Blogs from the Self-Publishing Book Expo
Our trip to the Self-Publishing Book Expo, held in New York City on November 9th, was a huge success! Our presentation, titled “THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY” of self-published books was well attended and well received. We were the only panel (out of seventeen) that was filmed by C-SPAN’s Book TV and we will let you know when the segment will be aired, likely later this month.
indieBRAG team members Robert Clouston and Stephanie Hopkins joined me in the presentation and over the coming days we will blog about what we covered. This will include the results from the surveys we conducted among our readers and B.R.A.G. Medallion authors, the findings of which formed the basis of our presentation. We think you will find it all very interesting. We will also discuss some of the things we learned from other presenters at the expo, which further support our survey findings. So here we go-
To begin our presentation, I shared some rather stark statistics that out of the over 1,500 books we have considered since indieBRAG began in April of last year, 50% were rejected during the initial screening process. Strictly for the purposes of the SPBE presentation we called these the UGLY. Another 40% were eliminated after being read by our readers; these we termed the BAD. And finally, we called the remaining 10%, the GOOD. These were the books our readers judged to be worthy of a B.R.A.G. Medallion.
By far the most significant failing of the books that were eliminated during the screening process was the lack of competent copy editing. We are regularly astonished at the errors indie authors make in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Like a fly in the soup these simple mistakes instantly ruin the literary feast. Beyond such easily avoidable errors, these books generally often fail in one or more other areas, such as an inept writing style, a weak opening, a boring story, unrealistic dialogue, pointless detail and an unprofessional design. We cannot emphasize enough that an author rarely gets a second chance to make a first impression.
In my next blog I will show you some facts that really bring this conclusion home.