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Friday, February 8, 2013

Expert help for Indie authors?


Who can be trusted?

Historical romance novelist Francine Howarth has posed a very interesting and pertinent question on facebook, which she kindly gave me permission to post.

"Can I ask a potent Question?" she asks: 
 
When professional input is referred to as an absolute necessity for Indie Authors, what is the recognised standard of professional input? Please bear in mind I'm not hitting at any one individual... But, anybody can set themselves up as a consultant in the field of literary expertise: a) editorial services - b) graphic design - c) marketing et all.

Of course, many "professionals" will cite testaments to their output, and of that output there will be many satisfied authors. But, on investigation by a friend of mine (News International journalist) she discovered many of these so-called professional editors (a) have no recognised qualification in the media of publishing or journalism, nor hold a recognised university graduate level in English language. Some are authors listed with e-book publishers who've graduated to positions of self-employed freelance editors with said publisher, and have in turn set up a sideline editorial business. If that is true, and I don't doubt the levels of deceptive practises in the ever expanding world of the Indie Author seeking professional help, how many authors then are being duped by fancy web talk, and all based on credence of an author-cum-editor?

Of the graphic designers (b) many have genuine artistic skills and not a qualification to their name, while some of the graduate designer's works give food for thought and little else. But of course, with the visual aspect one can see what is good, mediocre or crap. And, the best book cover designers shine on skill not a piece of paper declaring they are what they claim to be even if they have a Masters in Creative Art: whatever.

Now to (c) the marketing experts? Do they count, and how much would you (the author) be willing to pay someone you don't know but has the spiel down "pat" on how great you are, how fab your product is, and yes, if you're willing to pay big bucks the PAT will trump you as best author ever on some vague Internet platform: probably Goodreads! Which "professional" is to be trusted?
 
What do you think? Let me know...

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