I have a tiny blog called The Self-Publishing Review in which I consider self-published books from the viewpoint of a mainstream publishing editor. As I read I count all the errors and instances of sloppy writing that I find; and once I’ve found fifteen problems I stop reading and post details of how far I got in the book, and the sorts of errors I found.
I began the blog because a self-published writer took exception when I wrote that most self-published books were dreadful. He insisted I just hadn’t seen enough of them: and so I decided to start my review in order to rectify that.
Overall, I’ve found it a disappointing experience. Judging by the books I’ve been sent so far, the vast majority of self-published writers are bad writers who have published terrible books. So far I’ve only read one book right through to the end. I’ve not even got half-way through any of the others and some of the writers involved have not taken it too well: a few have tried to engage me in arguments and one author even had the misfortune of having some very argumentative friends who were determined to defend her writing reputation.
I was more than a little pleased when Rosalie Warren, the author of Charity’s Child, emailed me to thank me for the review I’d written about her book. It was clear that she had thought about my comments, understood them, and had gone on to apply them to the rest of her book. I had no doubt that her writing would improve as a result of her positive attitude and I wasn’t surprised when I subsequently learned that she has a novel called Low Tide, Lunan Bay being published today by a good mainstream publisher, Robert Hale. I shall buy myself a copy with a great big smile on my face—which is much more than I’d have done if she’d argued with me!