Last week I reviewed an e-published book. It was a fairly good story; some of the characters were strong and well-written, and the basic idea was a good one (if not highly original).
Unfortunately, although the author's notes indicated that she had used an editor, there were piles of grammar and punctuation errors as well as some pretty glaring word usage problems.
What could have been a decent book fell several notches short of acceptable. It's always frustrating to see potential that isn't reached, and in this case, it was doubly so as a good proofreading and editing really isn't that difficult to accomplish.
As we venture into the brave new world of e-publishing, there is always going to be a conflict between speed and accessibility versus quality and preparation.
I'm dealing with that issue right now. My first book is written, has been completed for several years. I could easily pop it onto Amazon or Barnes and Noble and get to work on promoting it. However, in the last few years, I've gotten good advice from agents, editors and other writers about how to make my book even better. I'm in the midst of implementing all that advice right now, and consequently it's taking some time.
Am I wasting time in not putting my work out right away? Some might say yes. I can't in good conscience justify publishing--even e-publishing--any work that is less than my best.
So yes, I am going to continue working on my book, editing and polishing it. When it does go before the world, I want it to be at its very best.
It may not be undergoing scrutiny by agents and editors, but I hope it looks as though it could.