Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Writing Tip

I recently finished a self-pub book I received for free via BookBub. I know, that should have been my first hint, but I've read some good stuff offered through them. If you don't get their emails, I suggest signing up or let me know ( and I'll send you the info. There's always a diamond in the rough.

Anyway, I loved the concept behind the book and once I was done, I enjoyed the story. But the editing and typos were enough to keep me from wanting to give a rave review.

I'm not perfect. No one is and I understand mistakes happen. And I usually don't focus on the fact if there are mistakes, but this was the second book in so many months with mistakes that I can't let it go. The first time, I didn't leave a review and figured no review was better than a bad one because no one knows I read the book, but this time, I'm not going to remain quiet.

Well, not on here, anyway. I won't tell you the name of the book, (I know but I don't want to be mean) but it does cause me to offer as much advice on editing as I can.

First off, you are human, you will make a mistake. You will overlook things. That's what a beta reader or editor is for.
Second, they are human and they will make a mistake.

I know, it's a vicious cycle, but one you have to jump into in order to put out the best book possible. I'm constantly re-reading my own manuscripts even after I pass it along to a beta and an editor.

Keep writing, even when you're not working on something new. Write a short story. Write a blog post. Write a letter about onr of your main characters might have sent to a love interest.

Beta read yourself. It's a two way street. They scratch your back, scratch there's. I learn so much when I beta read and in turn, she's said to me a few time, "OMG, I'm so glad you pointed that out. I completely forgot about that." It's not about the grammar rules (which sometimes it is) but the small typos that can really kill a book. If I'm constantly seeing the same misspelled word, I'll stop reading.

Beta reading can also allow for a set of new eyes to find the story inconsistencies. This recent book stated "her top fit tight" when it should have been "his top fit tight" because, duh, the author was discussing the wet shirt displaying all the edges of his rippled stomach.

What about plot changes? A beta can help if you've made a change and haven't carried it throughout. Have you switched character names? All are common mistake we make when we're writing.

Can't find a beta reader? Hit the social media sites first. I've met some great people simply by answering a tweet asking for help. From there, if you're a member of writing group, stick your neck out and offer to read for someone. When it's your turn, ask them to return the favor.

Writing can be frustrating and a ridiculously long process, but in the end, if you have a polished manuscript ready for print, you can relax and enjoy the idea of your book being available to the masses.

Good Luck.

Also, if you're a beta reader looking for someone to hook-up with, leave a comment below. I'm all about the book match-making business!

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