Thursday, September 4, 2014

Indie Publishing Means You Need EXTRA Criticism. And to Listen to It.

There’s an education to be had over at

Multiple educations, rather. And only a few of them have to do with making the cover of your book look good.

The biggest takeaway: Don’t spare the beta reading. Or the beta reactions to anything connected with your book. And don’t pick beta readers from within your echo chamber. They’ll tell you what you want to hear.

And then listen to them. Unlike the person responding to the criticism on this thread.

The growth of electronic publishing is freeing up a lot of authors who might not otherwise get past the publishing gatekeepers. This is both a good and bad thing. Bad in that since there’s a lack of gatekeepers, quality is sometimes on the low end. Now, that happens with traditional publishing too – I’ve read plenty of traditionally-published books that were real stinkers. But the ease of electronic publishing is doing the same thing to books that automation is doing in the airline industry: 

Producing too many individuals familiar with the technology and motions, but not really the substance.

Good editors can help turn a good book into a great book. Same goes for good beta readers. I’m lucky in that I’ve got a few who are pointing out the many, many flaws in DOLEFUL CREATURES. But like some of today’s pilots who are so used to flying by wire they’re not able to read the physical language their planes send when there’s trouble, these authors are going through the physical and technical motions of writing and publishing novels while skipping or at least treating very lightly the editing process, which in my mind is the aviation equivalent of pulling up on the stick and slowing your plane down as you’re falling into a stall.

Portlandia seems to understand what I'm talking about:

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