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Self Publishing...time for quality assurance.


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Initial post: 17 Apr 2013 03:26:13 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Apr 2013 05:05:26 BDT
M Byrne says:
Readers deserve an assurance that the book they are buying is a quality product.

If I am about to buy a mainstream published book, I know it has been professionally edited; this because it is part of the process that takes a manuscript from computer printout to an in-store product. So I then know the punctuation and grammar will be of an acceptable and understandable standard. Also I will expect that the work has cadence, is not ridden with plot holes, and is a generally entertaining read.

Of course none of that is absolutely assured. Punctuation evolves, as all aspects of writing do, so it may be I'm at odds with a books use of the em-dash. And grammar is (and should be) sometimes put second to the read. Also sometimes a publishing house invests in an author, only to find they have a one book wonder. Will that stop them from publishing a follow-up that sucks? No it wont. But most times a mainstream publication will be at least to a reasonable standard.

It's a different, and somewhat more complex, situation for a reader to know with an indie title, that what they are buying holds at least minimum quality standard. And lets face it a lot of-in fact most-indies are put into the market with no regard to quality.

Right now, there are hundreds of indie authors about to start with "I write for myself, if others want to read what I have to say..." If your one of them, let me say to you, if you write for yourself, fine. But you read it yourself, don't be putting it into the market and trying to persuade me out of my hard-earned for it. However if you're an author who writes for other people to read, you have a duty to make sure the product you want a reader for, is of the best quality it possible can be.

One problem that stops this from happening, is that most authors are delusional when it comes to their own work. Yes we all think our baby is the most beautiful in the crèche. Some are a little more realistic and have their work checked by others; then, without question, believe the objectivity of their wife/husband/mother/sister, when they're told, they are the next Hemmingway. And with a 100 rejections from publishers and agents, they circumnavigate the obstructive path of mainstream by giving it to us direct...Now don't get me wrong, a few of them are going to provide us with a truly good read; but is it the best read they can give? Even those who have a good story to tell and the ability to tell it, will mostly let us, and themselves, down by not editing their work properly.

There are 2 problems when it comes to editing a manuscript. The first is not that many people know how to. With twenty odd aspects to producing a good book that's hardly surprising. Twenty, how many?
That's right.
Plot.
Grammar.
Punctuation.
Rhythm.
Show, don't tell.
Description, (not too much, and not too little).
Point of view.
Tone.
Character development. Character voice.
Style. Narrator's voice.
Pace.
Dialogue.
Settings.

Okay my list isn't 20, but most items of that list break down into subsections, and my point here isn't to get everyone being pernickety about what goes into the pot and what goes into the bin. My point is most of us don't know pot from bin...but editors do. Most of us don't know how to thatch a roof either, but a thatcher does...because he will have learned how to. He will have served an apprenticeship. And editors know how to edit because they have learned how to. Every big time author has their work edited: J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, Michel Chabon, all of them. Why should the inde-author think he is better.

So problem 2: it cost to have editing done. It will probably cost over $2,000 to have 100,000 words edited and proofed.

This then brings another problem, no author really want's to loose money, no matter how gratifying it is to have others read your work. So you have to sell a lot, or charge a lot to cover editing cost. As one of the appealing factors to indie readership is the low cost, charging a lot can be counterproductive.

So how does the author sell enough to offset the expense of editing? Have a think about that while I write out what, I think, might be a solution.

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 04:56:59 BDT
M Byrne says:
I see I've not generated too much interest, so I get the second post as well...

I am soon to self-publish a horror genre novel under the pen name, Fatman Butter, and later in the year I plan to release a couple of fantasy novels. Why self publish? Well I sent my manuscript to 6 agents. I know 4 didn't read it, one other I'm not sure whether he read or not, but the last of the 6 did. He returned it with some very encouraging personal comments, but declined to represent it, as it was, "Too different." Every agent's site I have ever visited bangs on about wanting original manuscripts; where does too different fit into that? That's what decided me to self-publish. You readers can decide if it is too different. But for you to decide, and for me to ask you to part with your hard-earned money to have a copy of my novel, it has to be presented in tip-top condition. And despite that I had edited my manuscript more times than I can count, because I am not an editor, I decided I should employ a professional editing service. (I went for Pure Text, rather than a house editor, because I didn't just want a grammar and punctuation check. I wanted every aspect of the manuscript inspected, and I wanted a service where I could bounce back and debate any points that I felt needed clarification. With Pure Text I wasn't disappointed. They are great to work with).

Of course, if every word written were silver and punctuated with gemstones, I have no doubt I will find a dissapointed reader, but I can give an assurance that the product is as good as I can deliver it. And that is important to me because I not only want readers to enjoy it, I want them to buy my next one and enjoy that as well.

As said in original post: due to the expense of professional editing, I have to either sell more, or sell at a higher price than the average indie-book. So, how do I let readers know when buying a Fatman Butter book, they are buying a quality product. There are thousands to choose from; why pick one of mine? One way readers will know is that I intend to give my editor a cover credit: bottom left. Hands up everyone who thinks that's a good idea.

Well if it is a good idea, how long before the less genuine start to put an editor credit when they haven't gone to the trouble and expense of having their work edited? (And really if the author doesn't think it's worth that trouble and expense, then should the reader believe it is worth reading?)

So this is the thought that came to me: Why can't Amazon give a distinction mark to books that have been professionally edited?

How would Amazon know which were and which weren't? Well obviously they would know which had used their in-house service. But if they didn't allow others, it would be a bit too close to censorship, and of course they would have to have an easy way to know if a book had been professionally edited and they would need to cover any expense (indeed make a profit) for their input in making a workable system. So...

Maybe Amazon could start an acceptable editor listing. For an editing service to qualify for the list they would required to produce 5 (or maybe 10) testimonial recommendations that they truly are a bona fide service and pay a yearly fee...say $100. Editing services could offset that cost in their own fees, (having paid $2,000 for the process another $10 is not going to make much difference). Amazon could then issue participating services with a code word and a series of registration numbers, which the editing services could then apply to the product. I'm not that computer savvy, but how much would it take for Amazon to install a recognition that issues a credential (a big red E, or something!) to the product that would allow the potential buyer to know that the book has undergone a proper editing process.

I do realize this wouldn't necessarily mean the novel has a stand up plot, or that it is well written, but I can find poorly written, unexciting books on the shelves of any bookstore. At least I would know that the poor unexciting book was as good as it could be.

Your thoughts, and potential glitches.

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 10:20:27 BDT
Carol Arnall says:
Why would Amazon start an editing list? Amazon are not publishers as such - although they do publish a few popular authors. Amazon sell books, and other items.
Readers have the look inside feature to make up their mind whether they want to read your book or not. They also have seven days to return it -I'm speaking about Kindle books here. They have a month to return a tree book, so they don't lose out if they dislike the book in some way or other.
Readers are not interested in how much an author pays to have their book edited. They're not interested in how long it has taken you to write it. All they want is a decent book to read at an affordable price. If they enjoy what they read in the look inside feature or the sample then they will buy it. It's as simple as that.

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 11:26:44 BDT
Anwen Peng says:
Why would anyone pay $2000 to have a book edited that is not going to sell any copies? Also, only 6 agents? You're hardly even trying.

Self publishing is a great way for Amazon to make a lot of money from little to no investment, it is not a profitable venture for most authors. I can't see any fiscal benefit to Amazon pricing people out of the market.

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 12:01:00 BDT
M Byrne says:
Tree book, Ho-ho! That's new to me...most prob because I spend my time in the wrong places.

No Amazon are not publishers, they are the store---the point of sale. And they want to sell books.

Readers: All they want is a decent book to read at an affordable price. These 2 requirements are linked, and are the key to my comment. Okay, you don't want the detail, but to provide a decent book involves expense (maybe investment is a better term). But as a reader, I want to know that the book I'm buying is a book and not scribbled nonsense. Someone (on a different thread said, they're dumping, without reading, 10 [self-published] books for every one they did read. My own ratio would be higher than that. I accept that any novel can be disappointing---I thought, because of the plot holes, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was pants, a few others seemed to like it!---but even disappointing, should still be delivered in a reasonable condition. And if I know a book has been edited I know that minimum criteria has been met. 10 books at $1.00 each, 9 of which you dump, or one book for $10.00 that you read? The later is the better deal, because I haven't spent the time getting to the dump-point.

So why should Amazon take on supplying a credential for an edited work? To gain more satisfied customers. There are so many self-pub books now, we readers need a mechanism that allows the cream to float to the top. I doubt my suggestion is the complete answer; but if it helps the reader have more confidence in the product, then maybe it's a step in the direction. If that's the case Amazon will sell more to their happier readers. And as a [soon to be] self-pub author, because I don't want to mug off the readers with a second rate product, (again I can't guarantee you will like what I write, but I can assure that I have delivered it at its best.)

So the reader has an easy spot on a minimum quality standard. Amazon sells more and handles less returns. And author [who has shown the care to deliver a product as best as it can be presented] also makes more sales. The downside: a book will cost a couple of bucks more than the average self-pub effort, but still way less than mainstream...and lets not forget, caviar cost more than cod-roe.

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 12:21:14 BDT
M Byrne says:
Anwen

Why would I pay $2,000 to have a book edited? Because editing is not a 5 minute job, and that is a good price. I have paid for editing because I have a belief that I have a good story to tell. And if I am going to tell it, I am going to do so in the very best way that I can. And I have paid for editing, because if you (if anyone) pays for a copy of my novel, I don't want them to feel mugged. And because I take a pride in what I do.

Yes, the money spent is a risk, but it's my hope readers will be discerning enough, that I will recoup my investment. If not, I'm out of pocket, and if nobody thinks my novel is good enough to read, that's will just be how it is, but nobody is going to say that I didn't try to give the best that I could.

Sorry, I just don't see how anything I have said makes Amazon price anyone out of the market. I think they would sell more and have less returns.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 12:43:24 BDT
Carol Arnall says:
Amazon's returns are dealt with automatically. They're not bothered at all whether they have books returned. True the tree books are handled by a human being when returned, but Amazon know most readers of these books can't be bothered to return them, it is far more involved than returning a Kindle book.
Amazon are not bothered to such a great extent about editing, they have supplied a spell check when we upload our books now. It's up to the author whether they correct their book. Amazon as I stated are a shop.
Authors only need go to the MOA and ask if anyone knows a good proof reader or editor, word of mouth is far better than scrolling down a list. Or an author can try any of the other social media sites.
Perhaps rather than posting this here you would be better sending your suggestion directly to Amazon? They do not read these forums.
As for dumping books, I rarely do that. I take a sample first or read the look inside feature.
I have read some brilliant SP books and tell people about them. The more positive the message the better. The more SP authors are rubbished the less sales are made.
and lets not forget, caviar cost more than cod-roe? Doesn't work for me as I like cod-roe and dislike caviar!

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 13:29:25 BDT
love to read says:
The lack of quality control means a lack of respect for the good authors who self-publish. I often read novels from authors I have never heard of and some are marvellous, but a few days ago I looked inside a book to find the first word was FORWARD, as a heading, written in bold. Forward? Oh... FOREWORD...

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 13:29:45 BDT
M Byrne says:
Carol, I certainly agree with you about fishy food. Ho-ho!

And also I agree word of mouth is the best selling tool, but you have to get people talking to make that work, (no good leaving the tool in the tool box).

Sending suggestion to Amazon...maybe when it's fully thought out. It's here to collect other views [like yours] on the idea, to see if it has viability. You obviously know more about the internal workings of Amazon than I do, I hope others with knowledge will contribute here and color the whole picture. Amazon not caring about editing---there's the rub, to my mind they should. It's a bit like selling tables and chairs with wobbly legs. Of course look at the sample first, this is a great indicator of what will follow, but often the SP author will put the effort into the sample while not carrying through with the whole work. (a little bit mendacious, if you ask me).

As a reader, all I want is a way to tell the wheat from chaff, (I realize that is impossible, but I think it's not unrealistic to have a system helps toward that. And as a, soon to be, author I want to let a potential reader know I have taken the care to deliver a product in as good a shape as I can.

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 14:04:50 BDT
Fizz Foster says:
I don't mean to rub anyone up the wrong way, but here are my thoughts on the matter.

The problem with automated upload services is that you're more likely to gain acceptance for a product which looks genuine than one that is genuine - e.g. if the technical formatting is correct, your book must be fine. The Amazon spellcheck obviously does not work, because my books include a high degree of made up colloquialism which is never called out. Clearly this distinction is made to trim the costs of overseeing us properly, and because these companies are more interested in getting their cut of every book that we can as a partnership trick the buyer into paying for and not refunding. Amazon loses nothing by trusting you to host a file on their website for customers to pay them to download. If your book is edited properly, however it was achieved, that will show in the description and preview when compared to your peers. It will help sell the book.

I for one would rather not pay a grand for such input when I have all the time in the world to take my audience's qualms on board after they have read it. I know they will read it, because it's formatted well and will be available free for a period. I am sure plenty of people will scoff at me for saying this, but the same possibly substandard product submitted to a certain other site would immediately be authorised by a good number of legitimate ebook stores, and eventually Amazon. The untrained observer would get the idea that it's not an amateur publication. It would be ridiculous to suggest that no one will read it, even if it's awful - feedback guaranteed. This reminds me of a forumer who once suggested that if he pasted his essay into a comment on YouTube, the grammatical obsessives would proofread it for free - now, that was a joke, but releasing some free work online has that exact effect. Obviously I edit my work over a number of years, but one person will never spot every problem with an item; the votes of many better serve such a purpose where plot holes and empty metaphors are concerned, as what makes sense to someone with high inferential reading skills comes across differently to the average mind. I suppose it depends on one's self esteem as to whether to trust the audience with a likely 90% polished manuscript to tear apart. We all have to start somewhere, and many authors are frightened that they will fade in the first five minutes due to releasing a book that is neither notoriously bad, nor notoriously good.

I have never submitted to a traditional publisher or agent, not simply because I write for myself, but because I believe that a good book should sell itself as long as it gains the minimum level of distribution that a site like Amazon can provide. This was never possible in the past. As Carol said, we can preview the text on here, so unless a book is specifically engineered to have all its best lines in the first 20%, it is the buyer's judgement at fault if they are dissatisfied. Even with a print book, how much more can you do to prevent disappointment than skim ten pages in the shop? Visit a library? There are plenty of print books which are poorly written - and guess what? They're also popular. It really depends on the audience you're aiming for as to whether "proving" (other than showing) that your book was edited properly will be useful. Fact checking and editing for tone is definitely a must if you write non-fiction.

Maybe I have too youthful a perspective, having grown up with an "edit" button on everything, but it seems rather unnecessary - e-publishing allows for the submission of both major and minor alterations at any time you see fit, and absolute perfection before first release is a target often missed even by professional editors. The period where one spelling mistake would be ignored at your peril has ended, especially if you e-publish prior to printing. I am not saying it isn't an issue, but it is by no means the same problem it would've been fifty years ago - or the same problem as vanity printing a thousand copies of something no one has been proven to want. The enthusiastic customer can redownload your revisions at a click; the dissatisfied one can get a refund just as easily. I would much rather build on consumer feedback to create a superior product later, than chase the impossible before anyone has even read my work. The star rating system, verified purchases and detailed reviews already allow for the cream to float, as you say. As for selling tables with wonky legs, Amazon is still concerned with supplying a DVD that reads properly on the player, or an ebook that is properly recognised by e-reading devices - why should they care if the film or book in question is tripe? They are not taking responsibility for authoring it. At half the price of a print copy and with no big name behind me, shouldn't people meter their expectations anyway?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 14:27:26 BDT
I Readalot says:
No, readers should not meter their expectations, mine are the same for trad published and sp books, big publishers and small indies. A good book is a good book and bad is .. well bad. An odd typo or spelling mistake can be forgiven, it happens but every effort should be made before publishing to ensure that the book is as error free as humanly possible. Building on consumer feedback? What does that mean, that you wait for paying customers to point out your mistakes and then you correct them? If that is the case you are using customers as a proof reading/editing service and you should be paying them rather than the other way round.

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 14:29:52 BDT
M Byrne says:
B. Lowery

Excellent comments. I'm going to have a long think about all you have said.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 14:36:10 BDT
With all this technology about, whereby planes fly themselves and robots can perform minor operations, why has nobody come up with proof reading software. I do not think paying somebody to proof read work is the answer, this will only stifle creativity. I stopped reading for a long while because mainstream books, or Pulp Fiction as it is sometimes called was being driven by the current literary fads of the time (Romantic comedy/ Football personalities, etc.) Furthermore, I would never pay more than £10.00 for a book, whoever had written it. I have read many books on Amazon kindle that I was interested in and as was previously noted, you can 'look inside' before you buy.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 14:39:28 BDT
Carol Arnall says:
I recently read that Amazon has 32 million titles on it's site. In all honesty do you think that they will worry about a few poorly edited books? I don't.
If they put a list of editing services up IMO they are then telling people that these companies are good at their job. If an anuthor uses one of the services Amazon recommend who are they going to blame? We live in a blame culture now. Okay, they complain to the editing service, who may well ignore them, next port of call Amazon.
I only know what I glean from reading writing magazines, chatting to my fellow authors in the MOA (I do have a thread) F/book, and other ports of call on the Internet.
I would say that at the least 95% of authors are readers, they understand everything to do with books. They ensure their books are of a high standard before publishing. It's a pity they don't get more of a mention.
Having read these forums on and off for a few years I have yet to see one that praises SP authors. It's always the ones who miss the boat on their editing and formatting that get the publicity. A great pity.
I think I mentioned that an author won't know whether their book is well edited, well written etc until it's been read. Authors don't write in the front of their books I've paid so & so price to have this book editied! Apart from which the reader doesn't care, as I have already said, all they want is to get to the story they've just paid for. The only way you will know if your book is okay is by the reviews you will hopefully receive after you have published it.
There have been many books reach the Kindle Number 1, that have been very poorly edited and formatted, but they've been taken on by a major publishing company? Why, because they had written something the public wanted to read. In those cases people didn't care at all about poor editing.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 14:55:05 BDT
love to read says:
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Posted on 17 Apr 2013 14:59:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Apr 2013 15:01:36 BDT
Must say that I heartily agree with the need for quality assurance. One of the advantages and disadvantages of the new self publishing area with eBooks is that it is a lot cheaper to publish and get your books out there. A lot of the time readers like myself will see a book with a fair description and if the price is reasonable we'll just buy it and the price is negligible. I have been running out of books myself and will regularly just buy a lot of books from the suggestions Amazon gives in the back.

There are the obvious disadvantages in that the books aren't being checked by anybody. Could authors just give it to friends/family/neighbours? I know just having another eye to look over things helps immensely. However I've noticed that some books I've bought of late have the spelling and grammar of a 12 year old child fresh out of an English class. Yes, I'm looking at you Barry "Can't think of the right version of a word so use ALL of them" Gibbons.

All in all, I think it would be a good opportunity to make even more money from us to make an option available for perhaps a discounted editing service. When you're in the process of publishing the box just have an option with "Would you like to have your book checked by $publisher?".

EDIT: Also, I have noticed the new Automatic Book Update service that Amazon are running and would like authors to use this more often, I would also like a way in which to report issues with eBooks. I've noticed a number which haven't been formatted correctly for the Kindle and this would be a good way to update the books when different revisions are released.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 15:03:23 BDT
Carol Arnall says:
No, no, the software out there is rubbish. Spell check is pretty useless. The majority of authors need a proof reader. That's why publishers use them. Some of the publishing houses employ at least five editors.
Don't be tempted by the software out there, save your money and have your worked checked.
There are quite a few authors out there who don't need proof readers, but remember there are far more that do. The majority of authors also have their books beta read.
Computer software cannot replace a human being when it comes to checking a manuscript.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 15:09:32 BDT
Carol Arnall says:
You can return the book within 7 days to Amazon returns. There is a drop down box this asks you why you are returning the book. You get a full refund.
If you go to manage my kindle there is an address you can write to if you feel the need to complain about a book. Or you can write to the author pointing out their error. A few authors have an email address in their book or on their author page.
If Amazon recommend an editor surely if the author isn't satisfied, and if the editor refuses a refund, the author would then complain to Amazon?
There a many good editing companies out there, simply ask on the MOA forums. There will always be authors who simply cannot afford to pay the price of an editor.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 15:37:23 BDT
Nav Logan says:
B. Lowry, thanks for putting into such fine words my own feelings on the issue. As someone who recently decided to SP, after having my manuscript sitting idle on the shelf for ten years, I think it's great. Now I hold my hand up and admit, that my first draft that i released on Amazon Kindle had a whole rake of errors in it and i was devastated to learn this myself. I have not used the most up to date version of the document from ten years previous, and had to quickly amend the resubmit the story again. Thankfully, I'd signed up for KDP and a free £0.00 price tag so most of the people who downloaded my book in that first month; did so for free. Since then, i have tweaked it again another few times, to ensure that the best product i could serve up was being served up. It may not be caviar, but it's the best i can do.
Ironically, i was looking at a book that i thoroughly enjoyed reading, earlier today; Ash by James Herbert (RIP) and it only has three stars. I gave it five, but there's nothing queerer than folk, as the old saying goes. So you can't please all the people all the time; even if you are as well established as James, and have paid a bucket load of dough for editing costs; which frankly i cannot afford.
I do hope people enjoy my stories and do my best to produce a story that is both readable and a good story, and I hope that as i continue to write and learn my craft, that my books will get better and i will build up a group of dedicated readers; who like what i have to say.
I am currently near completion of the first draft of book two and dread the editing work, but editing it is part of the process; whether you self edit or pay someone else to do it.
I do agree however, with the original question in regards to self editing and looking at your own work through rose tinted glasses. It is a tough challenge.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 15:40:17 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
I think this comment about lack of quality control showing a lack of respect to good self-published authors is bang on the mark. Because there is so much absolutely appalling SP material being put on the market, I think it is putting a lot of people off self-publishing completely. I'm afraid there are far too many people who think that a basic command of English qualifies them to write a novel (and there's a few few who think themselves qualified even without that basic command.) It's all a bit like singing in the bath; you may think you sound terrific but no-one in their right mind would offer you a recording contract!

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 15:42:51 BDT
Nav Logan says:
On the issue of software. Reading the book aloud is a good rule for editing, as well as spell checking, but i did find a piece of software which i found of some use. Its not perfect, by any means, but it does catch some things that i missed. It is a piece of software called Ginger and is a free online editing tool. It is far from perfect,a s i say, but better than a poke in the eye.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 15:46:32 BDT
Good for you, I have done the same, my books were languishing in the loft for years. Keep it up and don't let anybody try to put you off or change how you put words together, as long as most can understand what you are trying to convey. most of the people who have downloaded my first book got it for free, however, the next time it is promoted it will be much improved.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 16:20:55 BDT
"As a reader, all I want is a way to tell the wheat from chaff, (I realize that is impossible, but I think it's not unrealistic to have a system helps toward that. And as a, soon to be, author I want to let a potential reader know I have taken the care to deliver a product in as good a shape as I can."

So now we know your real intentions. We've been through all this before. My book is better than your book and I want readers to know that my work has been professionally edited, polished to shine like a diamond and is ten times better than any other self-published book. How do I stand out from the dross? Well, you can't. What is dross to you might be a real gem to someone else. Publishing is a tough business and the only way to succeed is through hard work. Concentrate on marketing and promoting your own work. If it is as good as you think it is, it will rise to the top.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 16:22:10 BDT
Carol Arnall says:
But Gillian,
I wonder why you give your work away? If you spend a year or so writing your book why give it away? I have read so many times on these forums that readers say that once they have read a freebie by an author they will never buy another book they publish. They know you will give it away in the end.
Authors have the right to give their work away if they want to, but it just makes it harder to make sales in the end.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013 16:26:01 BDT
Fizz Foster says:
When I release a book, I consider it edited to within a 97% error margin. We're not talking alpha-testing on paying customers - that seems to be the driving concept behind the anti-SP position. I wouldn't even treat my non-payers like that, though I can definitely see how it's useful when you first start - for instance with fanfiction sites, which are experimental by nature. I enjoy my free series feedback from a stylistic standpoint, so that I can learn how to better appeal to my own audience and the outsiders - it's not really a typo hunt.

I would like to mention that I believe there's no need for remorse over the wrongful sale of an ebook when you as the author put your best into it - the refund process is simpler here than with any other medium, and is not contested by the seller. It's nothing that can't be put right regardless of reasoning. You don't get a refund on a DVD because the actors were terrible, and it seems to me that Amazon only offers ebook returns so readily to avoid backlash against the company for not caring about quality. Funny how this thread has come full circle.
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Initial post:  17 Apr 2013
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