What it Means to be a Credible and Professional Writer

woman reading

 

In the last several months, I’ve discovered a certain method gaining traction in self-publishing on Amazon that is concerning to me.

I don’t write this blog to offend or upset any of my fellow writers. However, this practice is worrisome to me, so I feel the need to share it and perhaps encourage people to take a more credible, professional, and elevated strategy on how to publish your work on such platforms as Amazon.

As I said, in the last several months, I’ve seen and read comments from some writers (a very small amount at this time, thankfully) that they publish their novels on Amazon without having completely finalized, polished, or professionally edited their work. If they are notified of errors, they fix them and re-publish their novels. Not once, but two or three times whenever they receive new feedback or perhaps hear from a traditional or independent publisher.

This practice comes off as using Amazon as their critique partner or critique group instead of utilizing a real one and employing a true professional editor to look over your work before putting it out there in e-book or print form.

In doing this, it sends a message that one can go the hastened, sloppy, or lazy route because they are wanting to put out their books as soon as possible.

I totally understand the huge desire to put out your work for others to read as quickly as possible. But I suggest if you are wanting people to read what you’ve written immediately after you’ve finished and looked over it a few times, give a rough copy to friends, families, critique partners in some other capacity, not on a public publishing platform where readers expect to be perusing clean, edited, and superbly-written books.

This method of using Amazon as a testing place or critique group takes away the credibility of other writers who may go the self-publishing route and have worked very hard to make their work as professional and clean as possible. It also takes away a reader’s faith in self-publishing authors. At least it does for me.

Personally, I wouldn’t dream of putting any of my fiction work out there without having gone through the proper channels of critique groups/partners, revising and editing my work to the point of as close to perfection as humanly possible, and finishing with professional editing.

You want your work to be the best it can be. The writing, top notch. Proofread and edited as best as can possibly be done.

As a reader, that’s what I expect when I pick up a novel to read. I wouldn’t expect my writing to be a lower standard than my reading expectations.

I think the hard work you put into your created stories will do exceptionally well if the story is appealing to your audience, and you implement the processes I mentioned above. Combine all of those elements, and I believe you’ll go far.

 

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The Importance of Positive Feedback

you can do it

Doesn’t it feel great when you get awesome, positive feedback from fellow writers reading and critiquing your stories?

I’ve gotten many on the three works I ran through the critique queue: my novel, Passage of Promise, my novella, Mourning Dove, and my novel, What She Didn’t Know.

Whenever you feel down or unsure about your story or even your ability to write, that changes when you get wonderful comments after constructive feedback from your fellow writers.

For example, one of my fellow writers commented on my scene descriptions (scenic surroundings) in my novel, Passage of Promise, as “second to none”. That really made my day.

A couple of days ago, I received a lovely comment on three of the chapters submitted last week from my novel, What She Didn’t Know, saying, “Powerful chapters. You are doing a great job of capturing the impact of family secrets and poor communication.” And a couple of weeks ago, with two prior chapters before those, another critiquer said, “No reader would ever be bored with this story. A more zest soap opera than one could find on the boob tube. Lots of engaging characters and snappy dialogue, and a narrator telling us about the human condition.” These remarks truly boosted my confidence and brought me joy. My characters are coming through so well, and that’s vital to me.

I mentioned in a former blog post how important critique partners are. I’m reiterating it here, showing the beautiful rewards you get, in addition to helpful suggestions. You get encouragement and praise at times. And every writer needs that.

 

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