Mandatory reading for those considering self-publishing

Helen Hollick alerted me to these fantastic pieces that, in my opinion,  should be required reading for any author who considers self-publishing (or subsidy-publishing).

The first is a blog piece in which a self-published author comes around to accepting that (1) publishing your own book is a lengthy process that entails professional help (in the form of a good editor); (2) it can’t be done quickly or thoughtlessly; and (3) attention to detail–grammar, punctuation, and design, for example–is the quality that differentiates a good SP book from an excellent one, one that looks as if it came from a mainstream publishing house.

The second is the blog where Catherine Howard’s self-published book was reviewed. The reviewer has stringent criteria, and I completely agree with her. If an author won’t put the time and effort into producing a professional, error-free publication, why should a reviewer put the time and effort into reviewing it? “Jane Smith” is a brutally honest reviewer, which I admire, for she doesn’t sugarcoat any shortcomings. These are her criteria:

I’m an editor, and I expect published books to be well-written and polished. I’m going to count all the spelling, punctuation and grammar errors I find and when I reach fifteen I’m going to stop reading. Clunky writing will count against you. I’ll read no more than five pages of boring prose before I give up. And I’ll tell the world how many pages I read for every book I review here.

Now that I’ve been alerted to these valuable resources, I am considering changing my reviewing criteria as well.

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