Tip of the Day: If you are in the Rochester, NY area during Teen Read Week (Oct. 16-22), stop by one of Linda Sue Park's presentations. She's our library system's Greater Rochester Teen Read feature author with her amazing book, A LONG WALK TO WATER.
My husband purchased a used iPad before our trip to Europe. While it ended up having many handy uses while overseas, one of his primary reasons for wanting it was so he could download George R. R. Martin's A DANCE WITH DRAGONS and read it on the Kindle Ap since lugging the 1020 page hardcover version he'd started seemed very impractical. Intrigued by the option of reading an ebook on the plane, I downloaded two self-pubbed YA ebooks before we left.
Since I'd already committed to reading a library book I'd brought with me, it wasn't until the flight home that I broke into the ebooks. And I was so disappointed! The series were very popular on Amazon, had great reader reviews, gorgeous cover art, intriguing premises, and tons of sales -- but the writing was very unpolished to the point of distraction for me.
Let me clarify: the books were NOT bad; they just felt like they needed another revision and polish before they were ready to be read by the masses. For example, one book had very stilted and unrealistic dialog in order to fill the reader in on things that were obvious to the characters; and the other (written in 1st person) had the main character constantly asking herself questions to make sure the reader understood that something strange was going on in the fantasy world instead of showing the reader that it was not the norm (I caught this one because I am also guilty of it). I didn't finish reading either book because I found myself editing them as I read instead of enjoying them.
BUT -- does it matter what I think? Obviously I am not the target audience. Teens are.
Or am I as a YA Librarian and YA writer?
The books are selling well, and it helps when some of them are offered free for a limited time, or for under $3 per book. But if the teen readers who post glowing reviews are really enjoying the books and keep buying them, who cares what I think, right?
I think for self-pubbed ebooks to get the same shots at professional reviews and library collections as traditionally published novels, self-pubbers should hire professional editors and/or copy editors. They need to make sure their books shine for every one who picks them up, not just teens or kids who may not be spoiled like I am, surrounded by well-crafted and edited novels at my day job.
Or am I wrong? Is speed in getting a YA e-series out more important than editing them to beauty?
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing