This is not a review. I have noticed a few things lately in some of the books I have been reading that I feel the need to discuss. Feel free to add any issues I may not have noticed, or tell me that I am being too picky. I also want to preface this by saying that these statements do not reflect any of the books or authors I have reviewed, they reflect the books and authors that I have read and Not reviewed, for various reasons.
One of the greatest things about self publishing is also the worst thing about it, anyone can do it. This means that many authors that maybe would not have been found by traditional publishing companies have been able to enrich our lives with their wonderful stories. But it also means that many less than wonderful books are also being published.
Self publishing does not mean that you can take something that you wrote in a high school English class and put it, untouched, up on the web and try to sell it, or even give it away. Or rather, you can do this, but you shouldn't. Please make sure that the pieces you are subjecting to us are real, legitimate works, not what you find scratched on an old, yellow piece of loose leaf paper. You should be proud of your work, and not proud in the same way that you would hang it on your fridge for a month then put it in a filing cabinet for the rest of your life. But really, truly proud that you produced such a wonderful piece of work. That is what we want you to share with us.
Possibly the most important And most overlooked aspect with self publishing is the editing process. This is two fold and neither can be ignored. First, after a piece is written it needs to be self edited. If you think this is too difficult, or can't be bothered to edit your own work, then don't publish it, because if it isn't worth your time, it isn't worth ours. And once you think you are done editing your work, put it away for a day, a week or a month, then go back to it and edit it again. Secondly, is professional editing. I understand that self publishing is expensive, and you have to pay for things like editors out of pocket, but if you aren't willing or able to shell out the money for an editor, I promise you it will be reflected in your work, and you can't expect people to spend their money on your work if it is sub-par. Nothing ruins a story quicker than bad editing, misspellings and typos. The latter two are particularly unacceptable. It is also a good idea to have quite a few beta readers (especially ones anal about things like typos, like me) to notice these things before you publish.
Cover art is another cost you will have to shell out if you self publish, but it is worth doing well. Trust me, people Do judge a book by its cover, and an ebook is no exception. Many people make a split second decision about buying/downloading your book by the way it is first presented to them, i.e., the cover. Sometimes simple is better than too complicated, but it still needs to be captivating, so hire a cover artist who has produced some works you like and the money will be worth it.
What is also important to people on the fence about buying/downloading your book is the book description. It's not an easy thing to sum up a whole novel or story in just a few sentences, but it's an important part of making sales. Keep it short, most people won't read more than a paragraph, and careful on the spoilers!
Finally, once someone has read and hopefully enjoyed your book make sure that your readers can find your website or contact info. Having an interactive website or blog is helpful, as is having a newsletter that fans can subscribe to. But keep in mind that without fans, you would not sell any books, so if they contact you, try to be affable and don't ignore them, because then you have lost a potential fan for life.
In this blog I will be reviewing ebooks I have read. I use an amazon Kindle, so much of the information will be geared towards Kindle users, but other ereader users should still find the information helpful. Many of the books I will be reviewing are free or low-cost books published by independent authors, my goal is to get the word out about some amazing authors that I think deserve more props, and to let you know which books are not worth the time reading. I am open to suggestions, about information you'd like me to add or new books I should check out and review.
Contact me at CassandrasBeads@Gmail.com