Forgiving the Indie Author

A short while ago, some indie authors were engaged in a discussion on editing — how they go about it, whether they impose on friends and family to help out, whether they use software, whether they pay an editor.

One comment in particular caught my eye — “I self-edit. I barely make money as it is.”

More than anything, this comment captures the lot of most indie authors. Quite simply, the rewards (monetary and other) are few, certainly not enough to pay for editing services, cover design, marketing services or all of the other things that are seen as prerequisites for success.

And so I come around to the topic of forgiveness. I’ve been a curmudgeon myself, tut-tutting instances of poor grammar, awkward sentence structure, typos, and so forth (in spite of being guilty of the same sins myself). There’s a difference, however, between the random boo-boo and the egregious defilement of language.

In the latter case, I’ll simply stop reading. In the former, I’ll remind myself that the author, having already toiled countless hours on copy, let something slip. No biggie. After all, traditionally-published authors (or their editors) are guilty of missing errors too.

It’s remarkable, really, how much solid indie writing is out there, given the limitations that most authors work under. Having read nothing but indie authors in the last several years, I often find myself in awe of their craft.

If I find mistakes, I’ll forgive. More than that, I’ll leave a review. In this way, I might play a small part in the author’s future success. And maybe, with that success, an honest-to-goodness editor might find work.

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