Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I = If You Don't Care About Your Book, Why Should We?

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 . . .

If you don't care about your book, why should your readers care?

Hear me out on this one. I've spoken with writers who have published unedited books, and their thinking always amazes me—and not in a good way. Their book gets slammed on review sites like Amazon and Goodreads, and they want it fixed by a copyeditor.

I'm fine with the fix, but what stuns me is that every one of them has admitted to knowing they needed an editor and publishing anyway. Every one of them.

I've heard everything from "I just didn't want to wait" to "They should understand I'm an indie and can't afford edits." Yet these same writers expect readers to give up good money (something the reader values) to purchase an unedited book (something the author did not value).

Rule Number One: if you don't value your own work, no one else should be expected to, either.


  1. Your readers are NOT your developmental, content, line editors nor your proofreaders.

    In fact, many of them will be driven away forever by this particular bad habit. Or should be.

    I think there are a lot of "why isn't my book selling" 'authors' out there.

    I'm one of them - not selling right now (because I have no energy for advertising) - but not in the editing sense.

    What I put on the market has my NAME on it, for heaven's sake! Just a different generation, but reputation is hard to restore.

    I will write few books in my lifetime (that energy thing), but they are going to be as perfect as I can make them. The selling part I'll figure out when I have time; the trilogy won't write itself.

    Possibly if you can go back and read your own published books with pleasure, you have achieved the right attitude.

    1. YES, Alicia! I think there are many writers who feel that a reader should provide "helpful" feedback, and I couldn't agree less. A reader's feedback should always be helpful for the next reader. not for the author. Readers pay for the experience; they are not getting paid to help a writer improve. Yes, an author can learn from their book reviews, if people mention the same thing over and over, but that's not the purpose for reviews, and an author who knowingly puts out work that's not ready is simply telling readers, "I don't care to give you my best, but I want your money anyway."

      Interesting that you mention having your name on something that's out there. I think there are people who are very short-sighted when it comes to reputation and a good name. It may be a generational thing, but especially in this digital age where our mistakes are "out there" for decades to come, it pays to be extra careful where we risk our good name.

      To read our own published books with pleasure . . . that's a wonderful mental picture!

  2. Hi Lynda - absolutely ... if you haven't time to wait, or the professionalism needed to do something properly - frankly you deserve to fail ... cheers: good post!! Hilary

    1. Another way of saying that you get out of it what you put into it. Thanks for the consistent visits!

  3. Another valid point, but I do feel badly for those who simply don't have the money to pay an editor. But then again, some of them figure they can pay to have their next book edited with all the money they make from their first book... and that doesn't usually work out too well.

    1. I feel bad up to a certain point. Not knowing your work is shoddy is one thing, but purposely putting out something you know still needs work is quite a different thing.

      One of my writer friends, Martyn V. Halm, has gotten high-quality beta feedback as he's written his Amsterdam Assassin series, and has befriended editors who have done his books free of charge. I believe he works out a trade of services, and everyone benefits, but in any case, his books are edited. (And his writing is great.)

      The thought of paying for the next book with profits from the first . . . that's just crazy. One would almost have to write the first book under a different name in case it bombed or had to be pulled from the market. And there's the ever-present reality that most people are not going to get rich from that first book.


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