Good advice. It is certainly true that trad pubbed books are not error free, a book by a well known author from a well known publishing house which I read recently had 5 typos in as many pages. So it is not the case it is only, or indeed all, indie books which could use some work. That said there are a good many substandard books by indies around. One springs to mind where the “author” had scraped web content in a language not his first then was attempting to sell it. Fortunately Amazon banned him but that was because either someone reported him or the bot spotted it.
Seeing your own errors is tricky, your brain fills in what should be there not necessarily what IS there. Spell-checkers are OK to a degree but sometimes correctly spelled words which are the WRONG words slip through. I agree with the cover art. Personally I am not a fan of generic covers and this goes for trad pubbed books as well. I read a lot of fantasy and there are so many books with 1) a sword on the front, 2) a cloaked figure, 3) a throne on a pile of skulls/stones, etc. Whilst it is not easy to always get a unique cover, to me at least I see generic cover – generic book.
Independent authors have a mixed reputation. With big publishing houses no longer serving as gatekeepers, deciding who to publish and what works will be published, the market trend is towards self-published, independent authors.
Publication by a big name doesn’t guarantee quality — as a recent conversation with a friend regarding the infamous “Fifty Shades of Grey” revealed, a book widely regarded in literary circles as filled with unprofessional writing and countless technical errors — not to mention shallow characters and the glorification of what many people consider abusive behavior towards women.
Even so, ask most people if they expect great literature from a big name publisher or an independent author, the perception remains to side with big name publishers.
After interviewing authors for consideration for this blog, certain errors do seem to come up over and over again. Let’s look at them and how you can avoid them…
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