Saturday, December 27, 2014

About those reviews

Among my goals to be finished with by the end of the year, were three books to review.

Well, that's done.  I'd rather post no review at all, than a negative one, unless it's so horrible that I think people should be warned before they spend their money.

I have two points to make here.

One.  There are a lot of "publishers" out there these days who "accept" a book for publication, telling the author it is absolutely wonderful.  With a minimum of editing - I'm guessing they MIGHT have run spellcheck in Word on it -  the "publisher" slaps the book up on Kindle and/or other ebook sites (charging the author a few hundred, or even thousand dollars for a conversion that can be made automatically in minutes using Amazon software) and then start pumping the publicity machine.  If the book does not sell, they blame the author.  It is also extremely likely that they TELL the author that no sales are being made and pocket all of the money from whatever is sold.

I can say this, because I had more or less the same thing happen to me with a print publisher.

I'm basing this on the lack of actual editing.  If these three books had any editing done to them, it was by someone who does not speak English and who most certainly does not have a grasp of the written language.  Had I been the editor, I would have sent them back for huge amounts of rewriting. As a reader, if I'm so confused by the second page, that I reread the first page to try and figure out if the protagonists eyes are oipened or closed, and why guards would grab him without first disarming him, and so on - I give up and set the book aside.  So many books - GOOD books - so little time.  Which is too bad because it might BE a good book - or at least have the potential to be a good book - if someone had actually done some editing.

Which brings me to my second point.  I am right now laughing at myself.  Because the reason many of my books, finished novels, are not published is because I am still editing them.  And editing them.  And editing them.  Rewriting, rechecking, double checking again for continuity, then checking again.  No single run of spell check for me.  I polish these poor things until I've ground them to powder.  Which probably isn't such a good thing.  There has to be a happy medium.  But I can't afford editing - and I certainly cannot afford to pay a "professional" editor who would leave a book in the kind of shape these three I tried to read today are in.

No reviews - because I don't blame this on the writers.  I blame it on the editors and publishers for putting out something like this and calling it done.  If you are a Kindle indie writer and you do your own editing...  I almost said some of this would be excusable.  But if I really believed that I wouldn't still be editing, and editing, and editing...


But the good thing is - goal "Read & Review" is done.


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