The Great Self Publishing Experiment Part 3 – Why I Suck

ETA: Sorry folks, something went boogaloo inside my computer and the autopost for this didn’t work when it was meant to. So, several days later than planned:

One thing I’ve noticed, in life in general, is that people will say nasty things before they will say something nice. It’s just a fact of life.

As writers getting  bad review can be upsetting, it’s especially upsetting when you know even before they come that they are going to be bad. Being braced for the onslaught doesn’t make it any easier.

I’m not a bad person, and I’m not, honestly, that bad of a writer. I’ve already apologised for inflicting a shitty first draft on you good folks as a ‘typical’ self published book without warning you all first. And I’m sorry for that, but I needed you all to be ignorant of the facts for this to work.

I’ll hasted to add here that I don’t think self published books in general are of sub par standard, many many of them are wonderful. Mine however, was not, and sadly, from my experience, there are more bad self published books than there are good ones.

I also decided in the end not to have the Public Author Meltdown mainly because I didn’t want my Mum to hear about it, and because I’d still like to have some sort of career left when this is over.

So far every review, bar one, has mentioned the typos and missing words, so clearly readers DO care about those things, and so they should.

One review I completely disguarded as it was just a spiteful personal attack from someone who knows who they are and who really should be above such things.

In all the comments were along the lines of ‘interesting story’ and ‘great concept’ but marred by the typos and formatting. Which should serve as a warning to you all – no matter how good the story is, it’s not enough to please a reader. To be successful you need to be putting out a quality product every time.

One reviewer wanted me to write the whole thing in an ‘authentic Irish accent’ which sounds better on paper that it would in reality, trust me on this on – no one needs to be reading an ‘authentic’ Irish accent for 65,000 words because it will make your eyes bleed and your brain melt out your ears. And trust me, even though I am Irish I don’t think I have an accent . I think the rest of the world has an accent. Something to consider everyone?

So, I clearly suck at writing, and editing and apparently I suck at being Irish too.

Which leads me to my main point here, and it’s important, so listen up.

  • It’s not enough to have a good story.
  • Your readers are not stupid.
  • Your readers will be the first to tell you when you suck.

One thing I have learned through all of this is that self publishing is about more than just writing a story. It takes time, and it takes hard work and you are not just the writer, you are the editor, the typesetter, the artist and the publicist all rolled into one, and that’s a big undertaking.

This experiment has shown what can be done with a book – and the figures alone make it sound great. But you need to look deeper, and what you will see there are a lot of disappointed readers who were hoping for something more.

I feel bad because those readers invested their time into me and my story and all the while I knew I wasn’t going to deliver, and for that I apologise again. I feel that I used you guys, but I hope you understand why.

I will be re-uploading ‘Again’, but this time the edited version for anyone who wants it. I will be keeping it free and will let you all know when the new version goes live.

Thanks to everyone who unwittingly took part in this experiment, and hopefully it’s shed the light on a few things.

In conclusion, especially on this matter, I would say one thing to you all:

Do as I say, not as I do.

’til later. x

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