Monday, April 9, 2018

H = Happy Readers Buy Second Books

Welcome, A to Z bloggers, visitors, and of course all my faithful regular readers! This year's theme for my A to Z:
Short & Sweet Reasons Why You Need an Editor

So without further ado . . .

Happy readers buy second books. Facts are facts. If a reader likes your book, they'll be inclined to buy your next book.

If they don't like your book, they may or may not give you another chance.

BUT . . . if the reason they don't like your book is that it's badly written, unedited or poorly edited, the likelihood of them giving you a second chance is slim to none.

You get one chance to make a first impression. One. Don't blow it! Most readers won't even bother to download updates and revisions on their Kindle if they've already decided a book isn't worth their time. That's a sad fact, but unfortunately true. Make your readers happy! Remember what I said at the end of my letter C post: happy readers make the world a better place. Your book could change the world . . . but only if it's edited.

12 comments:

  1. *raising hand* I'm one of those who don't download any updates or revisions to my kindle, so yes, if I don't like it first go then...

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    1. I'm the same way. My Kindle is so old that I now only use my Kindle app on my phone, and I don't know about any updates on books unless I go to Amazon specifically to look for them. I'm not likely to do that. Unfortunately for the author, I will make a snap judgment about how much they care about their work if they have released a book before it's ready.

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  2. Right on, Lynda. It's the old "can of worms" thing. You can't put shoddy work to rights. Better get it right the first time.

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    1. That's it, Lee. Once it's out there, that's what people remember, no matter how often you try to convince them you've improved.

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  3. A reader won't give an author a second chance. Too bad. Usually experience teaches us how to do it better.

    JQ Rose

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    1. It's unfortunate, to be sure. I totally get it that people improve over the years, but I just don't understand when someone is in such a rush to publish that they ignore the polishing process of editing.

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  4. 'People improve over the years' should mean that their stories and characters get more complicated and complex. I believe Ken Follett was advised by Albert Zuckerman to postpone writing The Pillars of the Earth until he had developed the skills and a following (anecdote in Writing the Blockbuster Novel).

    But the basics - grammar, spelling, limiting clichés, punctuation, care in dialogue tags - should be there from the very beginning, at least from the first publication. There is no excuse I'd admit to some of the stuff I've seen. In my mind, no amount of story can possibly cover for using it's for the possessive. It's so easy to look up, and get right once and for all.

    Sorry; pet peeves.

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    1. Pet peeves are the very thing that will cause a reader to put down an otherwise-okay book, unfinished. As you said, some of these things are so easy to look up, especially with internet and Google at our fingertips. Just about everything I've learned, I've done through searching and reading. I read editing and grammar books. I read writing books. I talk with and learn from other editors who have more years of experience than I. My goal is to know as much about what I'm editing as possible, so I can not only fix things, but to help writers to not repeat the same mistakes. I'm a huge fan of margin notes when editing, because I feel that a writer will learn best if the correction is explained.

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  5. Hi Lynda - a happy reader is an essential ... quite agree here - cheers Hilary and you are obviously one dedicated editor ... good to know - H

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    1. My desire is always to help clients shine. To show their work at its best. We all want happy readers!

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  6. Catching up on A to Z posts again...

    As usual, you're so right. If I don't like a book, I very probably won't bother reading anything by the same author, especially if the first book was edited poorly or not edited at all.

    And I wouldn't dare rely on being able to update or revise a book after it's published!

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    1. The whole idea of being able to update a book is an interesting thing. On one hand, it sounds mighty convenient that it can happen at all, with relative ease. However, many readers won't bother to update their Kindle, and those who bought a print copy are screwed, because they don't get a free upgrade. In addition to that, updates and revisions can mess with the formatting, so the entire process is a headache that can be avoided.

      I recently got around to reading a (print) book I'd won from a Goodreads giveaway a few years ago, and it was awful, riddled with typos and just bad writing. Since significant time had passed from the book's original release, I looked on Amazon to see if a newer version was available. The Kindle version was free, as this was now book one in a series . . . but the updated version still had about 2/3 of the original errors, and it was still just a bad book. And yet, it had SO many five-star ratings, I wondered at the validity of the reviews (and perhaps the standards of the readers). Those who'd given negative reviews that mirrored mine all mentioned the same things that were crucial for the book's good-or-crap status, so I'm not sure how the author managed to gather enough people who simply didn't care about quality. It's frustrating when bad books are out there, but for the readers to not recognize they're bad . . . that might even be worse.

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