Oh, Captain! My Captain!
(I have no idea who originally created this meme, but thanks! And if it was you, and you can prove it, I'm happy to give you full credit here.)
Writing well is an art form. Like all art, it takes practice. It takes time. It takes dedication! And more practice. I often relate a story about how I started writing on a battered, Underwood typewriter. It's almost true. It wasn't an Underwood, and it wasn't all that battered when I bought it new, although it was fairly battered by the time I was done. But it was a typewriter and back in those days, if you made more than one typo on a sheet, you had to rip that sucker out and start that page over from the top. The general consensus was to have no more than one spot of White Out per page. All those pictures we've seen of a writer sitting at a desk surrounded by crumpled sheets of typing paper had far less to do with writing creativity than with lack of typing ability.
With the advent of the personal computer however, that dedication, that patience, went away a little bit. Suddenly, the nose-to-the-grindstone element of writing a novel wasn't really... there... anymore. We had the backspace key and a small monochromatic screen that glorified the typewriter to a whole new creative level. And everyone, and his brother, and his father, and his dentist, and his girlfriend (or boyfriend) suddenly became a writer.
We can't stop them from writing whatever it is they want to write. We can't stop them, in this day and age of uploading novels and self-publishing, from publishing what they write. But we can hold ourselves, the actual writers who have put in the time, dedication, creativity, and yes, practice, to a higher standard. We can pull together to create a brand that, as Mike Shatzkin, the programming and marketing consultant for Digital Book World and founder of The Idea Logical Company, put it, is "well served by branding that says, in effect, 'this book has been edited, copy-edited, and proofread by professional.'"
So, as you prepare your manuscript for submission to Indie Artist Press or any other self-publishing group, be vigilant in your creative use of language. Separate yourself from those who try very hard and show the reading public that you are making your life, and your novel, extraordinary.
Indie Artist Press is now accepting submissions. Remember, we are not a vanity press and in contrast to other self-publishing companies, we do not accept every submission. We accept only those submissions upon which we feel proud to place our imprint. Find out more here: http://indieartistpress.com .