HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

I’m currently participating in a thread over at Goodreads entitled Do self-published ebooks have a bad reputation?

My answer of course was a resounding yes.

Because I can’t be arsed re-writing what I wrote, here’s my response:

“Most definitely. And as you allude to, poorly edited works full grammatical errors is one of the main reasons why. For me also, some of the hissyfits and unprofessional behaviour from some self-published authors ranting at reviewers/readers who did not like their work, have not helped the cause.

No doubt, a lack of editing and proof-reading skills will not help any aspiring author. But are those who push out poorly-presented novels spoiling it for the majority?

In my experience, I would say yes. Obviously I haven’t read every self-pubbed book in the world, but I find that there is a major difference in quality between the authors who have been traditionally pubbed, and trying out self-pubbing, and the authors who have turned to self-publishing just so they can see their book up in lights as it were, due to being rejected by every traditional publisher they’ve subbed to.

If so, what can be done to convince potential readers not to tar all self-published ebooks with the same brush?

Reduce the number of books that are error strewn. Increase the quality of editing, heck perhaps even have some kind of accreditation system where the reader knows that if a self-pubbed book has a seal on it that denotes quality editing, then the worst they can expect is to not like the actual story. I hasten to add that the seal of approval would not necessarily be given by a review site. I’m thinking something like The Self-Publishing Standards Authority. I just totally made that up, but you get my point.”

What do you guys think of that idea? Having a seal of approval from an official body that the self-pubbed book that you’re about to read, adheres to a basic standard of quality, e.g. decent formatting, professionally edited, minimal spelling and grammatical errors etc?

What would that body look like? Who would you prefer to run such an organisation? Reviewers? A panel made up of successful self-published authors, reviewers, editors etc? How would it be funded? And lastly, do you actually give a shit whether a self-pubbed book is well-edited anyway?