Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Indie Life - It's About Quality

I'm very excited to be part of The Indelibles Indie Life series. These posts run on the second Wednesday of every month and include ideas and articles from a wide variety of indie authors. Check out the links below to learn more about INDIE LIFE.

Last month I spoke about balance.

This month, I want to talk about quality.

When I first jumped on the indie band wagon, I decided that I wanted to be seen as a professional. Whether we like it or not, there seems to be a stigma when it comes to self-published authors. Because our work hasn't been vetted by a traditional publishing house, people question whether our work is good enough. Heck, I even question myself sometimes, but that's a whole other blog post ;-)

The point is, if we want to lose the stigma, we have to act like professional authors. One way of doing that, is to produce quality work. Writing is not something every person can do and it only comes 100% naturally to a few. If you love writing as much as I do and you really want to make a career out of it, then I highly suggest you take the time to study the craft. I thought I could write before, but after taking a two-year writing course and reading many books on how to write well, I realized how many mistakes I was making. I'm not saying I am the world's best writer, but I have come a long way and I now feel confident that I am producing quality work. Work that deserves to be published.

So other than trying to master the craft of writing, what else can you do to strive for quality?

- Use critique partners and beta readers. These guys are worth gold to you. Honest feedback on your first drafts are key to ironing out the creases in your story.

- Pay a professional editor. I know they cost, but can you really afford not to? I did with my first books because I had no money, but I've always regretted it. I now refuse to publish a book until it has been professionally edited.

- Make sure your cover looks as though it belongs on a bookstore shelf. Don't settle for a homemade job when graphic design is not your skill. Covers do not break the bank, but they can break or make book sales.

Aiming to produce quality takes time and a little money, but you will never regret spending a few pennies to make your mark in the reading world. Act like a professional author and you will become one.

That's my theory :-)
What do you think?


8 comments:

  1. I agree with all of that. We should all be striving to grow as writers in our craft. But sometimes all of that doesn't translate into book sales. Sometimes a great story with only mediocre writing and no editing can take off. :) I love the irony.

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    1. So true. It is really ironic! Although I still stand by the fact that if your quality gets discovered, you're good to go.

      Thanks for stopping by, Laura :)

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  2. Great reminders. I do think that stigma is disappearing as even established authors are choosing to self-publish certain projects. One thing I grapple with is that it's a good idea to have a lot of work out there, as effectively each book promotes the others. Being prolific and maintaining high quality is not easy at all!

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    1. I totally agree. It's hard to work efficiently and effectively. I've just started reading a great book called 2k - 10k by Rachel Aaron. She gives tips for how to write faster... which leaves more time for editing. I'm finding her tips really useful and it's allowing me to still produce work worthy of publishing.

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  3. I think quality is something that comes along with experience. Sometimes freshness and creativity can beat what's traditionally considered quality, always back to that balance you wrote about last time, lol.

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    1. I agree with your comment about freshness. I think the major advantage indie authors have is that they can try new things and have the freedom to experiment :)

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