Independent publishing is under fire, folks. First came the fake review scandals on Amazon. Next, book critics started lamenting the rise of the authorpreneur as the death knell of publishing. And recently, James Patterson took out full-page ads to petition the government to bail out the Big 6 and Barnes & Noble. All this negativity leads me to ask the question, where is this coming from?
To some, the outcry against Indie’s is justified as an attempt to preserve literary quality. I wish I could say that this is completely off-base, but the truth is that there have been many of us who have cut corners and taken shortcuts to bring our work to the masses. It’s not just the $.99-$2.99 price point and Free e-book specials that have the traditional publishing establishment worried. It’s the .99 cent e-book with the terrible cover and the typos, grammatical errors, and poor story development that have them concerned. If readers are willing to buy these types of books, then traditional publishing truly is lost.
I wrote an article last year entitled, Readers are the New Literary Agents, that discusses the out placed role of today’s literary agents, as readers are now the one’s deciding which books are worthy of attention and which are not. Still, we as an independent publishing collective cannot afford to allow a few bad apples to spoil our progress, because there will be some backlash and all of our positive strides will be negated. With this said, this week’s Author Discovery tip focuses on the crucial element of editing and how promoting your editor (s) can actually boost your book’s discoverability as well improve the chances of getting a reader to put forth their hard-earned cash for your book.
With a traditionally published book, readers take it for granted that the book will have been copyedited, proofread, and content-edited. There is no need for the publishing companies to announce, “Hey, this book was edited!” Unfortunately, this is not the case with independently published novels. Therefore, if you have taken the time to get your work properly sculpted by a good editor, you should share the credit. Let the world know who is your world-class editor. Shout their name from the rooftops. Or in today’s terms, add their name next to yours as a book contributor.
Here’s an example from my book:
As you can see, I am letting the world know very clearly that THIS indie book has an editor. The reader probably has no idea who Stephanie Casher is and their curiosity will most likely stop after reading the title, but psychologically they go forward with the knowledge that my book was professionally edited. The point of author discovery is to help readers find your book’s buy pages and once there help them make the decision to purchase (or at least sample) your work. Adding your editor is a small point of differentiation that can make that process even easier for your readers.
Just as indies have reinvented the book blurb as books moved from print to digital and rethought e-book formatting to better suit the e-reading experience, we now need to reestablish the prominence of editing in Indie books. I know the majority of us get our books edited, however readers have no way of knowing if we don’t tell them.
In this age of easy digital publishing, editors are the bedrock to our collective success. It’s time we give them their time in the light!
Do you agree or disagree with this approach? Let us know in the comments!