Friday, February 02, 2018

Writing: The "Cons" of Indie Publication (2)

Last week I wrote about one of the cons of indie publication: no one holds you to a schedule except the one you set for yourself. But a schedule is important, so put yourself on one. Here's a link to that post if you missed it.

This week let's talk about another "con" of indie publication. But before I do, let me say again that my purpose in posting these "cons" is to balance out the glowing image some of my readers have about do-it-yourself publication. You know what that's like, if you're honest. Their attitude might be "Who needs a publisher? I'll do it myself." That's all well and good, but like so many other things in life, it's tough to know what you're getting yourself into until you start doing it.

How about editing your manuscript? Perhaps one reason there are so many self-published works on Amazon (and we'll talk about that 800 lb. gorilla another time) is that it's so easy to  post your work, whether or not it's been edited. However, the discerning consumer soon learns that it's important to note who the author is and whether he/she has turned out good material in the past. If not, maybe this is one of those manuscripts with a number of errors in it--not just misspellings and grammatical ones, but glitches in point of view and plot. So is it worth the cost in money and time to buy and read it?And, by the way, even if you've had your work edited, done revisions, and are finally certain there are no errors, your readers will sometimes catch some more. Believe me, they will.

One advantage of indie-publication? Corrections can be made--quickly in the e-book format, a little more slowly in the print-on-demand world but eventually they can be set right. Can these changes be done by traditional publishers? Sure, if your book goes to a second printing. (Most don't).

It's up to the author to either do the editing himself/herself (which is do-able) or find and hire an editor and proof-reader. I won't tell you how to do it or whom to choose, because everyone will go about this differently. I found my editor through the contacts I made in the writing community. The serious writer will pay attention to this. The one who isn't serious--well, it will show.

Here we are again. Once more, I've written enough, but the subject remains relatively untouched. Come back next time for more. And if there's an aspect of indie-publishing you'd like covered, let me know. I'd love too hear from you.

Tweet with a single click: Is it necessary to have your manuscript edited if you're going to indie publish it?


Patricia Bradley said...

I think an author should always have their manuscript looked at by an editor. Period. An author will too often see what they thought they wrote. :-) You are bringing up good points!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Patricia. Maybe I can help someone considering "indie" publication avoid the mistakes I made and the lessons learned the hard way.

EM Griffith said...

A good editor is worth his/her weight in gold. There are content editors, line editors and (in the traditional publishing realm) senior editors. I'd think one of the trickiest parts of indie publishing is the editing process. Marketing, too, but my experience with traditional publishing in the 90s was authors were expected/required to take an active part in marketing their books. My bigger question about indie publishing is distribution. How do you get books into brick & mortar bookstores, or is that even possible?

Richard Mabry said...

Elise, if you go exclusively with Amazon (which is what many authors do, especially for their first "indie" foray), the books are available initially only online from that source in Kindle and print version. Later the print version shows up on Barnes & Noble. All those print versions are done "on demand." Getting the books into brick and mortar stores is another ball game, and involves either publishing several versions that are distributed via Kobo and others, or using an entity that allows you to input funds to print and distribute them (which means they're yours until they're sold or returned by the distributor)--too complex for me at the very start, but a very real question.
Brandilyn Collins is the expert on the last entity I described, and maybe she can help out there. Thanks.