Why Writing Well Matters, Even When Your Product Is Free

Writing WellI came across a blog post the other day that I want to share with you precisely because the author is not a novelist, but she is a consumer–the type of consumer who might one day download your e-book.

In this post, Jill P. Viers writes about the overabundance of typos in a free e-book she downloadeda nonfiction book filled with information she says “is valid and fairly useful”yet the book is loaded with errors.

“Why Writing Well Matters, Even When Your Product Is Free” is a post every author should read. Remember: Your book is your resumé; you never get a second chance to make a first impression; save yourself time, money, and anxiety by making sure your book is the best it can be before you publish.

Remember: Your book is your resumé; you never get a second chance to make a first impression. #amediting #editingtip #writers Click To Tweet


I am reading an ebook that I picked up for free when I signed up for someone’s mailing list. The information in the free ebook is valid and fairly useful; however, the free ebook is full of typos and misuses of words. I’m not talking about one or two minor errors. I could get over that. We’re all human. I make mistakes, too.

Notice I keep pointing out that this was a free ebook? There’s a reason, and it’s not an attempt to keyword stuff this post. Some people would ask me, “Why are you complaining about the typos when you got the book for free?”

Here’s the answer: Because I’m still investing my time into reading this ebook. If the author didn’t care enough to proofread, yet this is the author’s “sales pitch” or “can’t miss giveaway” that’s supposed to make me want to hire the author in the future, it’s ultimately a fail for me.”

Read more here.

Happy Writing!


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23 thoughts on “Why Writing Well Matters, Even When Your Product Is Free”

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Candace. I think it’s so important to put your best work out there. We all work so hard to do so many things at once, but if we can’t do a good job, I think it’s worth waiting (rather than rushing info products out the door).

    1. Thanks for writing such a great article, Jill! You and I and many other blogger/writers are on the same page, and I hope this message will eventually get through to those writers who proudly proclaim, “I don’t worry about grammar, I just write a great story!”.

  2. I’ll never understand how people can spend so much time pouring their heart out onto a page and not want it to be as good of a representation of themselves as possible. We may become better writers, in the grander sense, as we publish more and more, but that does not mean you can’t fix simple spelling and grammar errors in all that you put out there!

    1. Pride of ownership, right? I just read a blogger’s comment on another site that it takes her 1-2 months to write a manuscript and 5-6 months to revise it. Making something look easy is a lot of hard work, isn’t it?

  3. Just because someone is giving their book away for free doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take pride in their work and correct errors before making it available to the public.

    1. Free or not, our work is the face we present to the world. Everyone make mistakes, but I certainly don’t want to put something out there with errors because I can’t be bothered to check for them!

  4. I just had a conversation about this with a gal who is falling in love with her Kindle and the endless supply of books she can purchase or download for free. She said she tried to muddle her way through the first poorly written ones, but now, because there are so many available to her, she will delete and move on if it is loaded with errors. Agree completely with the other comments about pride of ownership!

  5. I completely agree. If the author doesn’t respect herself enough to clean up typos and errors in word usage, there’s no reason for the reader to respect their work by reading past the first 2 paragraphs. Grammar matters! Great post!

    1. Sorry…I meant great insights by this group. I just realized that it sounded like I was talking about the guest post, which I wrote. Argh. I need more coffee.

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