Monday, 8 April 2013

Ebook production from Fiction Feedback - limited to quality manuscripts

A busy, busy few weeks for Fiction Feedback. As well as helping our friends over at Open Circle, (, most especially by editing the second book they’ve published, Proceeds of Crime by DJ Harrison, we’re also seeing our first customer novel through to ebook production. Book cover design has gone extremely well, and the final proof-read is now in hand.

Currently, we’re only providing our ebook service to Fiction Feedback customers – writers who’ve received critiques and particularly copy-editing from us. We recognise this might disappoint some would-be customers. After all, Fiction Feedback is about encouraging writers to write and to help get quality work out there for readers to read.

Yet the key word here is quality. So much writing that is self-published today has patently not been professionally edited and while very occasionally that might not present a problem, we believe that it often has the effect of lowering expectations from readers of what to expect from a self-published novel. And this has a knock-on effect for every novel which is self-published. It tarnishes everyone’s efforts and turns readers off, which is so very unfair.

We don’t want to be associated with any work which makes it harder for good self-published authors to get their work taken seriously. So we’ll look at a manuscript that’s submitted for ebook production and check that it only needs proof-reading (and if that’s already been professionally done, then great). But if it needs editing rather than proofing, or if perhaps it’s not even ready for that, then we will decline to produce the work as an ebook and it’s up to the author what steps they take next.

Inevitably this will mean our ebook production arm won’t be as commercially successful as it might be. But if commercial success were our only aim, then Fiction Feedback’s critiquing prices would be much higher, and the personal service we provide to any customer who wants it would be compromised.

We prefer to offer a service that encourages good writers and helps make good writing available to read. We need to make an income from this, yes; our reviewers and editors all have to eat and deserve to be paid for their time and expertise. But Fiction Feedback is about more than that, and we hope would-be customers will both understand and appreciate this policy regarding ebook production. Quality is all.