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Is Quality Important?

I don’t have the link, but yesterday, I read a blog post about whether or not quality of writing was important to readers. If you want to read it, go to Kindle Boards and look around. There was a discussion of it there. I’m too lazy. Anyway, the post seemed to indicate two things:

  1. If a book was rejected by a publisher, it was definitely of inferior quality.
  2. Readers, in general, will overlook poor writing if the price is right.

I reject both of these premises.

(Note: I’m thinking of quality as proofreading, cover art, formatting, and general story structure. Now, as far as personal preference for writing style, characters, and plot, that stuff is too subjective. People are going to have different opinions, and not liking a book does not necessarily mean it was poorly written. It just means I didn’t like it.)

First, having worked for publishers for more than ten years, I can say that not all manuscripts are rejected for quality reasons. They are rejected because the market for the product is too small, the editor has already filled their quota for that genre, or they just did not like it. Yes, I admit, many are rejected because they are not well written, but not all.

Second, I think the discussion of whether or not quality is important to a reader is irrelevant. Quality should be important to writers, especially those who choose to self-publish. The goal should not be to offer lower quality for cheaper prices; it should be to offer the same or better quality for lower prices. Besides, do you really want to put work out there that isn’t your best? It is a reflection of you.

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