Self-Pub Discrimination: Deserved or Unfair?

There’s so much truth here, you need to open your eyes and soak it in. Do your best with your story and make sure you don’t accidentally relegate your work to the “bad” pile by including mistakes that are easily found by an editor – as in, somebody other than you, and hopefully a professional! And if you can’t get a professional, get a nitpicky friend who does a good job. You usually can’t edit yourself.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

13 thoughts on “Self-Pub Discrimination: Deserved or Unfair?

  1. Great post. I read another yesterday arguing that indies shouldn’t publish four books per year for this reason. Just because you can write a first draft in two months doesn’t mean you’ve written something worthy of public consumption in two months. Working with CPs, revising, and editing are where the bulk of the work lies, IMO.

    1. That’s the work part, for sure. I have no issue with a prolific writer putting out four books a year, but gosh, edit them first! Save yourself the embarrassment, and when you see an error after you publish, FIX IT. The beauty of online publishing is with a few clicks, the problem is corrected. It takes you a just few minutes to post a new MS, and twelve hours later (or faster) it’s corrected for every future buyer.

  2. This is so common with self-publishing writers. Sadly, with just a bit more work and a bit of honesty regarding your skill at editing, this can be corrected by getting a good editor to help. I hired an editor to go over my book and wow, the things the editor found would have been embarrassing to me if they’d made into my final draft.

    Most of writing is in the rewriting and editing.

      1. There are a lot of good editors out there and most don’t cost as much as we think. The one I hired came in below the budget I had set and did a great job. I highly recommend getting one. If you’re goal is to publish and sell lots of copies, it’s worth the expense.

        1. I actually hired two editors this time around. One for development and one for proofreading. I didn’t trust the same person to do both. Was it pricey? Not as much as putting out something I wasn’t going to be proud of.

  3. I’ll be fair here. Most people can’t tell a joke very well. I think everyone knows if they are funny or not, and about half can tell a joke well. Most of the others can kind of tell it well, and a few just can’t tell a joke at all.

    Same with stories/anecdotes. Verbal tales. Some people can’t tell one, others can.

    So when it gets to writing, a lot of people were taught to read and write and diagram sentences and identify a noun and verb, so we all think we can write. We do it all the time, after all. Grocery lists. Reports for work. Facebook posts.

    But it’s like telling a joke, we can’t all do it. A lot of us can, but a lot of us can’t. The ones who actually try, who sit down and bang out a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, and hold their breath and hit the PUBLISH key, are the envy of 80% of Americans who WANT to write a book.

    Those who tell their written story WELL… that’s a smaller group.

    Those who do it on par with decent writers we’ve actually heard of, that’s even smaller.

    And those who do the WORK of editing, rewriting, reviewing, getting critiques, finding beta readers, selecting cover art (or doing it yourself) and then promoting it – that’s a fraction of that big pie. That’s where it is a little less fun and a little more work. Like a job – the thing they were escaping from when they were writing.

    So I get it, and I’m sympathetic, and I work diligently to help that fraction do their story proud, to make it the best it can be.

    But it’s work, even when we pretend it’s easy. Like Ernie Hemingway said, “It’s none of their business that you had to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” Their = the reader, the audience.

    Like, the magician doesn’t explain how the trick is done. But the magician has to learn to do the trick.

    You have to learn to write, and that means ALL the stuff that’s involved.

  4. As I often do, Dan, I agree with all you’ve said here. I wonder, though, when you read a book that was poorly edited, do you review it and if so, how do you do so politely?

    1. Debby, what I do is read for the story. If the spelling and/or punctuation is REALLY horrendous, then I have to say something, just as I would for a poorly constructed story or one with lots of run-on sentences or whatever.

      Usually, the author has let you know a way to contact them. On their Amazon author site or in the back of the book, they’ve often let you know how to find them. So if I’m giving a book 4 or 5 stars in the review, I put in the review what I liked about the story. (I rarely list what I didn’t like in a review.)

      However, if it’s going to get 3 stars or less, I contact the author and let him/her know, and I explain why – in detail. This gives them the ability to fix the problems before receiving a “bad” review. And unless I really like they story, I wouldn’t tweet about my review, either.

      So, a 3 or 2 star review gets a chance to do better and get re-reviewed. 1-star reviews I didn’t usually finish the book and don’t think editing is going to fix it. Those, I just return and don’t review. There’s only so much time.

      Now, all this basically applies to a book that has less than 100 reviews or isn’t by a famous author. Some poor shlub with 3 reviews doesn’t need to get slammed publicly by me, and a book with 1000 reviews, mine isn’t going to matter.

      For the famous people or the ones with tons of reviews, I call it like I see it and give 2-5 stars, (but again if it’s just going to get a 1 star I probably don’t finish that book and I return it and don’t write a review.) For the famous or 1000-ish books, I don’t try to contact the authors, either.

      That’s pretty much how I do it, with ONE other exception.

      Friends who write books, I will gush about ALL DAY LONG.

      Of course, they probably let me read it as a WIP and I may even have helped with rough spots here and there, but they also had it edited etc, so they aren’t getting less than 5 stars, but I’ll shout about them from the rooftops. I work with several published authors and a few who are still unpublished that are all much better writers than I am, and I have no problem saying so and helping promote their books.

      I’m nice that way.

  5. I don’t think it’s fair for all self pubbed authors to be lumped in that category. Granted, when the Indie author revolution exploded, everyone thought they could write a book and publish it, and many did. Of course that produced a big stigma against indie authors. I’m sure there is till a lot of unedited work out there, but I think over the past few years, many unedited authors are getting the hint with public shame. It costs money to produce a professional book, and if one thinks it doesn’t then they are misled. Even editors need editors. I wouldn’t dare think of publishing a book without professional editing. I also don’t have any interest in learning formatting so I sub that out as well, just as I have a graphic artist to work with me on book covers. Everything counts towards professionalism. 🙂

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