I read a few blogs from traditionally published authors who put down self-publishing because it muddies the waters. Anyone can self-publish and it does not matter if they have a good plot, but weak writing skills; a scattered plot, but excellent writing skills; or great characters and really crappy editing. I have kept this in mind for my future endeavors, but I understand the importance of finely crafting my product after the series I recently read on vacation.
I fell in love with the main characters, but the editing was poor. The worst of all the self-published e-books I have come across so far. I decided to read a different book after I was done with the first book. I figured if I still needed to know what happened to the main characters when I was done with the different book, I could purchase the next book in the series.
Guess who the sucker is?
Nine books in all.
The first few were okay despite the editing issues. Then it just turned into a laborious effort. I would have been better served reading a soap opera script for a storyline that had no end and kept begging for resolution. Ideas were brought up then promptly forgotten until twenty chapters later, if at all. There was too much telling with the right amount of showing. The protagonist did not grow until the end of the ninth book. A love square (because a triangle was not enough) held too much tension through the whole series. And the protagonist relied too much on others and outside forces instead of making her own decisions. I felt like the author vomited everything out and did no clean up. At one point I kept thinking to myself, how can I edit this down?
I noticed the last couple of books she had editors. Not very good ones, but at least “could care less” finally became “couldn’t care less.” I am sure they would have fixed the “lama” debacles and the continuity errors if she had employed them sooner.
I am a voracious reader and it is not often I ditch a book in the middle of it or finish it feeling dissatisfied with the writing. I think the author really missed out on something with this series. She had such wonderful characters but weighed them down with too much angst when she could have brightened them with the backstory she barely developed.
The sad part, I remembered in the middle of the eighth book that I was going to read my friend’s books while on vacation.
I am so glad that long before I read this series I decided I would need editors to help me refine my book. This was just a reminder why I need them.
Never underestimate the value of other people reading your work to make it shine for your audience.