Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thoughts on Self-Publishing

First of all - Happy New Year! 

Lately, I've been reading Joe Konrath's blog on self-publishing as well as all the entries here to get a handle on marketing strategies and I've started to peruse the places where readers are, like the Amazon boards and Goodreads. 

In my excursions, I happened to stumble upon some interesting looking blurbs for free self-published
e-books and decided to read some of them.  Unfortunately, a couple of the stories I chose weren't up to par, they needed a good editor, one to tell the author that it was NOT ready for publication.

I found a few that were good, but more often than not, the freebies that I pulled up were a mess -loaded with back story, cliches, detailed descriptions in places that slowed down the action and most of all - passive voice.  I found myself skimming through these not ready for prime time items and as a writer, that is so not the point.

So the advice that I am laying on the table for those looking to self publish - if you can't find or afford an editor, get a good critique partner or become a member of a writing group - and float your wares there before you slap them out for public consumption. 

You want someone that will beat you up for the holes in the story AND tell you where you're doing things right - not someone that will praise your writing without fail and definitely not family or friends, because let's face it, they don't want to hurt your feelings. 

It is hard to find a good, honest critique partner - just like it is hard to find a good editor, but it will pay off in the end.

On that note - I'll bid you all farewell till next month. 

Until next time,


  1. Yeah, it's awful when you can tell somebody's just published their rough draft. argh.

  2. Yes it is. Thanks for weighing in.

  3. I will only add: LISTEN to your critique partner and take their feedback seriously. You don't necessarily have to do everything they suggest, but keep an open mind.

  4. I agree with very nearly everything you wrote, but this bit I have trouble with. I'm not sure quite what you mean by back-loaded instead of front-loaded... But remember, ALL books are ending up in the same ocean of works, now. Side by side. Self published or otherwise.

    That's really the difference which has made self publishing viable today, when even two years ago it basically was not.