Agent Rachelle Gardner says:
“I could be wrong, but I believe we’re moving into an era in which high quality, intensive pre-publication editing is going to be harder and harder to come by.”
I don’t think there’s much chance she’ll be eating those words!
Gardner argues that it matters:
Readers . . . may not be able to identify why they’re not compelled by a book. . . . . BUT. They know when a book is good enough to not only finish but recommend to their friends.
Of course I totally agree! Vehemently, even! But I’m not necessarily the archetype for American readers or anything like that, because I’m pretty sure I’m way more turned off by poor writing quality than most readers.
From time to time you see a discussion about which matters more: pure storytelling or quality of the writing.
And most commenters declare that storytelling is primary and good writing is icing on the cake. And I sort of agree, in only in a yes-but-not-really kind of way.
I’d argue that without a certain level of writing quality, the story itself just cannot be well told. At least, not in written form.
Just what that certain level is . . . that’s a different question, of course! Higher than many self-published books (probably), lower than Twilight . . . in there somewhere.