Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'd like to take an informal poll

Not even anything as formal as a poll, really. Just curious about something. I believe I am noticing a real difference in not only the type, but also the tone of reviews that are posted for independently published books as opposed to those works that are published by the larger publishing companies. I wonder if this is simply my impression, or is there something to this?

What I mean is that the general focus of reviews seem to zero in on some things more than others, depending on how the book was published. To give only one example, I hear a lot about how indie publishers need to pay close attention to quality. This is certainly true, and a fact that no one can reasonably dispute.

It is also true, and I have seven books in front of me to prove it, that 'mainstream' publishing houses put out work that is loaded down with typos like mis-spelled words, missing commas, misplaced punctuation marks, missing verbs and nouns, entire missing sentences sometimes, etc. Yet I cannot recall (I welcome anyone who can point me to one) a single review of a book published by a major publishing house where these flaws were dragged out and complained about.

The assumption seems to be, still, that anyone who publishes their own work is an amateur, and their work should and must be regarded by amateur standards. I spent over twenty years in the professional world, writing non-fiction technical documents dealing with contracts that amounted to tens of millions of dollars. I also assisted in writing some laws and regulations that were later put into effect. I can speak with some authority when I tell you that there has never been a document written that would pass the tweezer test.

The disturbing part of this, to me, is NOT that we indies are being held to a higher standard than the big publishing houses. Given the recent quality of what they are putting out, we can exceed their best efforts without breaking a sweat. The disturbing part, to me, is that so many of us are still doing this to ourselves and each other.

Is it just me? Am I being paranoid?

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