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So another boring re-tread of the same old arguments then?

Her main point seems to be that books need to be edited properly.

Wow.

A revelation.

We need to move past this idea that all self publishers have no idea that their books need editing by somebody else. Yes, there are a lot out there that don't realise this and produce crap, but there are a growing number of indie authors who understand the point very well and make sure to source a decent editing facility.

Whether going for traditional publishing or self publishing we're all authors and should be writing to the same standards, no matter which avenue is pursued. Maybe as the months and years go by attitudes will change a bit.

She is right though, the only way to create a proper book is to have it professionally edited. Whether this requires the input of a publishing company is the subject up for debate these days.
 

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NickSpalding said:
We need to move past this idea that all self publishers have no idea that their books need editing by somebody else. Yes, there are a lot out there that don't realise this and produce crap, but there are a growing number of indie authors who understand the point very well and make sure to source a decent editing facility.

Whether going for traditional publishing or self publishing we're all authors and should be writing to the same standards, no matter which avenue is pursued. Maybe as the months and years go by attitudes will change a bit.
I think the serious selfpub people know their work needs to be edited and stuff like that. They know it is their responsibility now they don't have an agent/publisher to take care of it for them.

But yes you do have those that don't know, but how many of those are people who simply think writing a book is only about the writing and nothing else? How many of them are people who would send letters for a fantasy book to publishers that only do romance? How many of them are those that go off on a rant when someone tells them they use "and then, and then, and then" every paragraph and this is hard to read?
How many of the people that don't know their work needs to be "perfect" are those who would not abide the rules of a writer anyway?

On the other hand... publishers can be quite the pain in the arse when it comes to ebooks and "new publishing" too. I have been to a panel with renown editors, agents and publishers (in the UK) and when talking about ebooks they thought they were Ipad/Iphone games and found them to be too expensive... If that is the knowledge they have...
 

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Thanks for the link, All.

While both sides (in the comments) make valuable points, I think a lot of these kind of articles are inspired by sour grapes feelings. It always happens when a self appointed group of so called gatekeepers with a strong feeling of entitlement looses its grip. Always the downfall of civilization is predicted.

In reality these articles are written, I suspect, to defend positions, and more importantly, profit margins. Every dollar spent on an indie is a dollar less for the traditional publishers, and by now we're talking millions upon millions of dollars.

There are so many sides in this debate that the defenders of traditional publishing avoid.

What about the shabby treatment of authors by their publishers?

What about, as I read in an article, 'the systematic underreporting of sales by publishers?' Underreporting? A pickpocket steals your money. He is not 'rearranging the content of your wallet.' Some publishers (not all) are crooks, ordinary thieves, who steal from their authors, out of the meager royalties their sometimes draconian contracts 'grant' them. Is it any wonder some published authors are going the indie route?

What about authors in niche genres, who couldn't get published, even if they wrote a work of genius, because the publishers are looking for the next JK Rowling, although they wouldn't have recognized JK Rowling herself before she became JK Rowling, if you follow my drift?

The mainstream publishers are also overlooking another phenomenon, made possible by the Internet and e-publishing.

Nowadays you can have an author in Poland, writing in English, and being read by a reader in Malaysia, with neither of them having English as first language. Provided that the reader thinks the story is good, he or she isn't going to mind very much whether the author uses the Oxford comma always correctly. Neither is s/he going to refuse to buy any more books by that author because he never uses the semi-colon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I still think it's a myth that editing is something that has to be done for you, every step of the way. As though writers have ideas and editors make them into good books. There are certainly aspects for which you really benefit from pre-publication reader feedback. But there seems to be no allowance that an author might learn editing skills and apply them to their own work. In fact I think it's lazy not to attempt to learn. That doesn't mean I'm arrogant enough to think I can do everything myself, but I can get a darn sight closer with everything I read and write.

Take fine art, for example. An artist doesn't spend their career taking their sketches to tutors or gallery owners to be told they must change their colour palette or emphasise a different aspect of the painting. They learn ALL the skills early on and then do things their own way.
I know this isn't a perfect comparison because there aren't rights and wrongs in visual art the same way there are in writing. But I still regard editing skills as part of the writing process rather than a separate job.
 

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Editors have a way of changing your book to suit themselves.  This can change the book entirely.  The nice thing about Indie publishing it the books stays the way you wrote it and the way you like it.
 

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After reading that UK article one would think the editor wrote the novels?  ???

Some authors need more editing than others.  Scarlett does work better than Pansy though.
 

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"Anything that's published and sold as a book, even if it's cheaper than one in a shop and making more money for the author, should be as good as it possibly can be."

I hear this about lots of things, and it's nonsense. In any product or endeavor, there is always a point where one stops incremental improvements and sends it out the door. Nobody makes things as good as they possibly can. They make them as good as they reasonably can given their resource constraints.
 

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Terrence OBrien said:
"Anything that's published and sold as a book, even if it's cheaper than one in a shop and making more money for the author, should be as good as it possibly can be."

I hear this about lots of things, and it's nonsense. In any product or endeavor, there is always a point where one stops incremental improvements and sends it out the door. Nobody makes things as good as they possibly can. They make them as good as they reasonably can given their resource constraints.
Case in point: computer software.
It is as if it is deliberately not made as good as it can be, just to be able to sell you the next version. That's not entirely fair, however.
Free software does the same thing. Sometimes the software is useful 'as is' and users are often grateful for what the functionality it offers, while waiting for improvements.

Back to books. Readers are smart. They know they're likely to find a few typos in a book by an indie. They know he has to do all or most himself. They also know they can often find a riveting read at a price no publisher can offer.
 

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Victorine said:
Why would an indie have more errors than a traditional book? I mean, as indies we can fix any errors that might have slipped by an editor.

Indies should have fewer mistakes because it's so easy to fix the errors.

Vicki
You're right... in principle. In actual practice indie-writers have that reputation and not altogether undeserved.

However, I agree. I even posted somewhere that if a reader found a typo, I'd like her or him to mail me. I will investigate it and if necessary correct it and send the reader a new copy. And a copy of my next book for free. Not only as a 'thank you,' but hoping they would spot mistakes in that one as well. :) It's a pure win-win situation. My books get better. I learn stuff. The reader gets a brand new, updated copy and a book for free. Later readers won't be bothered by a mistake.
We indies can provide a service that traditional publishers just can't.
 
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