Self-published authors, please edit your books.

(This is a little different than my other eWednesday posts, but it’s still related to ebooks and so fits in. Kinda.)

A couple of week ago Christine at Finding Free eBooks posted some suggestions for authors self-publishing their ebook, including this one that’s currently on my mind:

Too many of these ebooks I’ve seen have plenty of spelling mistakes, punctuation, grammar mistakes. Sentences that don’t make sense or stop right in the middle. This type of problem. Go through your work and correct these things or have someone else do it for you.

You are trying to get readers to like your work, to want to read your next book. You are trying to convince publishers that your talent is worth taking a risk on. Putting this sloppy work out says to people that you don’t really care, so why should they?

YES PLEASE. It is just unacceptable that anyone would publish a book that wasn’t the best it could be (this includes professional publishers as well and indie/self ones). Even if it’s free, I don’t want to read a book that’s poorly edited!

I’m currently reading a free ebook I found via Christine’s blog, and while the writing and story are pretty good, the punctuation needs a lot of help. There’s missing periods, missing commas, missing question marks and it’s so distracting I can’t focus on the book. I’m only in the fourth chapter, but I’m not even sure I want to finish if it’s going to be that bad in the rest of the book.

Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it has to be of a lower quality than paid-for books, y’know? And just because it’s an ebook doesn’t mean that it, the person that wrote it, the person that made it, or the person that downloads it are any less important than a paper book’s people. Plus, with ebooks it’s way easier to correct typos (or whatever) than with paper books!

So, er, basically: anyone who writes/makes ebooks? Listen to Christine.

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0 thoughts on “Self-published authors, please edit your books.”

  1. I share your concern and as a self-published author I really wanted to hire an editor for my first novel Flores Girl:The Children God Forgot. You can only look at a page so many times and I found that the mistakes you overlook the first time you’ll overlook the second and third time. I had a recommendation on a really good editor but she was tied up and I found myself hesitating on hiring an unknown for thousands of dollars. Now with the economic downturn there is no way I can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a free book and thereby put my family at risk. Such is the plight of a new author.

    Erik John Bertel

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