I have downloaded a few free books from Amazon including three by bloggers, who each offered their new book free for a limited time. I read two of them from cover to cover, one in a very short time. It was a good story and I had a cold, which left me short of energy for other tasks. The third book irritated me, so I gave up on it.
My reaction to the books I read made me stop and consider what I need to watch out for if I ever venture along the self-publishing route. The following points stood out as being of particular importance.
- Proof-reading is necessary.
- The structure of the book is important.
- The style should be consistent.
- While clichés should be avoided, any invented imagery should help the flow of the writing rather than bring the reader up sharp.
- Variation in pace is desirable.
To expand on the bullet points above, I’d like to mention a few pitfalls for self-publishing authors.
- The automatic spell-checker sometimes substitutes a word, which is different from the one the author intended.
- Words which sound the same, but have different meanings (homophones) need particular care.
- If a book is written with a particular audience in mind, such as the author’s friends and family, other readers may feel excluded if relevant information (taken for granted by the original readership) is not included.
- Grammatical mistakes may be off-putting. You might like to check out your knowledge of grammar here.
I prefer to hold a book in my hand – or read one at a table rather than on a computer screen. I like to know how thick the book is. Kindle’s location does not mean much to me yet.
I have to say that not having ventured into self-publishing, I admire those who have negotiated all the steps involved.
Here are some tips from a successful writer.