Word of the week: feasible /ˈfēzəbəl/ (hear it!) - adjective - 1: capable of being done or carried out; 2: capable of being used or dealt with successfully, suitable; 3: reasonable, likely - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Some years back, I was told that we (referring to editors, but this applies to indie authors, too) are expected to be perfect [in our editing/writing], and yet no one is ever perfect. Oh, so, so true—heartbreakingly.
Well, naturally, this high expectation creates a conundrum, which creates stress, which of course creates excessive perfectionism, which cycles back around to exacerbate the original conundrum, which in turn creates even more stress on top of even more excessive perfectionism . . . which eventually leads to bald indie authors tearing out their “flowing locks” trying to please “all and sundry,” or abandoning a perfectly feasible project in disgust. (Yikes! [insert your own capitalized entity here] forbid!)
Please, no bald indie authors. And no giving up.
In the November 2011 issue of the Writer's Beat Quarterly (# 35), my good friend and proofreader, Keely Christensen, WBQ's editor-in-chief, wrote in her quarterly Letter From the Editor a matter I felt hit spot on. Something indie authors need to remember if they ever plan to be taken seriously in their self-publishing endeavors. One of many issues indie authors face, without a doubt, but one that should not be taken lightly, regardless, despite its seemingly minor significance.
And it's oh-so easy to fix. Honest!
So, here it is, reprinted with permission, a well-spoken . . .
Indie Reader Rant!
I’ve been reading so many self-published ebooks lately. I’ve come to find that there are a great deal of them I enjoy just as much as (if not sometimes more) than traditionally published novels. Every here and there, though, I get into something in which I would love to be able to demand my money back!
For the sake of fairness, I will not specify what book or who wrote it, but I recently purchased a novel for $2.99 on my Nook. I read about five pages of the “free excerpt” and, coupled with the synopsis (which sounded interesting), I decided to go for it. Page six shows up. Commas are crazily out of place, capitalization is frustratingly incorrect (“Dialogue.” He said.), and words are misspelled everywhere (the author wrote about the “school’s principle”). In the next ten pages (all I got through), I found 249 SPaG errors.
Now I know there is a constant ongoing debate on self vs. traditional publishing. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a fair share of traditionally published novels with errors, too. I just really want to point out that whatever route you want to go for, you need to try, try, try your hardest to make sure that it isn’t one big ball of messed up crap. You could have the next greatest novel in the history of the world, and if it goes out to people talking about how the “whether” was supposed to be nice and that the diamond was two “carrots,” I don’t care how great the story is. I’m gonna get frustrated.
Now, I’m not a stickler for perfection on those kinds of things. I’m sure if someone searched through this they might find a handful of errors. I do, however, want to see the effort put forth. I don’t like paying three dollars for something that makes me feel like I was just ripped off. Like it was a first draft or something.
Not to say that it’s an easy task—I realize that. We have a great team here [at Writer's Beat Quarterly] who does as much as we can to make sure things look nice, and are correct. We miss things all the time, of course, but we try hard to make sure those errors aren’t riddled throughout (you know, like 249 times in ten pages . . .). So, I want to give a thanks to the hardworking team at Writers Beat for making sure that our readers don’t end up crying because of the all the errors!
Keely Christensen, Editor-in-Chief of the Writer's Beat Quarterly
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