Book Editing Ignored

I´m in no way a writer. I have never studied anything that comes close to literature, nor have I spent my free time trying to be overly intelligent in any way. I write about books because it´s a great thing to do that doesn´t require any qualifications at all. Anyone can blog ( apparently…* giggle * ). But not everyone can edit a book.

Self-publishing might have alot of perks but it does have one major downside: Self-publishing writers have to edit their stories themselves before they put them up for sale

read the pro´s and con´s for self-publishing here.

 

And it often shows.

Many self-published authors fail to see the importance of a proper, professional book polish. Why?

Well, money is an issue. Some authors can´t afford a professional editor. Some authors are too cheap to invest in a professional. Some think it´s not important at all. Some believe they can polish their book themselves. For whatever reason… it´s wrong not to have a book looked over by someone who can work book magic.

Here´s how it usually works with self-published authors who want to sell their books. They often chose a path that´s more convenient for themselves ( mentally and financially) and depend on other sources:

Step 1 ) Author writes a great story

Step 2 ) Author wants to publish said story but wants it polished before they hit the upload button.

Step 3 ) Author checks out pricing for editors and has a near death experience because they find out how much editors cost

Step 4 ) Author becomes frustrated and searches the internet for someone who´ll edit for pennies or who´ll edit for free ( because they want their books on the market ASAP).

Step 5 ) Author tries to edit without help, becomes impatient then hits a fan/ blogger up who gladly offer their non-existing services as an editor ( Or, blogger / fan offers to edit ).

Step 6 ) Impatient author blindly trusts the so-called- professionals and hits the publish button.

Step 7 ) Author waits for a miracle to happen.

Might I add that not all sel-published authors go down that road but many do. I´ve seen it happen. Not only once, but hundreds of times throughout a 7 year blogging career.

Ever wonder why the book you spent money on had tons of typos and mistakes? Yeah.

I´m not criticizing self-published authors for wanting to save money. In fact, I understand why. Professional editors are expensive. I´m only criticizing the fact that I´m paying for books that are poorly edited. Because, at the end of the day, it´s my money I´m spending.

And when I´m distracted by more than 10 editorial issues while reading a story then I´ll become an unhappy reader. An unhappy reader who´ll write a review and gladly point out the mistakes.

But most self-published authors don´t realize the importance of a readers opinion ( should a reader ever publish their opinions ). Most self-published writers have their focus on making money and maybe make a living off of writing. That´s the dream and it will unfortunately stay a dream.

I´m sad to say- That´s not how it works. Yet, I do know how it works….

Crappy edited story = High risk of receiving negative feedback

Negative feedback influences sales.

My best advice for newbie writers, or self-published authors who rather not invest money: INVEST money in a professional editor ( or someone who has years of experience in editing). And if you can´t invest then start saving money. It´ll hurt, for sure, to spend all that money on someone who „only“ polishes a book, but in the endgame… it´s worth it. The money invested will be well spent, because there´s nothing worse than having people notice unwanted issues.

No one ever said that self-publishing would be cheap. An author has to invest anyways because every stinking detail that´s connected to self-publishing costs money. Print, paper quality, book cover, print size, ink, etc etc… Why not save up for someone who can help to fulfill a dream?

As for the bloggers who offer their editorial service… They fascinate me. Not only do they write reviews, they also host blog tours, manage book signings, work as PA´s for authors AND they have the ability to edit a book. All for free.

Those bloggers who do want money for their non-professional work aren´t doing self-publishing authors any favors. They´re not doing me any favors either because I demand a better edited book if I´m supposed to pay $12- $16 for a paperback.

The struggle is real and I see it. But what about a readers struggle? Reading can be an expensive hobby, especially for avid readers. Alot of readers have a book spending budget and when they purchase a 350 page book for $12.00 and get a poorly edited story then that´s just rude. That´s called ripping someone off.

Bottom line is: No one can polish a book better than a professional editor or someone who has years of experience in editing and knows their way around the profession. Multitasking bloggers don´t have that know-how. Fans don´t either.

Authors should shine through their work. Not look like fools who want to make a quick buck.

Next up: Weird Book Heros

Why Book Reviews Aren´t What They Should Be

I think it’s safe to say that alot of people know what book reviews are, so no use to give a deeper explanation for that term.

But what is a review for?

Well, to keep this simple- reviews are there for indecisive people who search for a good book to read( and to help authors with sales ).Or, sometimes not help them ( depending on the reviews content). Either way- reviews are important. ( read 5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important )

But, did you know reviews can also be corrupt? Oh, yes. Quite so.

There are 2 major types of reviews.

1 )reviews

2 ) do-me-a-favor-reviews / help-me-climb-the-ladder-to-success-reviews

Confusing? It shouldn’t be. An author usually has a goal, and that is to make a living off of writing and that’s perfectly fine. If it were up to me I’d wish everyone the success they want. Unfortunately, the road to that success can be a rocky one. There’s so much to do to get „out there”. Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn’t cut it anymore.

 Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn't cut it anymore

Authors/ writers depend on one major thing- positive feedback. The more positive feedback they get the better their chances are for more exposure. Word can spread really fast and that helps loads.

(Uugh…this is boring……* head against table * )

I like to say I’m a skilled book ninja. I have my eyes and ears all over the place, especially in the indie-author community. When blogging I keep an eye on all sorts of stuff, such as: new book releases, blog tours, author streetteams, yada yada yada, AND reviews. Yes. I read reviews, too. And due to my ninja observation skills I know who’s besties with who and who’s fan #1. If you take a closer look I’m sure you’ll notice, too. 

Can anyone remember the shitstorm Amazon caused with their taking down reviews from certain books? Yes. That was a thing and it pissed so many people off. I would know. I witnessed it, first hand. Amazon never took any of my reviews down ( Thank God ) but they did with other bloggers and fans. And guess what? Bravo! It was about time. Not that I´m pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I´m sure many deleted Amazon reviews were wrongly accused of diabolical review-washing. But the majority? Serves them right. 

I’m positive that won’t win me any plus points. But I don’t really care. When I hunt for books I’m just an ordinary reader. And when I notice someone is just doing an author a favor my blood pressure rises. How am I to trust these people who devote their lives to these authors? Their judgement is clouded in so many ways that their reviews aren’t trustworthy anymore.

Sure, I’m all for supporting my favorite authors. But stay realistic. Stay professional.

I’ve seen people befriend authors ( mainly through Facebook ) and get really REALLY tight with them ( again…that’s fine. Anything that floats their boats). And then I’ve seen those authors publish book after book after book and each book got the same LOVE as the ones before, by the same people. An author can write 12 books ( each with different stories ) in a year and still, they’d get 12 outstanding reviews from the same blogs who are oh-so-tight with them. Something is totally fishy there. There is no way a person will LOVE everything an author writes. No-ho! 

It’s impossible. There always a slower book in-between great books. A story that, in truth, deserved 3 stars because it was, in fact, slower, or a bit more softer, or just not someone´s cup of tea. Any normal thinking person would rate the slower book with 3 stars ( or less) because that’s how they actually felt about the story, no matter how much they loved the authors other books. But, nooooooo.Some bloggers / fans feel so much loyalty towards an author that they feel compelled to give the slower book 5 stars.

Why does that happen? Do readers/ bloggers think their friendship will go down the drain if they’re honest? Or does it have anything to do with stupidity? I. Don’t. Know! You tell me. But something is definitely not right there.

I’m not sure if that can be considered as healthy behavior.

Would you like to know what helps me pick a book? I skip all the 5 star reviews and jumped right to the 3 or fewer ones. I’m not saying that all high rated reviews are full of shit, but can you blame me for doubting them? Reading a 3 star review will not convince me NOT to buy a book because tastes are different. It’s as simple as that.

I know I shouldn’t waste my time breaking my little head over the review matter, because it’s really not worth it. Reviews are… subjective. I’ve wasted so much energy trying to figure out why bloggers aren’t fully honest with their thoughts regarding a book * sigh *. But you’ve got to see my point of view, here- I want to read a book and the only way not to dive blind into a story is to read reviews and see how others judged a book. And people who do authors those stupid favors ( because they want recognition or what not) aren’t helping me, or any other book nerd out there.

That’s basically why I was happy about the Amazon clean-out.

The book universe is sometimes a dark place. Bloggers doing authors favors because they’re afraid to jeopardize their friendship is not okay. 

There was a time, way back in the early blogging days, when bloggers helped authors get reviews by doing so called blog tours for their favorite writers. Blog tours are nothing other than a virtual book promotion where often free copies of a story were/are offered. The only thing wrong with those blog tours were / are… a reviewer CANNOT publish a review with less than 3 stars, depsite what their true thoughts of said book were/are. Anything to avoid a bad review. So, a reviewer either lies or they don´t review at all and risk a potential shout out from the blog tour hosts. I call that…. corrupt. And wrong.
Another observation I made:
Authors releasing new books and bluntly asking for 5 star reviews. Because a 4 star review isn´t going to make sales. * holding breath * The same authors then wonder why hardly any people leave reviews.  That screams desperate.

This is also the main reason why I believe honesty is the best policy. State your real opinions instead of doing favors. 

And for the authors who are hungry for fame….. The big shot writers often have alot of negative reviews along with the 5 stars. That´s definitely something to think about.

It´s amazing to watch authors and their devoted fans go to such extremes. But it´s less amazing when you spot the lie.

I feel cheated on. Ripped off.