Self-Published Book Critique

So while I'm sitting here trying to block out my roommate and her family (she's moving out today) and the rap music she's blasting, I was thinking a bit about Let's Get Digital. I wanted to look up some self-published books, check out the cover art, and see how successful they are compared to trade published books. I went with YA titles just because I'm more familiar with them and therefore a better judge.

I searched through Goodreads and found this book called Awaken Me by Emily Gossett. It's the first in a series (the rest aren't out yet).

Cover Art: Alright, so it's not bad. It definitely screams 'YA' and 'teenage girl'. It's a decent photoshop job. I liked it until I read the summary and realized the cover doesn't really tell readers anything about the book itself. It's just the typical eyeball you'd see on a DeviantArt creation or Meyer's The Host

Summary: I'm not so sure about this part. The summary provided on Goodreads is extremely wordy and has several grammatical errors. If that's any indicator of how the actual content is edited, then I definitely would not be able to get past the first page. It's only 211 pages, but the summary talks about so many different aspects of the plot that I can only wonder how Gossett managed to include everything – and do it well. There's a fiance, a murder, another guy, supernatural elements, something called 'the Rogues', strangers, a man who owns the narrator Aimee, Greece, deceit, and power. Interesting. I do like how the narrator is 23-years-old. Books about people in their early 20s aren't very common, and I'm not sure why!

Rates: An average of 4.9 stars

Format: It's available (according to Goodreads) in hardcover and ebook.

Reviews: On Goodreads many of the reviews are very positive, so I can only assume that the summary doesn't do the story justice. Even so, I couldn't help but notice that many of the reviewers had multiple grammar mistakes themselves. 

My thoughts: Having not read the book myself it's hard to judge it fully and fairly. With that said, it seems like the author either consulted a professional cover art designer or is really skilled at it herself – both options are something that Gaughran talked about in Let's Get Digital. However, it would appear that Gossett opted not to pay for a professional editing job. It actually seems like she didn't even edit it herself, but based on her website (which I also checked out) she is not exactly the most grammatically inclined person. I won't say that my grammar is perfect because I know it is not – not at all – but hers could definitely use some work. Overall, based on the positive reviews and ratings on Goodreads and the pretty cover, I'd say that Gossett was successful at her self-publishing venture. My only suggestion to her is to get an editor next time.


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