I read this article by Anna Baddeley the other day about how more than ever self publishing is having its own place. And as you may assume by this post, it got me thinking on exactly what is in for readers with this?
With music I have to tell you I tend to go to self labeled indie bands...I mean they gave themselves the indie title, not that they have they own label necessarily. And this is not because there is a hipster in me trying to break free. It just happens. A lot of bands that I hear for the first time at Grooveshark or Last FM, have not made it big yet. When they do, I do not ditch them because they are "main stream" now, but I've noticed that the bands that really touch me inside are this ones.
This is not so with books. Until I joined LybraryThing a couple of years ago, I was not in great contact with self-published authors. Besides the Early Reviewers program, LT also has the Member Giveaway program, which has a lot more of self-published work. I sometimes browse there, but I have to admit I am a bit more reluctant to request a book from that batch, even though you are not required to review the book necessarily.
Why is this? I guess that is because I've had not so great experiences with books that were self-published or published by someone in the family. I'm a big believer in editing in books. Not censorship, but editing. Beginning with typos and correct punctuation and including the final phrasing of an idea. It took a couple of months for my article to be finished, with back and forth work between my P.I and me and the wonderful help of a couple of friends. And even then, when we sent it for publishing, the editor still found typos and a couple of sentences that made no sense for anyone that wasn't us.
Editing does not ensure the quality of the book, off course. But it gives me the feeling that it will be easier to read, whether I like the book or not. I've read several books that I did not like the story. But they were beautifully written. Is easier to see the idea the author was trying to give if you are not distracted by misspelling, lack of connectors, etc.
As much as I would love to be able to write an article and just put it out there, I am very grateful for the publishing journal team that is behind it. They made my article better and I think the same principle applies to books. I think that platforms like Wattpad are great to begin with, to get noticed and to get your story out there. But I'm still not fan of publishing anything without any external input.