Fri. May 29th, 2020

Read 4 Fun

Read the short reviews, read the book, comment

An Editing Nightmare

4 min read

Book Marketing for Authors                         by C. A. Price

It is unusual for me to start a review with a quote from the author, but it is appropriate here.

“You want to definitely make sure your book has been edited well and an excellent cover. If not, the reviewer will bash you on it.” Book Marketing for Authors (Kindle Locations 427-428).

Let the bashing begin. As the author noted, reviews should be constructive. The author will have to decide whether this one is.

I am new to even the idea of writing. Should I ever put pen to paper, I think it logical that I know what people expect to see in a finished product. What font type and size looks good? What about page numbers and page margins? What are editors looking for? Where can I look for resources to help me in all the areas listed in the table of contents to this book? All of this is CONTENT and, with one exception, I found the information valuable and the time spent to read the book and write this review well spent.

The one exception was the failure to mention Amazon Write On as a community of writers that is available to give advice to each other in terms of editing as well as voice, character development, and dialogue, to mention a few areas of assistance. Since the edition of this work is 2016, I found the omission of such a large community a possible case of author bias.

Then we come to ORGANIZATION. The inconsistencies in font change (or no change) drove me crazy. I presume there is a reason for such changes. When they occur, I look for meaning and consistency throughout the work. I found 16 such distracting changes; this statement alone indicates the level of distraction. That I actually went back and counted them is a measure of my annoyance.

For the first couple of font changes I could make up a reason for them. The larger font was a main point; support followed. Some material in the larger font was as long as in the support material and I could not make a clear distinction as to what the main point was. There was no consistency throughout the work. In a section titled “Write” there is no font change. The same was true of the following section Titled “Box Sets …” There was no font change. But the font size used for “Write” was not the same as the one used for “Box Sets …” In “Paid Reviews” there is a font size change in the middle of a paragraph. I am not sure what happened in “Writing Podcasts.” It looks like a different font type and size from that used in the rest of the book.

Then we come to EDITING, which, except in one instance, means grammar. I found nine that were quite distracting. Some were minor, such as “but these others ones all added together” (Kindle Location 420). Some deserve the label egregious such as “Book Trailers can be hard to make an expensive.” (Kindle Location 321). What? Almost finished, stay with me, “Average book sells over 8 books will pay better than good book sales on 1 book.” (Kindle Locations 360-361). One of the words in bold is wrong, a case could be made to use either one (twice) but not a mixture such as this. For the last example, consider this “One thing that you have to look out for for Kindle Unlimited to look out for is page count.” (Kindle Locations 246-247). Note that this last example was the first grammar problem I encountered. It was such a gross example of poor editing I wanted to abandon the book.

However, I review everything I receive through Library Thing, so, onward. About the one instance I mentioned in the above paragraph, the one that is not exactly grammar, although some might consider it so. I refer to it as a lexical item choice because it is not a word. I do not permit my students to use the term “etc.” The term implies that the mind of the writer and the mind of the reader have shared knowledge of the subject under discussion.  In the section “Promo Sites” we have this “Bookbub, eReader News Today, Book Sends, The Fussy Librarian, BookGorilla, ChoosyBookWorm, etc.” (Kindle Locations 431-436). Since the purpose of this book is to give the reader new knowledge, what am I supposed to do with “etc.?” The use of this term implies that the reader, if he or she cannot discern what the “etc.” replaced, is ignorant.

Other than that, the book was OK.


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