I’m going to start this little rant by saying, I do have a love of Indie books. Please continue to send me your indies, I will fight for you if I like your style! Don’t make me write a review about your book if I say I’m not interested. I am doing this for your sake, not my own. Also, I am not a professional editor, but I am a professional reader. I might not catch all your grammar errors but I will find your plot holes and word repetition annoying.
Don’t get me wrong, some people can just type and magically book unicorns pop out. These ideas, however, take time and editing before most people allow them into eyes of another. I love seeing people poor their passion into what they do and if that is books than we have something in common. I am very concerned though, that people don’t understand the difference between writing a book for a reader and writing a book just to write.
My wish for this Wednesday is that people took the criticism for their book (preferably before printing), edited their books (and no uncle john who works down at the corner store doesn’t count), and that people make the effort in marketing their book.
I have recently been concentrating on reading self-published books. I love the idea of finding a book that I adore that no one knows exists and being able to help spread that word but what I am finding is that there are more rocks than gems in these piles. Again, I WANT TO SUPPORT YOU and when I tell you that it would be unfair for me to write a review about your book it is probably because I feel bad that I didn’t like it. When I stop answering your emails it probably means the book wasn’t for me and when you constantly ask for me to review it on all of my social outlets I cringe a little wanting you to understand that you probably won’t like what I have to say.
I love fighting for the underdog, and from now on if I tell you in a response that I am just more of a cat person it means I didn’t enjoy your novel. I’m sorry I didn’t like it, I don’t mean to hurt you and I don’t mean to bash your hard work. Sometimes when writing and self-marketing you are going to need to hear things you don’t want to hear.
Sometimes it is hard to know what people expect of a book, here are a list of things that I like/don’t like in novels.
1. I don’t like books that are written in past tense for the WHOLE book.
Explanation: When I am reading, I like to feel like I am escaping somewhere, I like to feel like I am a part of the story. It is harder to make these feelings occur when everything in the novel has already happened. It feels more like a fake history textbook.
2. I like character growth, not necessarily character aging.
Explanation: Sometimes character development is easier to do if the character is actually growing and maturing through the novel. This doesn’t impress me while I am reading though, having toddlers turn to adults in 150 pages is not a talent -> it means you missed narrowing down your true intentional story
3. Put effort into your cover!
Explanation: I know people say you aren’t suppose to judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, WE ALL DO IT. What I am asking of you is that your cover is a little more interesting than a hand drawn, crayon coloured picture. Unless you are an amazing artist this is VERY difficult to pull off and doesn’t appeal to most people over the age of 12. There are exceptions to this rule of course but so far in my experience it normally doesn’t end well.
4. PLEASE HAVE CHAPTERS or a way to show you are changing ideas.
Explanation: I can’t believe that this even needs to be put out there but it does. Throwing a few dashes or dots every couple paragraphs doesn’t help me separate one idea from another. I’m not stupid and I can figure it out, but when you are writing for the reader you are making it easier for the reader. I wish I could share the experience that makes me fume about this subject matter but it wouldn’t be fair to that author, nor would be healthy for me to have to relive it.
5. Introduce your characters
Explanation: I once read a book that did this: ‘Cali was walking down the sidewalk one day when she ran into a tall dark heartthrob. This man made Cali feel excited in ways that this 13 girl had never felt before. Cali immediately got nervous and ran all the way home. Frank followed her home and knocked on her door. Cali opened the door and welcomed Frank in. She decided to make him some lunch.’ – Did you all just go .. but who is Frank?! Those were the exact words that came out of my mouth. Unfortunately, this author didn’t understand what I meant when said the character introductions were a little disappointing.
All in all, I want to help you! I will give you feedback if you would like it and I want to support you! We wouldn’t have books if no one had the guts to put themselves out there on the paper. Just please take writing a book seriously. Not everyone can write, publish and be a best seller!