Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Facing Down Quality (...or is that pride?)

This is little more than a rant, really, so do as you will.

I've just opened Amazon, gone to the Kindle books section, Science Fiction and Fantasy, opened the first book I saw that was published today (29th Nov). It was the third book in a series. It already has two 5 star reviews.

There is a grammatical error on the first line. The. First. Line.

*sigh*

And an obvious one too.

I know that nobody is perfect, but really? It's through a publishing house. One who claims to be "providing editing, proofreading". Where has the quality gone? Or is it something else? As a great man once said, "...you might feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."




You know what? I'm proud of my writing. And I'm not sorry to be. I try to make the quality of it as high as it can be. At least as high as I can make it.

So which is it? Quality, or pride?

Quality

Quality is hard to get right. Writing is a minefield. We all understand that. Mistakes occur. But it's too much, too often. I self-edit, of course. And I miss things. I also have an editor these days. A good one. My self published work is going out now as close to professional as I can make it.

The immediate cry is that editors cost money. They do. But there are other methods of identifying problems with work. Exchange with others and beta read each others work. I used to do that. Join a writing group and meet once a week. I used to do that. Read your own work out loud. Done that. Read it again and again and again.

Which all sounds really obvious, and of course, anyone can do it. So why aren't they?

Pride

Little bit of the "who gives a shit" syndrome. I wrote it, I stuck it on Amazon. Who cares?

And that is becoming a problem.

The market is now saturated with unedited, sometimes unreadable...well, shite.

So what are we going to do?

The simple answer is that if you aren't really invested in being an author, then write whatever you want - just don't put it up for sale. But that won't happen, will it? If someone makes a buck from their word diarrhea, of course they're going to put it up for sale.

No. The answer will come from the readers. The answer comes in the form of a stinking great leather boot.

They'll stop buying. Stop buying anything that isn't from a trusted source. Indie publishers, self published work...it'll die.

Then we're all in buckets of shite.

So pick up your game before it's too late.

Pride doesn't, after all, come before a fall. Lack of does.