It ain’t pretty!
Story is written, edited, formatted. Upload ready, here we go.
While I didn’t plan to launch BBBG a week early–I had a release date of August 17 posted–I worried it might take a few days for the book to show up in the Kindle store. I also wanted to make sure there weren’t any glitches, so it went live on August 10.
Before you could say “What the hell, Batman?” a dozen eagle-eyed readers grabbed a copy, and I found errors right of the cuff that 3 pairs of eyes and 2 dozen read throughs missed!
Here are some of my editorial screw-ups:
1. …lemony tang of anticipation was written as …lemony tangy of anticipation.
2. …he closed her bedrooms door behind them
3. Broad-shoulders (didn’t need the dash)
Then there was my beautiful cover–some of the text was so small they disappeared in thumbnail view. Here’s the first version:
Here’s the updated version. Mm mm mmm! Better, methinks.
While I tweaked or deleted some sentences for clarity, no major revisions were made. Still, I felt the changes and updated cover that I re-uploaded of BBBG were significant enough for me to ask Amazon to offer up a (Free) revised version to those who purchased the earlier release. Amazon agreed.
It wasn’t the most delicious feeling in the world to ask Amazon to notify readers via e-mail of editorial issues with BBBG, but it would be way worse if I, the author, ignored them. Reading should be a pleasure and an escape, unhampered by errors.
In the past, I’ve received update notifications on other author’s book updates for editorial reasons, from missing text to overall revisions of the work. Because I am in the business of writing, it impressed me that the author cared to resolve issues that might hinder my enjoyment of their work. More often than not, I had yet to read their book so it was a plus to know that an update was available.
Now, voice and style are unique onto a writer. A reader may not like a lot of adjectives, long, lush sentences, or even a lean style of writing, like shorter, action packed sentences. But, some readers won’t buy Indie works anymore because they are turned off by typos and grammatical issues. Sure there are issues in contracted works, too, just keep in mind readers won’t want to hear that after they’ve forked over their hard-earned $$ to buy your Indie book.
The good news is there are new readers scarfing up the variety of great stories and unique voices exploding in Indie-pubbed works. Now, story, style, voice, marketing, cover art, branding—many factors play in swinging reader tastes, but stories littered with errors don’t have to be on that list.
If you’re going Indie, please invest in an editing service before you publish. Get trusted proof-readers to look over your work because you, the author, are still responsible for the outcome.
I can’t stress how great it is to have those extra pairs of eyes, proof-reading and editing and working as a team to catch these issues. But whether you’re a contracted author or Indie author, it will still fall on you to sign off on the end product.
So hiring an editor/proofreader is an investment in reader loyalty. They’re the ones spending time and money buying and reading your books. Bring to market the best most polished work you can bring.
Indie pubbing isn’t about cutting corners. Indies spend a lot of time, money and research in their struggles to pin this whole Indie thing down. Going Indie means you get to keep and manage more of your time and money, because your royalties aren’t being split 5 ways to Sunday.
If your name, your brand, your voice, reputation and craft aren’t reasons to invest your money in, then what on earth is?
So if there’s an area you know nothing of, like formatting, that you can’t pin down on your own, then find someone with the skills and pay them to do the work for you. The investment you make in yourself will be worth it in the long run. Most of all, your readers will notice and thank you for it.