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Friday, 23 November 2012

Rage against indie writers

by
Stella Deleuze
One bigmouth with an even bigger rage against Indies

I love a good poke. Did it work? Please say yes, because that would make me happy. Relax, I'm only kidding. But I meant it when I said I have a rage against Indies. Just to clarify, it's not all of them, that would be stupid; after all I'm self-published, too, but many of them. Why? Well, you may want to sit down and pour yourself a chamomile tea, just to be on the safe side; I don't want you to fall off your chair or hurt yourself jumping up in order to throttle me.


Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
Sitting comfortably? Good. Now, listen, I'm not a bitch. Okay, maybe I am, but only a bit. What are you on about? you wonder. Well, let's put it this way: I've probably made a few enemies by publishing my massive rant about self-published authors. Not because I hate them so much, but because I hate what they're doing, or not doing. The trigger for my writing Rage Against The Indie in the first place was that I experienced something I've never experienced before: deleting book, after book, after book on my Kindle. Self-published books, that is. And as you can imagine, I wasn't a happy camper. You see, I only read thirty to fifty minutes in bed, just before I close my eyes and drift off into wonderful dreams. I've counted on a few occasions: I read about ten pages of a normal paperback in an hour. That's roughly 3000 words. I know, very slow, but I'm thorough and read every single word. 

That's probably one reason for my being so picky about what I read, the other two hundred and fifty-seven reasons are that I'm an editor and know a thing or two about writing. Once you gain access to that knowledge, there's no way back; you can't flick a switch and . . .  boom . . . be a pure reader again. It's impossible, and that means you have some sort of expectations. Don't get me wrong. I love my light, easy-to-read chick lit, and I also like young adult fiction, nothing fancy. Something nice to relax to, but light and easy doesn't mean it needs to lack quality. Even chick lit fares better if the characters are well developed and the author knows how to craft a decent story. I hate to see a good premise being destroyed by awful and repetitive writing. Good storytellers aren't necessarily good writers, but at least they have the basics: a good story to start with. Some might blossom into decent writers, some won't.

And then you have people who think they're good storytellers, or writers, but aren't. Those who go and invent the most hideous, far-fetched, and unbelievable stories, broadly announcing they're sure they've written a bestseller, no, even worse: they're convinced. And because they get rejection after rejection, they want to prove to the world that they're worth it, that their writing is brilliant, mostly without success.

I personally lost count on how many books I've deleted. Most of the authors were too lazy to learn the basic skills a writer needs to know: character and story-development, show/tell, natural sounding dialogue, plus the attributes (punctuation and tags), apostrophes, etc. 



They hack their silly stories into their keyboard and expect the world to stand still when they publish their magnum opus. And if the public dares to point out that there's no talent hidden anywhere, the divas of self-publishing won't have it; no, it's the reader who's too stupid to understand their rather simple, girl loves boy, boy loves other girl, and happy end story. Those authors will continue to write and unleash their unreadable, flat-characters-featured, and error-riddled novels oblivious to the obvious.

On the other end are authors who take great pride in what they're doing; editing, revising, and polishing until they're sure readers will be able to appreciate the story, but they get drowned in the muddy waters of self-publishing.


So after a year of regularly venting my frustration on my blog, I decided to write a 'manual' on self-editing. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be my forte. The vision I had for the self-editing book didn't translate as well as I would've liked, and I was just about to give up on the thought when another post on the Amazon forum gave me an idea. I had my solution: rant my head off and include the how to not behave on social media platforms and advice on editing.

I know the book will ruffle quite a few feathers, but I can live with that. I've always been one to speak my mind, and why not? In fact, I think that many who follow my blog or read the book will sigh, clichédly roll their eyes, and nod as they've had similar experiences with either Indie authors or their books. I'm only saying aloud what many already think. My take on this is: we self-published authors, who work our arses off to produce books that can compare with the standards of traditional publishing, need to stand up and tell those who don't care or show little respect to our craft, that we won't accept to be tarred with the same brush.


Author Stella Deleuze
Stella Deleuze is the author of two published novels and two collections of short stories. Having spent almost all of her life in Germany, she now lives in beautiful London with her pet iguana, Zorro. 

When she is not writing, she edits other people's work. You'll find her regularly ranting on the Amazon.UK forum, raising hackles and pointing out to newbie authors their mistakes--whether they want to know or not!

Be afraid, be very afraid.









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