One thing I seem to read a lot, in the context of self-published books, is that they suffer from poor editing. It seems to be generally assumed that indie writers are not capable of writing well and paying attention to their grammar and spelling. Rich Adin’s An American Editor post from a couple of months ago is a prime example. He doesn’t say that all self-published ebooks suffer in this area, only that they are likely to.
It’s not always the case: in a later post, Rich recommends the ‘Promises to Keep’ quartet by Shayne Parkinson as a well-written self-published series of books. On his recommendation, I’ve read Sentence of Marriage, the first, and would agree, it’s a great story, well-written, and I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. There are clearly exceptions to the generalisation that self-published=poorly-edited.
If you look at the top ten Smashwords (non-adult) titles (in terms of downloads), you’ll notice that Sentence of Marriage is in the top five. In the top two if you discount the Smashwords-specific books. It is highly-rated there, too, with ten reviews, each giving it maximum marks.
Perhaps we’re going to find a future where the best of self-published books will end up at the top of charts like Smashwords’, as people recommend them in the way that An American Editor has done for Shayne’s work. Then we will be able to start using sites like that more confidently, as a way of filtering out the dreadful.
Or is this wishful thinking?