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.

Sincerely,

J.L. Pattison

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Has my book been pirated?

Imagine my surprise when I discovered my debut short story, The Visitor, being offered as a free PDF download here and here. (Including with fake reviews) including this train wreck of a review that I’ve copied and pasted verbatim:

This The Visitor book is not really ordinary book, you have it then the world is in your hands. The benefit you get by reading this book is actually information inside this reserve incredible fresh, you will get information which is getting deeper an individual read a lot of information you will get. This kind of The Visitor without we recognize teach the one who looking at it become critical in imagining and analyzing. Don’t be worry The Visitor can bring any time you are and not make your tote space or bookshelves’ grow to be full because you can have it inside your lovely laptop even cell phone. This The Visitor having great arrangement in word and layout, so you will not really feel uninterested in reading.

This seems like a scam of some sort but I’m not quite sure what to make of it. Have any other indie or traditional authors out there experienced this? If so, I’d love to hear from you about your experiences.