There is so much truth in the MEME above – it’s frightening.
I was reading a post earlier about a fellow author’s take on the pros and cons of traditional publishing, advances and brick and mortar stores… and something occurred to me – actually several things… and I’m going to share them with you.
- Publishing for the sake of being “published” is a bad idea.
The introduction of bookbaby, lightening source and createspace/KDP have spawned a generation of easy self-publishing. Sometimes that is a good thing. Sometimes not…
It has become far too easy for just anyone to write and publish a book. And when it is done the right way, it can be a really great thing. When done the wrong way, it has a tendency to give anyone who self-publishes a bad name.
Because the only way to tell the bad self-pubbed books from the good is to buy it, read it, and either love it… or hate it. You may be tempted to snap up free books and books that are .99¢, but after getting burned six or seven times, even the most dedicated reader would be tempted give up on self-pubbed books altogether.
Having said that…
- No book – traditional or self-pubbed – no matter how well-edited – is going to be PERFECT!
Despite what everyone says… Despite what the big five would like you to think… Despite opinions and rumors and loudly voice concerns…
It simply is not possible to have a PERFECT book.
Spellcheck – is going to miss words that are spelled right… but the wrong word.
Proof Readers – are going to miss continuity mistakes between series… unless they’re a fan
Line Editors – are going to miss things that look right to them, but aren’t correct because of genre or continuity, etc…
And so on…
I know this to be true because there is a certain author (who shall remain nameless) – whose books I have read more than a dozen of… and aside from the ridiculous charade of drawing out a ridiculous love triangle for FAR TOO LONG… there have been so many continuity errors, research goofs, even recipe snafus in her books, that to claim a traditional publisher has no mistakes in their books… is ludicrous.
So, judge all you want when a self-pubbed book is not up to par, but please stop claiming that par is perfection… cuz it’s not.
And lastly – for today at least…
- As an author – even negative reviews are my friend.
WAIT… PLEASE don’t misunderstand me… and PLEASE don’t go write up a nasty review of someone’s book to “help them”.
What I mean when I say this is: In the article I mentioned above, the author said that she never reviews a book unless she only has good to say about it.
While this is a really nice strategy and I’m sure authors appreciate nice reviews, it’s ALWAYS better to have a high number of reviews that it is to just have a handful of 5 stars.
There are two reasons for this statement… and I still struggle with the second one, but I’m getting better – I promise.
- Amazon, B&N, GoodReads, etc… ALL have protocols for how books are shown on their site. If you have more reviews, your books are going to be shown to more shoppers… period.
- I do this myself – so I know it to be true… if a reader looks at your reviews and there are ONLY 4 or 5 star reviews – they are going to think you either A) paid for reviews… or B) reviews have only been written by friends and family.
Now, granted… the great Amazon sentinels are doing everything they can to limit how much of these things actually happen, but they don’t realize how much they are hurting authors by doing so.
First, if a family member writes a review – Amazon’s algorithms have no real way of determining whether that review is unbiased… and should not censor it simply because the reviewer might possibly be related to the author. And since they already have settings in place to distinguish between reviewers who purchase the book FROM Amazon and who does not – they could simply add a disclaimer to the review that says something to the effect of “This reviewer might be related to the author”.
Second, given how many reviews are posted by people who don’t like that author – but have never read the book… people who are just mean… and robots… well…
Amazon really needs to re-think their strategy. Not to mention, they probably lose a lot of business from said family and friends – who are annoyed they can’t say something about a book they genuinely enjoyed.
And – like I said above – I really struggle with this one because, while I don’t LOVE negative reviews (what author does…), I understand this to be true and I tend to just pass over anything less than 3 stars – to save my sanity… or rather, my family’s sanity.
OK. That’s all for today. You may go back to whatever you were doing before you happened across my post.
© JCMorrows 2016