Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Ugly Side of Indie Publishing

Special guest post by great editor and awesome blogger Su (@Sirra_girl)

The pros and cons of indie publishing are in so many blog posts and articles these days. Of course, most of the pros come from those who self-published or from the small indie publishers (who obviously has to a lot to gain from this trend). While I do recognize the importance of self-publishing, I don’t think the newbie writers are getting the right information. I like to share my views and to shed some light on the cons. To be fair and informative, of course.

While I respect indie authors, I can’t fathom why they choose to trash traditional publishing. Is it a prerequisite in becoming an indie author that you have to swear off traditional publishing all together? These haters exaggerate the negatives by claiming that traditional publishing should be done away with. To me, these people come off as bitter and resentful. Yes, getting from the point of querying agents to having your book on the shelf is a long, painful process. Also, the industry has high standards when it comes to what they want to publish. But should a writer forgo the traditional route just because of rejections? Whatever happened to perseverance for your art?  This is a clear case of people who seek instant gratification.

Let’s face the facts. Indie publishing is still in its infancy. There is no clear guideline and standard practices. And with the emergence of ebooks, these writers are printing out one book after another like a factory. So far, I’ve seen dozens of badly-written books and fake 5-star reviews running rampant. Where is the quality control? Of all of their claims, what I find more disturbing is their claim of not needing an editor. This is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard. Nearly all traditionally published books have gone through editors. What makes indie books so special?

Bypassing the traditional publishing route is one thing, but skipping the editing process entirely is lunacy. Not only do editors proofread for grammar issues and typos, they focus on big issues such as plot, pacing, character development, word-usage, syntax error, etc. Editing encompasses so much more than spotting a spelling error. Not that spelling errors are forgivable. Readers will be the first ones to notice that. Ultimately these books will suffer the FAPO syndrome. For the author’s pleasure only.

Indie authors will claim that traditionally published books contain some errors, too. They’re right, but the errors are minor. What I’ve seen in indie books is much more serious. Some of these were so poorly written that their books were incoherent and downright stupid. Some simply defied logic all together. Those books should not have been published because they surely must have and will ruin the careers of these authors. And for them to be proud of the fact that they didn’t need editors’ help is saying that they’re proud of being substandard. Very sad.

Let me give you a simple analogy. It’s like selling a house. Anyone could put up a For Sale sign in front of their lawns and try to sell a house. A savvy person might even take a few pictures and advertise in local papers or on Craigslist. All because they want to save the 6-7% commission they have to fork out to the real estate agents. 82% of the sold homes were sold by professional real estate companies. And on average, they get 16% more profit than selling it on their own. The exposure and the expertise were important. But what was equally important was the fact that the agents guide them in the right direction to make their house “salable.”

That may have been an oversimplification of the subject, but I think I proved my point. Go through a literary agency or go on your own. That part is up to you. I’m not here to persuade anyone. I’m here to explain the ugly side of indie publishing which may be the self-destructing factor of this industry. Some might question my motive for writing this post because I am an editor. Well, I didn’t write this post to advertise my editing service nor did I try to put traditional publishing industry upon a pedestal. To conclude, I will offer my humble advice for the writers and authors out there.

Newbie writers! Do not be swayed by these pro-indie advertisements. Indie publishing is not only route for writers. And don’t be fooled when they say “Ebooks will take over the paper books.” Okay, that may be true, partially. But remember that ebooks are not exclusive to indie books. Traditionally published books are coming out as ebooks, too. So you will always be competing against them.

Indie authors! Focus on raising your standards, not trashing the traditional publishing. Do the smart thing. Write better books. Have them go through the scrutiny of critiques and editing. Then publish. The books will speak for themselves, not your false promises on your colorful blogs, or your constant tweets and DMs on Twitter, or pawning it to your friends on Facebook.

P. S. For those of you who are not familiar with me or my blog, I don’t hate indie authors. In fact, I have a whole section in my blog dedicated to listing and plugging my indie tweeps’ books Just so you know....

Su is a professional editor and dedicated friend to writers. Her personal blog is here and her editor blog is here.


  1. Great advice! I am suffering through the traditional route if it kills me. There is something to be said for validation and respect. I am stubborn enough to want both of those. I am not willing to sacrifice either for the instant gratification of saying I have a "book" in print.

  2. Quality must be the bottom line and there is no excuse for horrid errors in publications, BUT traditional publishing is a barrier to authors rather than a partner in publishing. They don't get that their world is imploding just as iTunes imploded traditional music sales. Borders is dead in the water and Barnes and Noble cannot be fr behind. Publishing is changing radically and rapidly and at the moment is it messy. So was Napster. Traditional publishers and agents should be FRIGHTENED beyond belief because 10 years from now they may be largely a thing of the past. Indie is the best advance authors have had in 50 years. Problematic yes, but worth it.


  3. I think it's all about quality of writing. That's it. I won't "trash" either side of this picket line.


  4. Being a newbie writer it feels like there is a glut of information out there against traditional publishing. I cannot and will not publish anything that doesn't go through an editing process though. For me, that is an insult to the craft.

  5. As said, the self publishing industry is in it's infancy. Lately, I have seen a few self publishing 'packages" that include a professional edit of the authors work. I think that a good company that offers a quality editing job in this type of package could make a name for themselves and help to up the standards, so to speak. Great post, I agree, going it without an editor is just absurd.

  6. Although I am not self-published, I think I need to defend it. Along with all the crap that gets self-published is brilliant fresh work that publishers don't have the vision or the balls to publish.

    There was a time when publishers saw themselves as playing a vital role in the dissemination of new literature first and earning money in the process. Now their first aim is to make money and pump out text as a byproduct.

    Traditional publishers, with few exceptions, publish book after book of safe, tired, formulaic crap in an effort to do that trick again and again. They have become a serious inhibition to cultural growth, not the promoters of it they once were.

    Nor do they provide or demand the editorial skills they once did. They'd rather publish bricks than a skillfully edited novel, because it's easier, cheaper and they can charge more for it.

    As much as a typo offends me. I'll take some of the indie stuff coming out over Stephanie Meyers or Dan Brown any day.

    This is a grave publishers have dug for themselves.

  7. Su, you lost me with this oft-stated belief: "Also, the industry has high standards when it comes to what they want to publish."

    Snooki. Bristol Palin. The traditional publishing industry has fallen in love with "platform" over almost any other consideration, including story and talent.

    That's not to say that good books don't get published, but the eye of the needle has grown much smaller than it ever has been before and the payoff for writers less lucrative. Snooki received a $250K advance on a book that tanked (don't let the NYT Bestseller designation fool you). One of my author friends — who wrote a beautiful novel, his fourth — was just offered a $5K advance and 10% royalties.

    Yes, there are a lot — thousands — of horrible and poorly edited self-published works out there. (Luckily for buyers, there are also previews). I do believe that eventually, as the glut continues, there will be some sort of independent filtering systems, perhaps instigated by sales outlets like Amazon. It's still a fairly new phenomena and there's certainly room for growth and improvement.

    Can traditional publishing say the same? Will they? Because from my perspective, they're becoming more like McDonalds franchises than artistic entities.

    (And yes, I have self-published a book).

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Bypassing the traditional publishing route is one thing, but skipping the editing process entirely is lunacy.

    Agree a 100%.

    Personally, I'll go with both quality self-pub and trad-pub, and see where that takes me (or not!)

  10. To Jane,

    I probably should have made it clear that I was talking mainly fiction. S. Palin and Snooki are hardly Hemingway, are they?
    Thanks for your comment!


  11. While I agree with most of your comments Su, I really think Remittance Girl has stolen my thunder as what she says is all too true nowadays.

    'Traditional publishers, with few exceptions, publish book after book of safe, tired, formulaic crap in an effort to do that trick again and again. They have become a serious inhibition to cultural growth, not the promoters of it they once were.'

    I know a number of authors who are contracted with major publishers and without exception they are formula chick-lit writers. And easy to understand as this is where the safe market is.

    The major publishers and their Lit agents are in just as much trouble as anyone in the publishing industry and are all seeking the safe buck.

    When asked my opinion, I always tell new authors to take both routes. Send your query, but why not self-pub in the meantime, as the chances of being picked up by an agent are quite remote. Especially if you are writing outside the safe genres.

    I did exactly the same until I became so frustrated with the lame duck excuses. 'It just doesn't fit my list' being the standard reply. (My list normally being chick-lit and paranormal.) I did consider at one time, writing under a pen name and rolling out urban vampire romance, but then regained my sanity.

    Lit agents and publishers are going down the same route as the major music companies did some years ago. Producing the same old tired material thinking is was the best way to make a buck. It took the imagination of musicians themselves to bring new material to market and allow innovation and fresh ideas to flourish.

    The result being of course that major music companies are all now in deep financial trouble and only surviving on their now ancient catalogues.

    Self-publishing is still in its infancy and I'm not sure an individual author can 'make it'; other than the odd outlier or well known writer who has opted out of contract.

    But if I had a decent crystal ball I would imagine I may see new and innovative small press publishers who will succeed in time, in the same way that Indie music producers have done.

    In the end, writers have little to do other than keep writing and continue to be the primary producer of an industry in whatever form it finally takes.

  12. Derek,

    Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I agree with what you say about the trad. pub. It is a depressing trend. But I think Indie writers must bring their standards up if they plan to outgrow the trad. pub, let alone compete with them. I always value your opinion, Derek. Thanks. Bye~


  13. Yes Su, the quality of many Indie books is well, terrible wouldn't be going too far. Then again there are some gems, and I'm reading one at the moment. Sampling with ebooks is a godsend in this regard. To find the book I'm reading now, and one other I will read, I read through nine samples.

    But as I said, I really think new, small and switched on publishers will be the way forward. With expertise in editing especially, many new authors will then be able to have their work prepared for market with a professional finish.

  14. When I think of the writers who form the core of my foundation as a writer, and who have firm places in the canon of Western literature, and who wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting published through traditional avenues today, it makes me want to weep. Miller, Ballard, Nabokov, Beckett...

  15. I MUST REITERATE! Read my entire post. This is not about trad pubs being better than indie or their books being better. It's about the trend of bad indie publishing. Bad books without any editing or even much thought put in are being published every single day. And that low to non-existent standard is hurting the reputation of the indie pub. industry. Get it? I don't decide which way you should take. JUST WRITE AND PUBLISH QUALITY BOOKS. That's all I'm saying...

  16. When the dawn of the ebooks first came about, I was one that stood up and clapped. I love all things digital. And I hope that one day, when/if I am ever published, I can gladly see a young one with my book in their lap; whether it be paper or on a kindle/iphone/ipad.

    The possibilities of me reaching this are open, and avenues are there for to walk into. I can hire editors, proofreaders, cover artists, formatting geniuses galore to crate the perfect ebook.

    Hell - I could do it now.

    But - I won't. Call me old fashioned, or plain stupid, because I want to (and will) go down the literary agent route. Why? Well, I am not doing it to make my life more difficult, but I am looking to eventually be rewarded (not by $$$$) by getting there.

    So, I can still hire all of the above, but I will do so to learn and improve my voice and story telling to eventually secure a deal.

    I don't see the agents as holding my hand but more as a guide. There are many examples where a helping hand keeps us sane. And if every agent that comes back to me (well maybe only a small % will) tells me how I need to improve, then I will.

    I understand that the market out there is global. But with the strain of investment I have already made with polishing my MS, I do not want to see my life become an ongoing journey of advertising.

    Do not get me wrong, I am all for advertising. But if you consider a small budget that some have. they will inevitably get a cheaper (and possibly) lower quality if edit that will harm the end product... because they kept some of their budget behind to market with.

    Again, the agent won't make it any easier for me ... but if they can say:
    "No - Imran! [Slap] This is the way to do it"... then I will smile and say thanks for telling me!


  17. As a book reviewer/reader, I can only say that I don't have a preference on how it was published. But what I have noticed in self-published books is that there are too many spelling errors, grammar issues, formatting issues, and factual inaccuracies. I have had many books that I had to stop reading after a few chapters because my poor eyes could not handle it.
    Whether you decide to go traditional or self-publishing/indie route, do yourself and your readers a favor and hire an editor.
    I enjoyed your post, Su.

  18. I agree with readwriteluv's comment above, although I usually struggle through painfully edited books, just so I can say I finished them, and to write as thorough a review as possible. As indie authors and publishers, we've got to do better.

  19. Sirra, you really let 'em have it! That's okay. I too think that publishing without first obtaining professional editing is a fool's errand.

    Readers are not idiots. They'll find out soon enough who the serious, professional authors are, versus those who take shortcuts and exercise bad judgment, thereby abusing their readers.

    Solid editing is a must. Period!

    Indie authors can and should succeed, if they're good enough. However, that means taking a professional approach to the business. As I've blogged in the past: Quality matters.

    The sad fact is that 95% (I'm being generous here) of self-published work is substandard. The truly sad part is that it needn't be that way.

    As to the traditional publishing process... well, they'll find no friend in me. Their utter contempt for most authors, their industry model that places all but the most successful authors squarely at the BOTTOM of the food chain, and their outrageous pricing and contractual requirements, are but some of the reasons their business is circling the drain.

    This is precisely the reason I developed, with my business partner, Evolved Publishing. It's time for a new model, one that places authors squarely at the center of the publishing universe, where they should have been all along. Yet also one that INSISTS on professionalism from top to bottom.

  20. I think it's worth pointing out that there is a flourishing new market in eager Indie editors since the self-publishing thing got underway. Many of whom are not worth paying as they are often just grammar would be's and authors looking for a bit of extra income.

    From my own experience, I can say two things. One is that professional editing is just way out of the financial reach of most Indie authors and two that many who advertise themselves as editors are indeed no such thing. In fact I gave up on editors for my last two books after being extremely disappointed with the result and have edited my last two books myself. From readers' feedback, I made a wise choice.

    I agree with Lane that solid editing is a must. But there is a financial limit to this. You just cannot compare trad publishing models of quality with Indie publishing. Quality line editing for a novel of about 100k words costs a minimum of $2,500 -$3,000. To expect an Indie to invest this amount of money in one book is just fantasy.

    In the end it is about the crafting of a great story. This is what is important. Not nit picking over a few typos. Amanda Hocking did quite well with rough unedited material. Her readers just loved the story. That's what is important.

  21. Derek, you're right. There are a ton of editors who shouldn't bear the title. However, it doesn't help your work if you attempt to bypass it altogether. You've got to find the right fit, and that takes time, effort, and more than a headache or two.

    To say you shouldn't pay for an editor because it's too expensive is like saying a doctor doesn't need to go to med school. My wife paid a ridiculous amount to become a pharmacist. She sacrificed. She lived on Ramen Noodles, macaroni & cheese, and Little Debbie cakes. And now? Ah yes, she thrives off that sacrifice. So, tell me why, again, it's fantasy for an indie author to make that same sacrifice?

    In the end, it's far more than crafting a great story. Go read Amanda Hocking's blog post--she states, quite clearly, that everyone needs an editor. And I quote, from her FAQ, "Edit a lot, and find a good editor."

    Indie Authors should accept no less than professional quality.

  22. You know...traditionally publishing and those involved with the process have trashed self pubbers for years. Turnabout is fair play?

  23. D.T. Conklin. While I agree with your gist, it's just not realistic.

    I think Amanda Hocking can easily say she believes in expensive editing now that she can afford it. She wasn't so verbose when she was selling her $0.99 ebooks.

    $3,000 is not a matter of sacrifice, but just a sheer waste of money for most self-pubs who will be lucky to make $500 in a year from book royalties.

    I just don't accept your closing remark as it is a total impossibility. You want the best of one form, for the cheaper price of another. You just cannot expect traditionally published quality from Indies. But you can and rightly deserve reasonable quality.

  24. Keep in mind, $3,000 is a one-time investment, and your scenario of $500 dollars is a return from ONE YEAR. Take the long view. Your book(s) will be out there for decades or centuries.

    I suppose we'll agree to disagree :).

  25. Just a note on fees of editing. It does not cost multi-thousands of dollars. For all the editors who go by the standard rate of The Association of Freelance Editors is at about $3 per page for a full, substantive edit. For some, only proof-reading/copy editing (for typos, grammars, and syntax errors. Plus formatting) is necessary, which is only a fraction of that cost.

    And yes, this is a business. All of wants to make money. BUT if you believe yourself to be a true writer/artist who has the passion and the love for writing, you would and should make that sacrifice for your art, your soul. You should want to present your work at its best. Even if that means you have to go without eating meat for a few months.

    And there are other options. You can go to the library, which is free, and teach yourself to be an editor. Take a course in writing at local community colleges. Also, you can find dozens of qualified writers to help you critique and revise your book. In the end, there's no reason for anyone to publish crap. Be fair. You think your money is important? Well, so is the money of the readers. They deserve better for THEIR money.


    P.S. This is not a childish game of name calling for either of the industries. This is about quality of books for all. Please remember that.

  26. Just read the blog and comments and I still think it's myopic to foretell the end of traditional publishing. ITunes didn't undo the music industry and beyond that, people still listen to RECORDS, let alone compact discs. Just a thought.

  27. The entire book industry should be about great books and authors continuously improving our craft. Having two avenues to reach readers is a good thing that brings opportunities, competition and changes. I think it gives more power to readers to decide which books are the best.

  28. Ah yes, Derek, the old "chicken and egg" argument. How can I pay for an editor if my book doesn't sell a bunch of copies? Yet how can I sell successfully a book that does not meet professional standards because it hasn't been edited?

    So I'll ask you: Which is the egg? And which is the chicken?

  29. You did it again, Andy. Picking one of the best editor/writer who tells it like it really is.
    Su. You always give smart well thought out advice and you have helped me learn more about the craft.

    The only thing I tend to disagree with is the 'high' standards of the big publishers. Yes the books that they put out are edited-- a number of times- and are near perfect but they sell what they see as 'standard' books. Very few new authors and even fewer new types of works.

    You are very right in saying an author shouldn't trash the big 6 or only go one way or the other. And I am in total agreement that anyone who wants to call themselves authors should produce a well edited book. I too have seen junk- with great covers- show up with many 5 star reviews. And they are selling books. It's a shame. A good author, whether indie or main stream, is good before the edit, but editing can make them great. A bad writer or one that is only concerned with selling will fail-- I hope.

    As with many writers, I am terrible at marketing and confidence. Novelist write a book, not 5 pages to hook a reader or more importantly an agent and publisher. I think most readers understand that. Getting past the trashcan of an agent is hurtful process but it's the life we live. That's one reson indie is so important to many talented writers!

    Thank you, Su, for speaking the truth about what we need to do!

  30. Thanks, Sirra, for a great post that focuses on quality of writing in general and is neutral to publishing format. I'm writing a novella at the moment and will certainly get it professionally edited, despite the fact that it's unlikely it will get traditionally published, being a novella. I'm simply not skilled in editing – but it’s not just about grammar and typos. It’s about having an objective, professional eye check your work and see things you can’t see because you’re too close to it. I don't care about the money I will potentially make compared to the cost of editing. It's my creation - I've spent untold hours on it and if it goes anywhere then it goes edited.
    Imagine having readers mentally edit your writing as they read, instead of being absorbed in the story. At that point I would ask, why bother in the first place? :)

  31. Lots of great points from both sides sides of the coin. As someone who has graduated w/ an MS in Marketing, as well as nearing the completion of my 1st novel, I'm really STILL on the fence w/ this one. But, Van Gogh died a pauper for not compromising w/ the going rate of his works when alive. Today his paintings are some of the highest selling. Point being, its a struggle to reach "traditional" success, but no less than independtly. I think we each need to do what feels best for us, but remain confident in your work, if it speaks for itself. Unfortunately there are many that go unrecognized, but trust that talent can shine and is worth blood, sweat, tears, and many, many nights of Ramon noodles. Still, in the end VG did take his own life...Now i'm all mixed up!

  32. "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack." -- Harry Emerson Fosdick

  33. "My life seems like one long obstacle course, with me as the chief obstacle." -- Jack Paar

  34. Well done, Su, for pointing out the elephant in the room. I don't see how anyone can misinterpret your sentiments in this article. It's not about trad vs indie, or how trad is better than indie, it's simply about the fact that the increasing availabilty of self-publishing options has led to a lot of poorly written, poorly edited books finding their way onto the market. And this is bad news for ALL writers. Well done again.

  35. I completely agree editing is absolutely essential and indies that skip this important step are shooting themselves in the a** (let alone the "foot"). I've completed two novels and went the indie route, but refused to release them until they were professionally edited. I think a lot of indies get so anxious to just "get out there," they just say "screw it" to editing. Dumb.

    However, I'm extremely happy I went the indie route. I was actually signed with two literary agents (for separate manuscripts), but got the same response (It's good, but not for us). As long as you have a great cover, professional edit, and hustle your butt off, you'll definitely sell no matter which route you take.

  36. I'm offended by this article. Not ALL Indie authors refuse an editor! I spent tons of money on a professional editor. Why do you classify all of us that way? And this comment: Indie authors! Focus on raising your standards, not trashing the traditional publishing. Do the smart thing. Write better books.
    Not ALL of us trash traditional publishing. I
    don't. I respect both. Why are saying ALL? And how dare you say write better books. You're putting us all in the same catagory. Some Indie books suck! Some don't. The same as traditional. I've read awesome and I've read horrible. I write with a critique group. I have beta readers. I've went over my manuscript countless times looking for every single typo. I hired a professional editor. Twice! I paid an artist to do my cover. You should of said: I say this to SOME Indie authors! Focus on raising your standards, not trashing the traditional publishing. Do the smart thing. Write better books. Because basically you're saying ALL Indie authors need to write better. Yet you feature them on your blog. That doesn't make a bit of sense.

  37. I thought I had finished with this thread. But I just detest flaring commenters that hid behind the veil of anonymity.

    And your grammar sucks too. It is not 'You should of said.' It should read 'should have said.' So much for your editing!

    Get real. This was a well balanced article that has promoted heated yet polite debate.

    Your anonymous contribution is not a welcome addition.

  38. Everybody should choose what fits them the most and try to be as best as they can be.

    By the way, when you 'rant' about 'how editing is important' which, of course, I agree wholeheartedly, and mention that you are an editor, you should mind the grammar mistakes in your entry. I stumbled over two, and I'm not even a native English speaker (and my English grammar is horrible).
    I mean, I don't mind them, but they lessen your credibility.

  39. An excellent post. And I saw no errors of grammar in your post. I saw a lot above me, though.

  40. I'm going to comment solely as a reader, even though I am a writer hoping to one day be published (by whatever route seems most appropriate at that time).

    I have stopped reading indie books. Sorry, if you are an indie author with a good book - I know you exist, but I don't have the time to find you. The last indie book I tried to read I put down at the end of Chapter 1. Spelling mistakes, grammar problems, plot issues, lack of originality... I have read a few samples since then, but nothing that moved me to read the entire book. I don't even read samples very often because I am time poor.

    If you are a good indie author you should be even more outraged by the amount of crap in your space - because how am I, as the reader, going to find your needle in the haystack? The reality is, I probably won't. Especially now I have gotten tired of looking.

  41. You said it, Ciara. I do read the samples available online, but rarely get past the first page. Self-publishing has long languished under a miserable reputation, and for good reason: most of it has simply not been good.

    The fact that self-publishers can now do it easier, quicker, and cheaper, doesn't change that in the least.

    I don't say any of this as an attack on self-publishers, but as hopeful advice. If you're going to succeed as a professional, then be... well, professional.

    If, on the other hand, you're okay publishing garbage that sells only to your mother, your sister, and your best buds from school, then have fun.

    Of course, that makes it harder on the rest of us, who have to first rise above that sea of garbage to get noticed, in order that we might ride the wave of success.

  42. Some people want stuff curated for them, others like to sort through the slush pile. It's really no different than going to Amoeba Records and spending a few hours to find a few CDs, or just looking at the top 10 list on iTunes.

    I hardly finish half the books I start, more often than not from major publishers, just because I find much of the stuff coming from New York boring. On the flip side I find a lot of indie stuff to be trying waaaaaaay to hard to differentiate itself from everything else by being so esoteric its only marketplace is its own oddity.

    I do, however, believe that the future lies in electronic publishing and that a lot of midlevel authors who wrote quality work that would've got them a book deal will now be better served to self publish. Once a large enough audience is found there is simply no way the major publishers can match the profit splits that Amazon and others can offer their authors. As an author I'm aiming where the future is, not where people are now, so I chose to self publish electronically. It's worked out well so far.

  43. Wonder why you had so much traffic to your blog? This link is posted in a big debate with over 1,088 views and almost 50 comments. Which I think is good promotion for your blog.

  44. Heh, I found the thread on the Kindle forum, and now it's got me thinking. One guy claims to have sold over 10,000 copies of his book, but a lot of his reviews on Amazon are 1-star complaints about the typos and general lack of editing. So what does that say? I honestly don't know, but speaking as a reader I'm not going to waste my time with a poorly edited book when there are so many high-quality books available (irrespective of the method of publishing).

    I also find the general lack of reading comprehension from some of the self-proclaimed writers out there a little disheartening. Su isn't bashing indie writers. Hell, I'm an indie writer myself, and I agree with her completely. What she IS saying is that indie writers should focus on producing well-edited quality books. How could anyone who calls themselves a writer have a problem with that?