Self published books have (almost) no quality control. Here’s something we can do about it.

Here’s a reason to support my Kickstarter campaign to hire an editor for my novels, which has nothing to do with me or my books. It’s that a lot of self published books, perhaps most of them, have almost no quality control. But this is not a reason to stop reading self-published books. Rather, it’s a reason to change the way self-published books are put together. And my Kickstarter is an attempt to set a precedent in that direction. As I shall explain.

The problem is this: Readers can never be sure that a self-published book has been proofread for consistent spelling and grammar, or edited for continuity and similar matters. Nor can it be easily known whether the design and layout was done by a professional. Some are, and some aren’t, and you can’t know for sure until you buy the book and start reading.

If you read indie or self-published books, you already know it’s harder to enjoy a story, or even to be constructively critical of a story, when spelling errors and typos and continuity slip-ups get in the way.

But this isn’t because indie writers don’t care. They do. It’s because most indie writers simply don’t have the money to hire the editors and designers they need. I certainly don’t, even though I have the ‘safety net’ of a decently-paying day job.

My big idea is that self-published writers can use crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to help overcome the problem of absent quality control. If my fundraising campaign is successful, you, the backers of this project, will help me set a new precedent. You will show that it is possible for independent writers to prove that that their work is quality-controlled, engaged with the audience, and professionally prepared. They’ll be able to say, “My book has been professionally edited and designed, no less than a book published by a big international publisher, with the financial support of the readers, and the Kickstarter backers.

A statement like that on an indie book’s back cover would make me trust the book much more readily. I would feel as if the writer respected me as a reader. I hope it would do the same for you.

Not only that: by backing my project, you’ll show that it is possible for indie writers to get their book up to snuff at less cost to themselves, without short-changing their editors and designers.

Then the main thing indie writers will have to worry about is how to persuade people that their book is interesting enough to be worth a few bucks in advance. And that, I think, will bring the interesting-ness of the book to the front of reader’s and writer’s minds.

Which is where it belongs. Not behind the technical issues of comma splices or weird page breaks.

At the time I write these words, Fellwater is 36% funded, with 33 backers. There’s only $2,035 to go. Can we make it to the target, and beyond? Only with your help! 🙂

If you want to know more about the books before backing the project, click here:
http://brendanmyers.net/fellwater

And to back the project, click here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1547922245/fellwater

Please, if you care about the quality of the books you choose to read, and you want to support independent writers and not only established writers, then support my project. If my project succeeds, you can point other indie artists to it as an example of what the possibilities are. And I’ll do what I can to help them, too.

And thank you for your support.

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