Well I did it again! Missed blogging. It's summer! The nights are short it's light until 10 p.m. The farm work is never ending, and that Kiwiread website and its PR is eating up time. The new novel is wanting more writing time and the characters are getting insistent. Blogging falls off the list again!
One of the things which is now cropping up and concerns my colleagues at Writer's Choice and my colleagues working for Kiwireads is this quality control of Indie books so that readers don't pay money for writing which needs a lot of copy editing and and a good rewrite.
We all agree that quality control is necessary, but how do we do it? Readers want a good read, but how do you define that?
My romance writing friends will wave romance novels at me telling me the prizes they won and what good reads they are. I personally find the plots/characters unrealistic and can't stand the endings. So as a reader I wouldn't want to call them quality reads, but other readers love them.
I can't stand horror or serial killer mysteries. Does that mean there aren't quality reads out there for those who like 'em?
It's fairly easy to pick out a badly presented and edited book and say that isn't quality. How do you judge the content though as quality?
And with the Kiwireads site which is for quality indie fiction how does one tell authors that their book is grammatically and presentation wise perfect, but the content is boring, unoriginal and not worth reading? ANd who are we to judge?
Many of us are Indie authors because we didn't like the gatekeepers to traditional publishing and their 'money is the only thing which matters' attitude. We like the fact that our not easy to label work can be published. We like the control we have. So what do we do about these groups of writers springing up and insisting that they can tell quality from rubbish in content?
It's readers who want quality reads. Perhaps readers should be sorting them out and passing on the good word. I don't know, but it seems to me that groups of writers setting up a quality mark for quality fiction, and asking for money to do it are in danger of becoming as bad as the trad publishing sharks who preyed on new writers.