Choosing a book to read is like walking through a minefield for me. If I haven’t read something by the author already, I risk picking up something I won’t like. Horror!
You used to be able to weed out the dross by going with a publisher you had luck with in the past, but self-publishing has become popular – even for authors who could get a publisher to take them on if they asked. The small payments from book sales means cutting out the middleman is a sensible thing for authors who want to make a living at writing novels, but it makes choosing a good author much harder.
I read over a hundred books a year, mostly novels – and I still will not impact the list of books I want to read. That list keeps growing. I am getting older, and as time goes by, so does the potential I have to read all of those lovely stories.
Don’t waste my time with a book that you took too little time writing, editing or researching (or all three)! Make your finished book worthy of the effort you will have to put into it to sell it.
I can forgive mediocre writing if I am reading a non-fiction book for information, but in a novel it is extremely distracting. Poor grammar, punctuation and sentence structure makes me focus on that and then I miss the story-line. No matter how good the plot is, it is ruined by sloppy writing.
Along with my hatred of bad writing comes the joy in the variety of topics and ideas that now come to be available in vast quantity. Maybe sacrificing quality is the result, but I hope that discerning readers will find a way to filter out the less worthy before such authors become successful and set the new and lower standard.