By Evangeline Jennings
Today we’re going to talk about the difference between Indie and Amateur. It’s time the tale were told.
I have been spending more time than I care to measure editing and proof-reading the first Pankhearst book – Cars And Girls – which is scheduled to ‘drop’ on or around May 24th. I’m on my second round of proofs from CreateSpace.
So imagine my less than impressed grin when a member of some group or another – I am trying to be circumspect, it doesn’t come naturally – posted a howl of outrage on some website or other – still being circumspect – about a review their book had received on Amazon. While others flocked to commiserate and denounce the reviewer, I went to read the free excerpt and the review. The review was fair, actually kind, and gave the book three stars. I could have justified one star and backed up every criticism with multiple examples. The obligatory disclaimer, for example, read “This is work of fiction. The cover and contents within WHERE created from the writer’s imagination.” – my upper case letters – and set the standard for the rest of the book.
However, the clearly distraught author felt targeted and victimized. “It was defiantly someone that didn’t like me.”
The arguments they put forward against the reviewer were as follows:
If you don’t have anything good to say, why say anything? Because that’s the purpose of a review. To advise future prospective customers. And because an honest reviewer won’t know what they’re going to say about a book until they’ve read it. Having put in the effort, why wouldn’t they write their review?
It was free. Yes, it was. In order to try to get favorable reviews. It is now priced at $2.99.
I am an indie writer. All indie. I finished the story several weeks ago. I edited it myself over and over and over, than converted it myself, then made covers myself. I am all Indie. Yeah, by this stage I was irked. This author is not “indie”, but amateur. Indie is not an excuse. And I am genuinely insulted that this author is trying to claim some sort of brotherhood with people who actually know how many beans make five.
Of course, it’s possible to take an indie approach to publishing which says, Yeah, I’m going to rip this story out quick and dirty – a cheaply produced seven inch single as opposed to Dark Side Of The Moon – because what I have to say is more important than artwork or punctuation. And I will always support any writer’s decision to follow that path. We even thought of doing it ourselves with Cars And Girls but in the end we decided we wanted it to be the best book we could deliver, by traditional commercial standards. And it will be. When we publish , it will be as professional as we can manage. There will be misteaks, I’m sure. Yes, that spelling mistake was a joke. Some people won’t like our book at all. Some will object to one or more of the storylines, the violence, or the sex. Some people will write one star reviews without reading the book because we tend to ruffle feathers. But you won’t find us crying about it. It’s all part of the game. We’ll just track those bastards down, kill them, skin them, and eat them. Much like I will do with the next person I see whining when their slapdash amateur book gets a review that tells the truth.