The New Novel: Self Published Novels

Michael JugeWith the advent of mobile readers like the Kindle and the Nook, there is now more than ever a plethora of reading material available…much of it from self published authors. I’ve read quite a few excellent novels (the best so far is Michael Juge’s Shift Trilogy), yet I am concerned that so much of what is published is done so hastily without the benefit of editing. (Just to clarify: Juge’s books are NOT the topic of this conversation….they are 100% published perfectly and an example of what self published authors should strive for!)

I’ll be the first to admit that I too have fallen into this trap….you get so excited about your novel and in a rush to share it with the world, you format it to Kindle (or print, etc.) and don’t take the time to have it edited first. While I have not been overly hampered in my reading by typos and general slips of the keyboard, I do want to scream when I find a novel that has significant merit if only it had a competent editor to overhaul it.

I will refrain from mentioning the specific book of which I speak here (you can email me and I’ll tell you privately if you are terribly curious). I downloaded this particular novel last week because it was dystopian (which I love) and the author had published more than just one book. The storyline was stellar. The characters were well rounded and the dialogue was right on the mark. The problem was that the prose was horrific! The misplaced and dangling modifiers drove me crazy and the use of passive voice almost rendered me comatose. I seriously wanted to cry…what a wonderful story (and there are three more in the series), but there is no way I’m paying more money for that mish-mash of prose. I want so badly to talk the self published author into letting me revamp those books! Then I could share them with my friends and family. And isn’t that a huge marketing tool for self published novels – word of mouth?

This ‘new’ novel – the self published unedited type of novel scares me. As an English and Creative Writing teacher, I cringe at the thought of my students reading these things and thinking this is what makes a novel. I do intend to use that particular novel (the unnamed one) as an example of how good writing goes bad in a heartbeat.

So, to all of you self published authors out there ready to hit the upload button at some do it yourself publishing house – I BEG YOU – let someone edit your story first! Let someone who knows what they are doing comment on the book, fix the typos, and insure that your novel is the best that it can be. You will sell more copies of it if you do.

I am available to do that for you – at very reasonable prices and even on a payment plan.

I look forward to hearing from you, Karen

About Karen Y. Hamilton

Karen leads workshops in Creative Writing, Poetry and Journal Therapy, and Memoir Writing. She has studied genealogy and personal histories since 1987, lecturing and leading workshops on Memoir Writing and Journaling to the community since 1998. Karen holds a BA in English and has studied Literature, Business, and Education at the graduate level. She is a former college instructor of English Composition and Reading. In the past, Karen has worked as a high school & middle school teacher. She currently works as a Curriculum Specialist and is an MFA Creative Writing student at Florida Atlantic University.
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3 Responses to The New Novel: Self Published Novels

  1. Patrice says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. One of the drawbacks of being able to publish content online is that many writers don’t seem to care that their work is filled with grammatical errors, typos, etc. Your plea is timely, but I don’t know how many of these writers will hear it. However, I do hope some are smart enough to avail themselves of your services. I might even if I ever work up the nerve to write a novel.

  2. Karen, I’ve been saying for some time now that the biggest problem with the self-published book is that we publish them too soon!

  3. I love it 🙂 You’re absolutely right.

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