Thursday, June 6, 2013

On Independent Publishing

I know I don't write here nearly as often as I should, but having an infant around is more hand-less time than I was initially expecting. I'm about to rant about something that bothers me greatly, and that thing is why self-publishing isn't the fantastic tool it was meant to be. So prepare yourselves...

Just wanted to say that I'm glad to see that some honest reviewers are starting to hit indies on Amazon. I'm tired of seeing slapdash work that gets rave reviews from friends and family, and then more people buy it and continue to sing praises when the work isn't ready to be published. 

Even paid editors miss a spot or two in the novels of their clients. Just to prove they're still human, I make a point of hunting for the one or two typos in each Laurell K Hamilton book once it releases. Having a FEW small mistakes is acceptable, but to have the first page so full of chaff and syntax errors that it can't even be read without downing a fifth of vodka... It's not ok. Just because publishing is accessible to the masses, that doesn't mean everyone SHOULD click that "publish" button right away. So you can't afford an editor? Big deal, neither can I. But I'd like to think that my works are fairly close to typo free, and I've re-read them to the point that I expect my eyeballs to start bleeding. I comb over every piece I put up on a printed out copy with a pen. Usually at least 3 times. 

I also run a small press. While we don't have a lot of pieces yet, I know that I spend many hours poring over each and every page, because it's not just my reputation I'm protecting, but that of my authors. I want us all to look professional, and like we know our heads from our asses. I don't like that the market has become so over saturated that it seems like two things are the most important: marketing and quantity.

Don't get me wrong, I know that marketing is important. I know that the greater amount of pieces a publishing house has, the more likely they are to get noticed. But I don't think that those two things should take precedence over having a good quality manuscript in the first place. Flashy covers won't disguise the fact that your writing style is that of a 13 year old who just shot-gunned a case of Red Bull. Having 90 friends and family members write you a sappy review that gives zero critique will only get you so far. You'll say "O grammer nazis. lawl at you being jeluss." ...God, that pained me to write. Anyhow... eventually, someone of import who has the potential to raise you up out of the Indie Pool (which has become a kiddie pool full of slime and other unmentionable substances) will look at your work based on the amount of praise you've received. And when they do, I hope that they shake their heads and don't even finish the sample of your work available on Amazon, because it's garbage. Plain and simple.

Maybe I'm being a snob, but seriously... Indie authors, get your crap together and DEMAND that your publishing house edit your work. That's part of the reason they take a portion of your profits. To pay for a cover, editing, ISBNs, and marketing. Don't just give them your money and get nothing in return for it! You can do it yourself on Amazon and keep more of the money, if that's your only worry. Being attached to the name of a publishing house. And if they refuse, ditch them. Find yourself some good beta readers willing to work for free to cheap.

I guess for me, it comes down to this: I'd rather put out 3-5 amazing QUALITY pieces per year at a slightly higher price point, knowing that they're on par with what you can grab off the shelves at Barnes & Noble, than put out 30-50 titles at 99 cents a piece that you know aren't worth the dollar.

That being said, you can check out the indie press I'm running on Facebook, to see what we have going on. Darq Deviant Press We're looking for full length submissions, novellas, and will be announcing another anthology soon. Our last anthology hit #17 overall for collections on Amazon. =] We're also willing to look at collections from single authors, and poetry collections. For more info on this, check out our website:

That is all. Thank you.