Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Writing independently.

Ladies and gents, I am tired. And that's largely because I decided to engage in discussions on this here internet thing that I should have been wise enough to avoid. Sometimes even when we think we're clever, we get drawn into a Pit of Mistakes (tm).

I don't really want to rehash the arguments. I'm just going to give my point of view.

Self-publishing or indie publishing or publishing independently, however we choose to label it, may mean that we don't have to write to the standards of the Big 6 (or 5 or however many) publishing houses that control the traditional market. It does not mean that an independent/self-published author should be allowing their cat to walk on their keyboard for 400 pages, then putting that document up on Amazon for $3.99. Or $.99. Or anything except free if it absolutely must be shared with the world.

There are no people saying we can't charge for nonsense or poorly edited books. There is no gatekeeper. There is no guardian at the door refusing to let us do whatever we want.

But if you publish something (especially knowingly) that isn't ready to be sold to the public, it doesn't just reflect badly on you. It reflects badly on everyone publishing under the independent/self-published umbrella. It chases people away from not just your book, but hers and his and mine too.

I certainly care about my own career. I'd like to see everyone who wants to publish the book of their dreams do it and do it well. We may not all make six-figure incomes, but that's not a reason not to try, if you want your voice to be heard.

So it's my opinion that books -- yes, even indepent/self-published books who need adhere to no publisher's rules -- should be edited coherently. Have professional-looking covers. Show some authorial pride and respect for the reader spending both their time and their money to read them.

This is my pledge to you, my readers. I will strive to release books that are ready to be read, only when they're ready to be read. I want you to enjoy them as much as I do and I want you to keep coming back, not only to read my books, but to take a chance on the other independent/self-published authors who take the same care with their works.

And that's that.

(Well, not quite. There's another chapter of And The Skies Fell up this week too. Back on track. :) )

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