Sunday, September 30, 2012

Could you all take a look, please? No! Sod off!

You've guessed correctly. I have a full blown rant in me, and it demands its way out. So, fasten your seat belt and hold on to your wig, it'll get rough.
As a self-published author I'm frequenting fora on a regular basis. Often just to chat, more often though, to discuss. It can get heated, which is fine by me, as long as it stays factual. I will also hit people verbally over the head every now and again. Trust me, they deserve it. And it happened a lot more often lately as some people are seriously not one, but a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
I have lost count on how many new authors popped on one of my threads where we discuss self-published books, announcing they've just published their first book, and asking either me or all participants to take a look at it, then feed back to them. My favourite: Any constructive review would be great.
Excuse me? Are you telling me that you have not had anyone look at your book before publishing? Are you serious? I mean, really? Are you serious?
That explains a lot. Asking for feedback when the book is already published is so clever, even I'm impressed. Not! I wonder why people ask others to look at their offerings and tell them what they think. Is it really important to them? To be honest, I don't care at all. Go look at my book and tell me you think it's shite. Fine, if it makes you feel better. Of course a review is important, mainly for the potential buyer, but that's a different matter. Asking people for feedback after a glance at the 'look inside' feature is baffling to say the least. What do they need feedback for? Either the book is edited and polished or it's not. If it's not, then go and fix it. Before publishing! It worries me that amateurs, who can't even be bothered to use Google to find writers' sites and learn the craft before they even think of publishing, seem to take it as a given that readers are their guinea pigs. When have readers become beta readers by default?
I really don't need to take a look when it's a first time author, 99% of the cases are in dire need of an edit.
And it's a brave move to ask me, the one who initially started that thread stating that I'm not impressed with self-published books in general, what I think of their novel, because the answer will most possibly hurt. I don't have respect for people who don't work hard and gain skills before publishing. I'm very sorry if that sounds arrogant, but even the most talented person needs some practice. And after my deleting marathon, I'm not really keen on reading more dross. Thank you very much. Plus, I certainly don't have the time to read opening after opening, telling those hopeful souls the bad news. Most of them won't even go and hire an editor, so it's lost energy, or my sanity. Maybe even both in the worst case scenario.

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