March 28th, 2010
Hi, there are any number of conversations going on around the blogsphere and the tweet world, and I’m sure off line in that old fashioned medium of voice conversations about this subject. Sue and I have had these conversations off line, too. It comes down to why would an author choose to work with an indie publisher rather than self publish, especially e-books.
We think it comes down to quality and reputation. I have bought some e-books recently, not so much because I wanted entertainment but to research. I’m not going to name names but here are some observations.
First, I bought books from Amazon.com and Smashwords, to ensure I had something from both ends of the spectrum.
What did I see?
- Stories that hadn’t started by the time I hit delete on my iTouch. So many of the books I read gave a ton of back story.
- Stories that had inconsistent point of view, or a point of view that allowed the author to tell the story, not show it.
- Stories with lots of ‘stage direction’ – character stops the car, turns off the ignition, opens the door, crosses the lawn, climbs the stairs, takes out the key, unlocks the door, opens the door, and walks in. (I’m not exaggerating)
- Stories with stilted dialogue. The big trigger is to look at the grammar in your dialogue, not even English teachers speak in correct and complete sentences all the time.
When it comes to uploading your book to Smashwords or to Amazon, you can pretty much do it with a click of the mouse. If you only revised with your own opinions, you won’t have seen what needs to be done. If only your mother, or sister, or friend, have read it, you won’t have professional advice on making the book readable and compelling.
An indie publisher will work with you to make the final changes to your manuscript to make it a marketable book. The readers for indie publishers aren’t reading for enjoyment – although that’s a nice bonus – they are reading to see if you have grabbed your reader enough to make they want to read to the end, they are looking for structural issues, and the last thing they will look for is grammar and punctuation.
If you think you need to work with someone who will give you advice on story revising and polishing, check out our submission guidelines at PaperBox Books