Shocked By Rejection?



As you might imagine, some of the self-published authors whose books were rejected by indieBRAG readers are not happy. Fortunately, I am pleased to report that only a few of them have taken the time to berate us! The brutal fact is that many indie books have no chance at all of getting through our initial screening process, let alone being read by our reading team – they have poorly conceived stories and/or are badly written. These books are invariably rejected by most, if not all, of the readers who review them.

However, occasionally we must reject a book with regret. These are books with really good stories but are in desperate need of professional editing- either content or copy editing or both. To have a book that is worth a reader’s time and money, an indie author needs to do everything they can to fine tune and perfect their work. A great story poorly edited is a real shame.

We recently rejected a book that the author said was going to be made into a film. This is wonderful news for the author but having a book made into a screenplay doesn’t change the basic facts about how it was presented. Bad grammar, multiple spelling mistakes, unprofessional formatting and amateurish covers all can kill a good story. So before you find yourself shocked or disappointed by an indieBRAG rejection, make sure your book is more than just a good story. Make it perfect in every way!

12 responses to “Shocked By Rejection?”

  1. Martin Crosbie says:

    Well said.

  2. Karen Dodd says:

    Love to hear this. Just another distinction between the old days of vanity publishing vs. putting great quality work out there.

  3. Geri says:

    It is always hard to say and hear “No”.
    I think writers have to understand that if they put their work out there it is open to praise and criticism. If you haven’t made it the best work you can, you will get more of the latter than the former. I guess the point is, to accept that it is usually not the reviewers fault but the writers.

  4. MTM says:

    Hello there,
    This is my first toe in the Bragging water, indeed, I’m not sure if this site is still going but for what it’s worth, I think if a person is expecting people to pay for something it needs to be a decent product.

  5. Geri says:

    We sure are still going! We appreciate your stopping by-
    I agree. If you think rejection by a publisher or an agent is disappointing, just wait until your book is rejected by readers. This can not only destroy your book but any future books you write. You only get one chance at a good first impression. Readers are not likely to come back for more if they have been burned. I can hear the collective groan around the world when we put a second book on our reading list by an author whose first book disappointed them!

  6. Noree Cosper says:

    Excellent post. I think editing and cover art are two important aspects that many writers overlook. Every business has upfront costs. A lot of self-published authors don’t see it as a business, but it is. You novel is a product and no one wants to buy a shoddy product. Unfortunately, there are so many self-published books on the market it is hard for readers to tell what is professional. That’s why I like programs like IndieBRAG. They help readers know what’s good.

  7. Malcolm Noble says:

    Last year, I was asked to review a book where the author conceded in an afterword that it wasn’t very good but he wanted to make a start as an author and improve as he went along. There is something about ‘am I ready to be published?’ I think many self publishers would hesitate if they asked themselves that question. Yes, I did review the book, but the review wasn’t published

  8. Geri says:

    Publishing your book isn’t suppose to be for practice! Before you push that publish button, it has to be as good as you can possibley make it. Once it is out there, it is open to both positive and negative reviews- better be prepared!

  9. Kathleen B. Jones says:

    Just discovered your web site, via ALLi and this post really resonated, since I just finished a posting of my own emphasizing the importance of professional editing for independent authors. Thanks!

  10. Geri says:

    I would venture to say the biggest problem with self-published books is editing. Even some of the most popular books we have have had readers suggest a bit more editing. One of our most successful authors, Darci Chan told me that she wished she could go back and do more editing on her book and she has sold over 700,000 books!

  11. Harmony Kent says:

    I couldn’t agree more … I have just had the unpleasant task of having to go back to an author who asked me to read for review and tell her the proofing needs some serious work … in just the first few pages there were five errors – which really detracts from what is looking to be a great read otherwise. As a reader bad spelling, punctuation and grammar is a real pet hate of mine. Thank you IndieBRAG for raising this issue.

  12. Plum McCauley says:

    Frankly, I don’t get all of this harping on editing. It’s a subject which really shouldn’t be on the table at all, and it amazes me that it is.
    How can a writer miss spelling and punctuation errors if they have revised, revised, revised? I don’t see how it is even possible!
    Revise your sentences as if you are writing poetry! If you fine tune your writing, sentence-by-sentence, editing should be a moot point. I once heard that Nabokov wrote each sentence of his novels on a separate card. Even if this isn’t true, it depicts a dogged approach to revision that we should all strive toward.
    Needless to say, I don’t have an editor. I never will.

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