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This blog is the often amusing, sometimes dangerous den of two British writers of contemporary and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. Most of our stories are based in the UK and our heroes and heroines are passionate Brits - yes, passionate Brits exist! Come on in out of the cold, pull up a chair and see for yourself...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Heard bad things about indie books? Sometimes they're true, but so are the good things!

I think I must be one of very few authors who don't have friends or even many family members who are bookworms. My sister and my mother are the exception, and I love them for reading my work, because my books are definitely NOT their usual genre ;) In fact, I may be wrong, but I think I am the only independent author that they've read at all. And they are not into eBooks, only paperbacks.

So... it's been mentioned to me over the past year, by various people who don't read indie authors, about typos in self-published books. In an attempt to reply, I've just added this to an info section on my own site: my own general rule of thumb about what to expect if you're reading an indie book - different people may have different experiences. What I've written below is my own...

Typos in independently published books.
You're going to get them. When I read a commercially published, full-length book, I expect to find one or two typos in it - I almost always do. When I read an independently published book that HAS been proofed and edited, including those published by small (independent) presses, I expect to find, on average, one typo per 20,000 words - again, I almost always do. For a full-length novel, that's between 3 and 6 typos depending on the size of the novel. That's my personal general rule of thumb, based on my experience of writing, publishing and reading. Of course, the ideal is to aim for no typos at all, and we should always strive for the ideal.

I thought I'd share it here in case anyone else is in the same position as me, where absolutely no one else I know reads indie books, lol. This is now what I tell them when they talk to me about typos! I also add that if I love an indie book, it'll be because it's more imaginative, raw, creative and impassioned than most commercially published books, and that is also the god-damn truth.  Commercial publishers will simply not allow some of the things you might find in an indie book, and I'm not just talking about sex, but "holy cow plot twists", bold characterisations and more.

The reason I continue to read J R Ward and Larissa Ione is because somehow, (in my opinion) they have managed to keep that "edge" to their writing despite being commercially published. But indie authors I can think of, off the top of my head, who have written awesome, edgy books are C J Roberts (her Dark Duet series), Kitty Thomas (both those authors are 18+), our very own Elizabeth Morgan (do I need to mention Scottish werewolves again???) and Emma Mills has a great YA series, Witchblood, which is full of plot. I recently also read M Leighton's Down To You (New Adult Cont. Romance), and there was a scene in the middle of it...


...where one of the love interests enters the lead female's room in the middle of the night and she still wants to make love to him (and they do) without her actually knowing which guy he is because it's so dark.

Would that have been 'okayed' by a publishing house if the manuscript had been sent in? Who knows, but I LOVED that scene, and also the ending...

another spoiler

...where you think you're reading a contemporary romance, then all of a sudden - BAM - plot twist and you feel like you've entered an action / suspense novel instead.

That's what I'm talking about!

I miss that kind of edginess in commercially published books.

So next time someone asks you / complains to you about an indie author, do think on the above points. They're certainly the main reasons why I have yet to send a manuscript off to a commercial publisher / agent ;)

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