Thursday, August 16, 2018
I recently read an anthology from a small press, one that was given to me a couple of years ago. I'd heard good thing about this publisher, and I have no reason to believe they are anything but honest and supportive of their writers. This particular book had excellent reviews and ratings on the above mentioned websites, and I was looking forward to delving into this particular collection.
4.5 stars? Give me a break. Family and friends, and possibly authors themselves, bumping up ratings.
As you may have surmised, I found it was well below average.
There were misspellings, sentences that were incoherent, absent punctuation, swapped homonyms, and generally sloppy layout. Editing? I wonder if that even occurred. Oh, and most of the stories were just poorly written.
I'm not even sure if this press is still operating. I haven't heard them mentioned in a while and I haven't googled. If they are, I wish them well and hope they have improved.
Your product is your greatest advertising. People won't buy a second if they are underwhelmed by the first. And, of course, this is the same for writers. Send out your best work, polish it and proofread to make sure it's close to perfect. Choose where you allow your work to be seen.
I guess this is one of the reasons I have decided to not go down the self-publishing road. The whitenoise of mediocrity is deafening. I have yet to personally stumble across any self-published work that I would consider recommending. I am sure they exist, and I know of the famous exceptions, but they are the tiniest of minorities. I don't even bother anymore.
And please, don't self publish then tell me you did so because your work has been rejected everywhere. It's hardly a glowing endorsement. Yes, editors and publishers make mistakes or reject stories that don't suit them, but maybe, just maybe, there's a reason no one wanted to buy your work.