Just so no one gets confused, this is a rant. I’m posting it on my blog, on my personal Facebook page and on my author page. I may step on some toes, and I may lose friends or fans over it. I don’t care.
I am a writer. At least I call myself one. Am I a professional writer? Well, I was once told if you’re paid for something you do, you’re a professional, so I guess I am. Do I make a living at it? No. I started writing ten years ago in a genre that was relatively unknown at the time.
As I wrote my first book (Acceptance: One Man’s Quest), two gay male friends critiqued it bit-by-bit – I listened and took their suggestions to heart. When I thought it was finished, I tried to find someone to publish it. (This was before you could just upload a file and put it for sale on Amazon or Smashwords or any other place.)
A straight-woman friend asked if she could read it and I let her. She made one suggestion and I rewrote nearly 75% of the book.
Still no response from publishers. So I paid a ‘vanity’ press $500 to publish it. I sold maybe ten books. Not nearly enough to pay for the publishing.
Did I stop writing? No.
I also ran my second book (First Impressions Don’t Count) by my two friends. When it was finished, a retired English teacher friend proofread it. (He loved my use of semi-colons. I now know editors hate semi-colons.)
By this time, Create Space and Kindle were available to upload files and self-publish. I published First Impressions and re-published Acceptance.
On my third book (Catriona’s Curse) I met a couple of people on Facebook. One was another writer of gay stories and one was a professional editor. They both very generously offered to read and critique my work. The writer also suggested I join a writers’ group which I did.
I went to meetings of the group even though half of the six people didn’t want to critique my work because of the genre. I had to stop going when I lost my mode of transportation.
Both the editor and writer on Facebook were a great help. I also had the English teacher proofread it when I finished.
While working on Cartiona’s Curse, I was introduced to Smashwords and uploaded all three books to their site.
The Boss’s Son also went through many proofreadings and editings before I uploaded it.
I am now in the fourth reading and editing of my fifth novel.
Now comes the rant part.
I’ve downloaded several free and inexpensive ebooks from both Amazon and Smashwords that are worth their cost. In other words – they are worthless. They are poorly written and unedited POS. (and if you don’t know what that means, send me a private message and I’ll tell you).
Some people think because they can string words together and throw in a little sex, they’ve written a book. It doesn’t matter how good your idea or story is, if it’s so poorly written people notice, it’s a POS.
I may be wrong in my percentages, but I consider the idea to be 25% of the story, original writing to be 25% and editing and rewriting and rewriting and editing and rewriting to be the other 50%.
Every time one of these POS is uploaded to the internet, it degrades the name of our craft. If people buy and try to read these, they will form a poor opinion of the indie publishing industry.
Okay – rant over.