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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Blog Share: A Must Read for Indie Writers

I’m sharing this excellent and very important blog post by a fellow writer and editor. Make every effort to have your work professionally designed, edited, proofread, and formatted. I do.

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“Writers – Respect Your Readers #writingcommunity #selfpublishing” by Alison Williams Writing

 

I’ve seen a few tweets recently about the need for writers to hire professionals, be it editors, proofreaders, formatters or book cover designers. The reactions to these tweets seem to be split 50/50. As an editor, obviously I believe that authors benefit from having their work professionally edited. I appreciate that the cost of this […]

via Writers – Respect Your Readers #writingcommunity #selfpublishing — Alison Williams Writing

In Writing, When Do You Get to that “It’s Ready!” Pinnacle Point?

Gift wrapped book

With so many revisions to my novel over the past three years, I began to wonder when I’ll know when my story will be at that perfect point to call it completely finished. When will it be in the best polished condition to send to my editor and then work on publishing it?

Because I don’t know about you, but at times, I’ve felt just like this frantic writer in this cartoon.

COD editing support group for blog post

The comfort in this cartoon is knowing some writers suffer the endless revising of their novels that I fear my continuous revising may be headed for.

Therefore, I googled this question, and many links popped up. I read through at least four of them, from top ten ways to go about getting your book in the best shape to submit it to publishers to what entails revising your novel.

“Half my life is an act of revision.”  John Irving

So, after picking through these websites, I discovered the basic answer. Unfortunately, it’s not a silver bullet, a “Eureka! I’m done!” kind of answer.

But if you trust in your own discernment and ability of when the pinnacle point that renders a polished product is, you’ll be on the right path.

“I have rewritten–often several times–every word I have ever written.        My pencils outlast their erasers.” Vladimir Nabokov  

So, it looks like while you’re going through your many revisions (I’ve lost count), you’ll be refining the wording, sculpting the scenes, sharpening the dialogue to reach that apex.

Your story will eventually culminate into a satisfying whole piece in which you will know in your heart this is the moment to tie it up with a pretty bow and send it out to the editing and publishing world.

In conclusion, trust in your own ability to discern when your story is at its best, most  whole. 

How has your revising process been going? How did you feel when you reached the polished stage of your writing endeavor?

 

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