This comes up again, and again, and again in my life. There are people that see lo-fi writing as an excuse for bad writing. They think it’s about cutting corners, as opposed to not being able to afford corners and looking for work-arounds to that limitation. The work is lo-fi because the writer isn’t particularly good. Or because they don’t care about the work, just the money. So let me address that.
There is an expectation in my publishing niche that a “professional” book needs an entire cadre of editors, proofreaders, and other hangers-on to produce a high-quality book. I am not knocking the value of a great editor, mind you. They can work miracles, and elevate a great book to new heights of sublime. That’s not my point here.
Quantity Doesn’t Assure Quality
What I see, in my niche as well as in other pockets of “small press” and “indie” publishing, is the notion that quantity equals quality. The book has to be great, because it took a dozen people to make it! They’re not always hiring professional editors. They farm it out to someone they know that reads a lot and writes a little. It increases the costs and creates some optics of respectability, but it doesn’t always equal results.
When someone finds a typo in one one of my books, a select sort of reader jumps on the fact that there is no editor listed in the credits. That’s fair enough. I edit most of my own work, and understand the pitfalls of that. Some months, what I would have paid an editor is the difference between making rent or not. But what’s the excuse, then, for the book that has no less than 2 writers and 3 editors in the credits, and has more typos per word count volume than my work?
What’s the real difference, then, between reading and re-reading my work repeatedly looking for errors, and slapping my buddy’s name on the title page so I can say I have an editor?
Lo-Fi and Honesty
If nothing else, I can say that I’m not trying to bullshit anyone. I make it clear that I’m a one-person operation. Every effort is made to use my limited resources to create the best books possible. I’ll never pretend that I’m on the same level as a mainstream publisher. Not just because I’m not. Because I don’t want to be. Lo-fi writing as an excuse for bad writing doesn’t fly. If it were true, I’d have been out of business in six months, rather than being in my fifth year of doing this full-time.
Lo-Fi Writing as an Excuse for Bad Writing
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About Berin Kinsman
Berin Kinsman is a writer, simple living minimalist, and spoonie. By day he works as the owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.