I’m just about to publish Healing Love as a self-published novel. I’ve taken great care to have it edited, I’ve proofread it and found items which needed fixed. I will proofread it again and have two writer friends proofreading also. I do this not only to produce a good work of fiction for readers to enjoy but also to make sure I don’t contribute to the poor reputation which self-publishing has.
I was planning on taking a workshop on the art and craft of novel writing. I’ve changed my mind. It’s also been confirmed to me that there is a double standard concerning authors who traditionally publish and those of us who self-publish.
I read a lot. I have a favorite genre which is Historical Christian Fiction with a romantic theme. I also write in this genre. Since I began writing and learned more about it I’ve noticed the elements which self-publishers are criticized for are turning up the traditionally published books.
Point of view, punctuation errors, lack of research, spelling errors. I’ve seen all of these in traditionally published books. Where are the editors for these books? How did such errors get past the editors? Why were they allowed to be released without being corrected? Why do self-publishers get reamed over the coals for these but traditionally published authors not?
I read a book recently which had four women as co-main characters. Several men were also main characters. I understand and use different points of view within a chapter at times. However, I do not head jump during the same paragraph. This occurred several times in this novel causing me to reread the paragraphs several times to sort it all out.
As I mentioned before, I was planning to take a writing workshop in the near future. The presenter is asking the students to read a particular novel before the class. I looked the novel up on Amazon and, as I always do, read reviews. I also read a few sample pages. This novel won several national awards and yet the novelist did not use quotation marks in the dialog. Not only is this incorrect punctuation but also inconsiderate of the author to the readers.
This novel being help up as a good example for students in the workshop also had, in my humble opinion, a boring style of writing. She told rather than showed the story as well as losing my interest before the first couple of pages were finished. There was nothing that grabbed my interest making me want to read more.
In reading the reviews the lack of research into one aspect was noted by a reviewer. This was not information buried deep in obscure sources, rather is fairly common knowledge. Even if the author was unfamiliar with the topic a quick google search would have brought up all the information needed to correctly represent the topic.
I’ve found lack of research in other books also. How hard is it to find out that lilacs don’t bloom in September and corn isn’t harvested in August? These are just two examples off the top of my head of the lack of research into commonly known topics.
Spelling errors - turn on the spell check! There’s no excuse to have spelling errors. Even with homonyms the editor should have caught the mistake.
These are all things self-publishers have been criticized for. The fact that they are allowed in traditionally published books demonstrates the double standard to which self and traditionally help authors are held.
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Sophie Dawson is my pen name. The real me is the wife of a farmer in western Illinois.
I have two grown sons, one of which is married to a wonderful young woman. They gave us the most wonderful granddaughter ever in November of 2010. I'm not the least bit prejudice. :)