Take it away, Neal....
Regarding e-books, my belief has always been that the marketplace will balance everything out in the end. You know, the whole “cream rises to the top” viewpoint. I still hold to that position, but yesterday a friend pointed out an interesting blog post at Crime Fiction Collective to me. According to this post, it seems the Amazon Quality Police are going to start getting involved, and they’re not going to wait for the market to make the final decision in every case.
Amazon has been pulling e-books with content issues, typos, errors, and formatting problems, and it appears they will continue to do so.
In the past I’ve advised a number of clients about the importance of putting out a quality e-book from the get-go. If an author receives the dreaded review that points out a number of typos and errors, it’s tough to shake. Even if the book is proofed or edited at a later date, that review sticks with the book and haunts it for the rest of its life. However, it now seems the dreaded review will do more than haunt a book. Such a review may well jump up and down and alert the Amazon Police to come over and take a look.
So where does that leave us?
Well, from my perspective, not a lot has changed. I’ve always advocated that authors put out quality products. From an author’s perspective, the stakes are now higher.
Not only does an author run the risk of receiving bad reviews but there’s also the chance an author’s book could be pulled altogether. In this new digital age, readers expect the same quality in e-books that they experienced in many print books. And Amazon’s reputation is on the line since they’re at the forefront of the digital revolution. Amazon is running a business, and no business wants to be known for putting out subpar products. Whether you like how they’re handling the issue or not, Amazon is the big kid in the sandbox, and they get to say who can stay to play.
The good news is that there’s a feasible solution to the problem.
There are a number of freelance editors and proofreaders out there who are already working to ensure the quality of self-published e-books. Yes, that may mean money out of a self-publishing author’s pocket up front, but an author who is serious about self-publishing needs to understand that’s part of the cost of business. Authors need to ask themselves, Is it worth the risk? Is it worth the risk to e-publish a book with typos and errors in it? Is it worth the risk of receiving bad reviews that will haunt the book throughout its lifetime? Is it worth the risk of possibly having Amazon pull the book and lose sales opportunities?
My advice? Don’t risk it. These are controllable issues that Amazon is reacting to. I strongly urge anyone who is going to self-publish to do everything in their power to make sure they are putting out quality books.
Is it worth the risk not to?
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I'd like to introduce you to my personal editor and friend, Neil Hock from Hock's Editing Service. He's a great guy and an advocate for indie authors.
Neal did the final proof read for Reunion, which after five months, is still on the Amazon-bestseller list in the ghost category. He has done a great job for me and has worked for bestselling authors like Scott Nicholson as well. What's really amazing is, he's VERY affordable.
Be sure to follow The Bomb, comment, sign up by email, and buy Creepy, my new collection of scary stories so I can send my kids to rock camp. BOOM!