar, syntax, and general skill of writing are often lacking. Yes, show-don’t-tell is a pretty big issue. Yes, inexperienced authors are often in a very big hurry, and yes, they often find it very difficult to trust an editor. :) But admitting the problem is the first step to a cure, right?
* Sadly, Compulsion Reads has closed, as the principals found they had no time for their own writing. However, you’ll still be able to see the list of their endorsed books, so have a look! I will too.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”