A recent article on eWeek about Google paying for well-researched problems with its Chrome browser got me thinking about the appalling state of eBooks these days.
From their atrocious spelling and grammatical errors to the kluged-together plots, to story-lines that seem cut and pasted from a half-dozen different ideas the author had but never finished thinking through, and formatting that is enough to make any sane editor run screaming for the nearest Martini Bar at 11 a.m…
The eBook Author Industry needs help. Unfortunately, since most of them are self-published, this means there are few authors out there with pockets deep enough to pay for the kind of help with their product that companies like Google can afford.
So, how is a struggling author to get the kind of moolah they need to do it properly.
One obvious solution that come to mind is parents, friends and family, although they’re more likely to tell you to go out and get a real job and give up this writing business.
“And while you’re at it, it’s time to get the heck out of my house! I’m tired of paying your bills, doing your cleaning and laundry, and this isn’t a restaurant.”
One could try crowd-sourcing. This could result in many long pages of thank-you’s to the sponsors, probably interspersed with advertisements from small businesses near the authors home, although more likely they’ll each want a copy with you making a personal dedication to them, thanking them or their business by-name for their munificent contribution. If there are too many, there is always the option of small placards within the book.
This Chapter Brought to You By: Aunt MiMi’s House of Leisure , or perhaps This Paragraph Sponsored By: ACME Auto, for all you automotive needs, or how about Grammatical Editing Funded By: Howie’s House of Muffins, Home of the Five-Layer Oatmeal Surprise.
Another possibility is to get other writers to do it for you. Join enough on-line critique groups and you’ll probably be able to get all the revision and editing done for you. The down-side is that once you publish the book you’ll never be able to show your face in those places ever again… unless you credit the seventy or eighty co-authors you’ve acquired along the way and are willing to share the profits with them.
The last option, of course, is to actually work at your craft by learning to write and edit properly, then submit your manuscripts to agents and publishers…
Nah! That’s too much like work.