Pattison's Perspectives, Writing Advice

An open letter to indie authors.

img_9461As an indie author myself, there’s few things that make me cringe more than when other indie authors publish books rife with errors that would have been caught and fixed had the author employed a professional editor. This lack of concern for the professionalism of their book, the writing craft, and indie publishing, hurts the rest of us.

Every time a reader of traditionally published books boldly ventures into the indie market only to find themselves holding a book containing page after page of grammatical errors, structural issues, and plot holes, indie authors everywhere lose credibility. Those discerning readers oftentimes make a resolution right then and there to never waste their time—or their money—on another indie published book. I’ve even made that same resolution myself.

It’s because of this ripple effect that I plead with my fellow indie authors to stop chasing after the glory of how many books you put out (and how fast you put them out), and start focusing on the quality of those books. Your readers will appreciate it and the collective body of indie authors who take their craft seriously will thank you for it too.

The writing profession is a marathon, not a sprint. If you can’t afford a professional editor, then wait. Practice a little patience and save up your money until you can afford one.

You can also try raising the funds to pay for a professional editor.

I currently have a Kickstarter campaign for my book, The Island, in order to help pay for its professional editing and cover design. And I’ve resigned myself to the fact that if that campaign fails, then I’ll need to wait a little longer to publish The Island in order to save the money necessary to hire an editor. Publishing my book without professional editing is not an option.

We’re all in this together. What one indie author does in the publishing world—good or bad—ripples throughout the entire indie publishing community. A poorly edited book not only hurts your own sales, but it negatively effects sales for the rest of us.

Please publish responsibly.


J.L. Pattison