|The author, Dane . Baylis|
Call This An Observation
As With Any Observation You Can Take It Or Leave It
Granted, I've stayed away from actively seeking publication for quite some time so I find the trend to self-publishing interesting and, in some ways, disturbing. Interesting because the medium of the Internet makes it so accessible, and disturbing due to the unbridled sloppiness and decline to the lowest common denominator it seems to foster. I understand that we all feel we have something to say...Why the hell else would I be here...and we feel that our words are so precious that we should be able to personally reap the greatest profit from their publication. However, there have been several times in the last few months when I have downloaded materials (fiction, non-fiction, and once I wasn't quite sure what) which were so shoddily edited that I couldn't bring myself to finish the reading.
Honestly, if you've boxed yourself into a position where you've slashed your production costs to the bare bones in order to maximize your profit, then you need to do the work you would have paid someone else to do. This will save you from someone like me! Someone who hasn't the least reservation about providing brutally honest feedback in an Amazon or Kindle review for your utter disregard for your reader. If you're going to expect people to actually pay you for your little gem then you need to deliver it clean, faceted, and polished. It should be a joy to behold, not something your audience feels they need to red pencil their way through. Granted, I am by no way perfect in this regard, but if you're not one hundred and ten percent confident in your proofreading and grammatical skills then you either need a good friend who is or you need to dig out the check book and hire the heavy lifting out. PLEASE!
Next, and don't get too close because this is really chapping my ass, if you have chosen a language to communicate in then at least try for something approaching proficiency in it. Damn it all, the English language is a difficult but beautiful thing to behold when it is used to its truest extent. Unfortunately, I keep running into any number of instances when I wonder which secondary school composition class the author DIDN'T sleep through. I will toss out one of those silly little truisms that seems to have been forgotten by far too large a number of self-publishers. If you want to write great books you have to read great books. Not just read them but analyze and dissect them. Keep an extensive dictionary at hand, along with a thesaurus and any number of grammar references. To quote from one of my blues playing heroes, Buddy Guy, "If you stop learning you might as well roll it up and go home." Remember that, first and most important, you are a writer before you are a publisher. Otherwise, you might want to think about getting out of one of those two professions.
As always, I'm looking for short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, and carefully crafted essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. Submit these to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow or subscribe to this page by using the gadgets that are on the right side of this page. I really love the company and it helps with the search engine rankings. Comments, critiques, and questions are welcome and may be submitted through the form at the bottom of the page.
In the meanwhile...live, love, write.
Dane F. Baylis