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The UGLY Duckling

16 Oct

 

 

Book Store

Book Store

 

I just read a marvelous book on self-publishing and I would have given it a 5-star review for its content, but it was – against the own advice of the authors – not copy-edited, not even spell-checked – and the layout was not done professionally. While reading these errors were so disturbing, that I will give it not more than a 3 or 4-star review.

“It doesn’t cost any more to produce a good-looking book than it does to produce a bad-looking one” Joel Friedlander wrote in his great blog about sloppy, self-published books:

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/10/theres-something-odd-about-self-publishing-books/

This is true for both, paper books and e-books that are often shambles from a book design point of view.

But not only that, these self-published books often lack the basics, such as putting them through word spelling, copy editing, beta-reading and having done a professional layout (and converting, if it is an e-book), rather than just smash-word it on the cheap.

Another blogger http://conversationalreading.com wrote:
“Needless to say, poor quality e-books are becoming something of an embarrassment for publishers trying to convince readers to pay a premium for downloads (as Kassia Kroszer recently pointed out in Publishing Perspectives: it is hard to justify higher e-book prices when the product simply isn’t up to scratch), and clearly it’s an issue publishers need to address sooner rather than later if they want win this argument.

The problem of substandard e-books partially stems from the fact that many publishers currently lack the means and expertise (and, to some extent, the will) to produce high quality e-book editions themselves. Their workflow and production process are set up for print, so the quickest way to create e-book files has been to outsource the job to third parties, inevitably with very little quality control.”

If self-published authors want to be taken seriously, and compete with paper books (both, hard and soft cover) from commercial publishers, they need to offer seriously edited book content and also a professional book layout.

 

 

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One response to “The UGLY Duckling

  1. Lisa Janice Cohen (@lisajanicecohen)

    May 29, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Sigh. Yes. A thousand times, yes. There is no reason to publish a poorly formatted book, not when there are so many resources available on doing it right. I put together a manual for writers on using styles to avoid the most common (ugly) problems in e-Book design. It’s free/cc-licensed. Available here in multiple formats: http://www.ljcohen.net/downloads.html

    (Because friends don’t let friends publish poorly formatted e-Books)

     

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