Indie Authors And ‘The Quality Question': It’s Called Rigor

Image - iStockphoto: Award
Image – iStockphoto: Award

When A Wet Fish Slaps You

Even as self-publishing authors may weary of hearing about the problems of much independently produced content — typos and other editorial woes — a new showcase means yet another reason to shoot for precision and excellence to meet the marketplace’s standards.

Bill Clinton used to talk about being able to see both sides of an issue. He’d talk about how, in certain situations, it could feel like a liability. Maybe a firm, decisive answer was needed on a political crisis and there he was with that “on the other hand” thing going on — we can all identify, right?

And surely any of us can identify with a self-publishing author’s complaint when she writes in a comment:

It would be really great if, for once, an article could focus on the good aspects of indie publishing, and not constantly flag up up typo and editorial problems. It’s all been said before. Let’s hear something new. Every time I read one of these articles that implies that majority of indies are incompetent and amateurish it is liked being slapped in the face by a wet fish.

I hate it when a wet fish slaps me in the the face, don’t you?

Caroline Sanderson
Caroline Sanderson

That comment appeared on my first article about The Bookseller’s all-new Independent Author Preview, just out today in London. As Caroline Sanderson, the presiding editor of this new arrangement with Nook Press tells us, “I do think that pretty much all the books I’ve included are good enough to be traditionally published, and by that I mean, well enough written.”

This is very good news, contrary to what you’d think from our commenter’s complaints. What’s more, in the “let’s hear something new” department, you just did. This new initiative is unprecedented in the magazine’s long history.

And Sanderson is talking about 18 new books. They’re in categories of Crime & Thrillers, Travel & Reportage, Romantic & Erotic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Memoir, History & Current Affairs, and Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

Encouragingly, there are some nice cover designs here, images that rise above the tendency toward amateurish book covers that many self-publishers are blamed for using. I’m dropping in a few here for you to see.

In a rousing #FutureChat session, The FutureBook digital community welcomed this new element of The Bookseller’s longtime service as a fixture in the industry for bookish discovery and news.

And yet, the commenter is right: it’s perfectly true that “the quality question” has been much, much, much discussed in and around independent publishing. As she puts it, “it’s all been said before.” Yes, it has. And guess what: it’s all going to be said again.

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There’s more: Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: Self-Publishing and ‘The Quality Question’: It’s Called Rigor

Originally published by Thought Catalog at



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