Jane Smith is willing to review self-published books, but she has some caveats, and here they are:
“If you send me a copy of your self-published book, I’ll review it here. If I enjoy it I’ll be generous with my praise.
What’s the catch? I’m an editor, and I expect published books to be well-written and polished. I’m going to count all the spelling, punctuation and grammar errors I find and when I reach fifteen I’m going to stop reading. Clunky writing will count against you. I’ll read no more than five pages of boring prose before I give up. And I’ll tell the world how many pages I read for every book I review here.”
It’s my job, as an editor and publisher, to prepare a manuscript for printing, and though I’ve seen manuscripts in all sorts of states, I have never had an author send me one that was error-free and ready to go. Never. Yet it’s not uncommon for authors to assure me that their book does not need editing, that they have run spell check and are confident that their manuscript is error free and ready for publication.
If I do point out a few errors, they sometimes get philosophical about the necessity for copyediting. They wonder: If my writing is good, who would be picky enough to reject it based on some typos or grammar errors?
It’s a good question; after all, the average reader might not notice your mistakes, or they might not be bothered by them. But then again, they might, and if they do, it might hurt your credibility as an author, or at the very least, cause them to focus on errors rather than the story.
But bottom line: if you hope to attract the attention of people in the business, people who might be in a position to do you a good turn by publicizing or reviewing your book, you might want to consider Jane Smith’s comments. She’s not alone; she’s just saying out loud what a lot of writing professionals think.