The book publishing world, like everything, has been changing as a result of the digital age. Book lovers were astounded when Kindle and Nook sales shot to the heavens last year, placing self-published authors like Amanda Hocking, Terri Reid, and J.R. Ward on the publishing map.
While I could go on and on about the benefits of the self-publishing model (authors have the freedom to publish whatever they want whenever they want without one of the big six looking over their shoulder) and the downfalls (authors have the freedom to publish whatever they want whenever they want without one of the big six looking over their shoulders) I’m going to take a pass today and stick to the topic of reviews.
Every self-published novel I review I will hold to the same standards as the books that come from a major publishing house–with a few exceptions.
1. 1/2 star (or 1 self-publishing star) will be awarded for clean prose and above-average grammar.
2. 1/2 star will be awarded for a novel with steady pacing.
Since most self-published authors do not have access to a copy editor or cannot afford one, it feels harsh to penalize them, but readers should still be made aware of structural issues and clumsy prose.
I hope this rating system will give readers accurate information regarding the quality of the books they purchase while being fair to authors who may not have the same resources as authors who sign to large houses.