Should Amazon Require Self-Published Authors to Have Editors?

I loved this post because I do believe published (especially self-published) books should be of a certain quality, and that usually means that a writer should work with a good editor. I have no faith in reading a story that has instances of grammatically incorrect sentences, misplaced punctuations or lack thereof, spelling mistakes or structural inconsistencies. I also believe a good editor will encourage the writer to ‘kill his/her darlings’ for the sake of a better story. Objective input is necessary.

Samir

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13 thoughts on “Should Amazon Require Self-Published Authors to Have Editors?

  1. I respectfully disagree with this notion.

    I fully understand the difficulties and hazards of self-editing. It is something of a heart-rending process, I think.

    At the same time, this puts yet another barrier in front of writers. I think the danger of adding to cost and creating a financial means-test is the greater risk. It creates yet another situation in which only some voices matter.

  2. Don’t agree with Amazon making that a requirement. Then what, making another requirement that all authors need be agented? Sound familiar? Yes, there are pros and cons, but Amazon created the platform, and perhaps not well thought out in advance, but, hey, they already have other platforms where THEY take on work and edit and publish them. I say leave it alone and let the good spaghetti stick to the walls, while the uncooked falls to the floor. It’s the same for traditional published work, as mentioned above. There’s the good and the bad in everything.

    1. I understand your point of view. I like cricketmuse’s pov below. Perhaps if writers would just take the time needed to properly polish their work before publishing…

  3. Although on the other hand I am just as frustrated when I read books published through traditional means that could have have used more polish. Syntax, diction, plot movement sometimes are less than polished, and these books usually go through an editor and an agent. Maybe writing in general is less polished because we are a hurry- up get it done society.

  4. Yeah, every writer needs a good editor. We all become blind to our mistakes! But a professional copy-edit ain’t cheap – thousands of euros for a novel-length ms.

    Realistically, few self-published authors would be willing to pay that much. Especially since there’s little correlation between the quality of prose and sales. Amanda Hocking, who’s mentioned in that article, might be a good storyteller, but she definitely needed a copy-editor’s help. (I had a look at one of her self-pubbed books once and found it painful to read. Grammar isn’t one of her strengths.)

    Also, consider Dan Brown — he has the resources of a major publishing house behind him, but his prose is still f-ing awful …

    1. Money is a serious hindrance. There’s always critique groups and/or beta readers though, it may not be professional, but it’s a step closer to having more polished work.

      True though, publishing houses release crap editions, too!

  5. I’m of two minds: I WISH they could make it a requirement to maintain quality standards and prevent money being wasted by buyers. BUT I think an author should retain the right to decide what they want to “put out there” and let the market decide. Sometimes, I worry that the market will get inundated with so much poor writing that people will forget what good writing really looks like. I don’t know if this is a valid worry, though.

  6. NoI don’t think so. The bad ones won’t sell and the writers give up. The good will prosper.Having published two myself, I wouldn’t have tolerated anyone else’s interference.

    1. Fair enough. Feedback, though, is an invaluable asset and a writing group can be great with that. I’m definitely not saying the big publishing houses are the answer, if anything, I’m against big corporations.

      Glad your self-publishing projects worked out.

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