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Write well and with humility

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
1 min read

Catherine Ryan Howard guest posting on Taleist:

Amazon is effectively the adults’ table, and we self-publishers have been allowed to join. (And yes, I’m using the word allowed, because Amazon is a privately owned business who can sell what they want, not a democracy.) But the stunning success of a very few has imbued some of us with a rebellious over-confidence that seems to make us think we can put our elbows on the table, make faces in our food and throw peas at the other guests, and that we can do it ad infinitum without ever being asked to leave.

This is the important bit:

But that just isn’t the case. If self-publishers don’t buck up and start acting professionally, if we waste these opportunities that have been handed to us on a plate, if we insist on taking advantage of the situation without keeping up our end of the bargain – producing quality content – then we’re going to get sent back to the kid’s table.

I’ve been wanting to say something like this for ages, but it’s quite difficult when you’re pursuing a traditional route to publication. It’s interesting how those who used to get sneered at, when the roles are reversed, sneer just as long and loudly.

Whatevs. I agree with every word of this quote, especially when it comes to producing quality content.

Independent publishing is a fantastic thing for many, many people, but its great Achilles heel remains a lack of quality control. In the rush to get material on Amazon, it’s all too easy to forget about what I still believe is the most important thing – genuinely interesting, brilliant writing.

For every self-publisher who researches thoroughly, edits rigorously and releases work that is of a high standard, there are many more who do the exact opposite. Instead of peddling pipe dreams on inexperienced writers with dollar signs in their eyes, perhaps we should focus on the old essentials: writing well and with humility.

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I'm the author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Every week, I send Draft Mode, a newsletter full of tips and tools that help you improve your craft and promote your writing.