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So is most self-published material poorly edited?

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Zero Angel, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    These services already exist. I've seen at least one of them. I'm still trying to decide if it will be worth the cost.
     
  2. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    What's your logic here? I'm trying to figure out exactly how reviews contribute to a book's success.
     
  3. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    My logic is the following:

    Seal of Approval consists of saying book is technically sound
    Review consists of saying book is "good" which includes technically sound

    Thus, Review > Seal of Approval

    But wait, there's more:
    Seal of Approval is a mark of quality but not something that people look at by themselves, more like a trademark stamp when already deciding to make up their mind about a book.
    Review is a mark of quality AND something that has its own entertainment value and is something that has its own audience that might draw people to it.

    So again, Review > Seal of Approval.

    That's my logic.
     
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    It depends on whether the process of gaining the "Seal of Approval" makes the book a better book or not. If they actually proofread and fix issues of flow while granting that seal, then it would lead to better book reviews.


    Every time someone reviews your book, it's someone talking about your book. Maybe people don't "buy the book" because of a review by itself, but they might "take a look" because of a book review. Especially if they've seen more than one.
     
  5. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    But surely if you're paying the same kind of money for a review as you would pay for an editor or even a prrofreader, the integrity of the reviewer is in question (assuming the reviewer's audience is aware of it) - are you paying for the review or are you paying for the review to be good? Whereas if you use an editor or proofreader, what you get out of it is a better book, and you will thus find your book is spread more widely through word of mouth and that the free reviews you receieve, whether requested or not, will average a higher rating and you will thus get greater sales through that, though perhaps not the greater level of advertising which the paid for review is giving you. Better book means better reputation down the line when you've got more books, too.

    You might get 100 sales off a paid-for review but how many of those readers will think "actually this isn't that great, it's full of mistakes, this character isn't well developed and the ending drags on a bit; I won't buy from this author again"?

    While if you shell out for the editor, or even a proofreader, then rely on word of mouth and free reviews and whatever else, maybe you won't get as many sales in the first place, or take longer getting to 100, but you will have more readers thinking "I liked that, I wonder if s/he has anything else published?" Which means they (a) are more likely to recommend your book to friends and (b) are more likely to buy anything else you've published or go on to publish.
     
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Mostly it's not about paid reviews. There's only a handful of places with any credibility where an author can pay to have a book reviewed.

    What's more common is to spend the money on printed copies which you send to a number of reviewers with a letter asking them to look through it. Even if it's an ebook, you send a paperback, which means there can be a relatively big cost to it compared to other activities.
     
  7. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I can see that, but I think the point of the Seal is that they're doing some marketing for you. The post a picture of your book on their site and say "this book meets with our approval." If they have a decent following for their site, that approval may gain you quite a bit of sales.

    For a review, what are we talking about: for a blog or on Amazon? I'm just not sure how much a single review can do for you on Amazon. I do, obviously, see the value in reviews, but I'm not sure I'd think that paying for one is a good idea unless the number of people following the reviewer is large enough to give your book a bump in sales greater than the cost of the review.
     
  8. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    It's my understanding that most book reviewers take ecopies of books now. However, each one differs on what they will accept. It's quite important to review the submission criteria for each one and make sure that you follow it completely.
     
  9. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    All true.

    It's still going to be more effective to send a paperback whenever possible, just like it's still more effective to send your resume unfolded in a big envelope. You'll do a much better job of getting someone's attention.

    Regardless, I was only trying to explain where the costs commonly come into play, rather than saying "This is how you right now need to do it." Of course you can solicit free reviews by email, just like you can get a schoolteacher friend to edit your book. If those reflect the resources you have available and the extent of your network, I can't tell you otherwise. But top professional marketers would start by distributing printed copies, and if you can, I would suggest doing likewise.
     
  10. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    The question wasn't about an editor--which I think is a must before you pay for reviews. The question was about a seal of approval saying the book was technically sound. I don't think it's a good idea to pay for reviews either. I was just saying that it would be better to pay for a review than it would be to pay someone to say that your book qualified for their seal of approval.

    I think paying for an Amazon review is nuts. I was referring specifically to these services that I found when trying to get my book reviewed for free (because I'm a starving artist and don't believe in paying for reviews):

    https://www.forewordreviews.com/services/book-reviews/
    Kirkus Indie | Kirkus Book Reviews
    Book Reviews, Bestselling Books & Publishing Business News | Publishers Weekly

    At first I scoffed and cried "scam!" ...and then I saw Publisher's Weekly doing it too and sobbed quietly to myself instead of crying "scam".

    Still, I'm against it. But if I was like some of the people on here with apparently hundreds to thousands of dollars of disposable income, I might consider it.
     
  11. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Okay. Just trying to get clarification.

    I've been doing a lot of research on marketing lately. The only thing I've come up with as a constant seems to be: get a lot of reviews.

    I've also read that some authors pay people to produce a bunch of reviews on Amazon for them. Theoretically, this mass of Amazon reviews somehow increases their sales. I'm trying to determine how this is supposed to work. (Not that I'm considering this as a method. My interest is mainly is trying to determine how hard I should work to get a bunch of reviews once I publish my book.)

    Thanks.
     
  12. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Interesting point.

    I've read that it's pretty much impossible, though, for a self published author to get reviews from any mainstream outlets. Unless I'm missing something, that pretty much leave book blogs and people on the Amazon review toplists. These people, from what I read, tend to respond to personalized emails requesting reviews much better than to unsolicited mailings.
     
  13. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Maester

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    Hmm I have issues about paying for a review- here is £50 please say lovely things about my work. That sounds a bit dishonest to me. I would rather someone be honest. If they don't like the book, then they don't. If they think it is badly written, and they actually know what they are talking about then fair enough. So long as the review is honest it seems reasonable.

    I agree that it is a good idea to get an editor/proof reader if possible and you can afford one, I don't think many of us contest that, it simply isn't always possible.

    I dunno about not getting customers for the indie editors. I reckon if you said- "ok we charge I dunno £50 to edit your book." then people would sign up. Anyone who wants a professional edit can pay for one but a service to look over, spot obvious errors or inconsistencies would be good.
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think there are some people for whom it probably really isn't possible. I suspect the majority of self-published writers who forego a good editor really just don't want to pay for it, and could probably put a few bucks a month away for it if they were really so inclined.
     
  15. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I think for a lot of people it's less about the money and more about trying to deny the implication that our work needs so much editing. It's really not enough to give a book to a friend - even one who's in some ways a language professional - to look it over. It makes a huge difference to find someone who has experience approaching the kind of material you're trying to publish.
     
    Steerpike likes this.
  16. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I get what you're saying, but, from past threads on the subject, I'm not sure this represents the opinion of a lot of people on this forum.

    (I'm trying to head off a hundred posts from people who are in dire financial straits saying that they simply cannot afford an editor.)

    I think that you have to do what you have to do. If people advise you to consult a professional editor and, for whatever reason, you don't, you need to accept the consequences for that decision. If you ever plan on being a professional writer, I would not counsel you to think about publishing your work unless someone with experience has blessed it. Doing so may hurt your long term prospects.
     
    Zero Angel likes this.
  17. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Getting away from the whether or not to hire an editor argument: I've now read a total of three self published books. Two of them, Critical Failures and Queen of Mages, have been fantastic. The other shouldn't have been published. So, from my POV, 67% of self published stuff is pretty good.

    (Note: I am not counting Flank Hawk as self published. My understanding is that the book was published by a company. For the record, I enjoyed that book as well.)
     
  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Wait, is the third one my kid's book?!

    :eek:
     
  19. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I don't mean to tell anyone specifically what they can or cannot afford or what they should or shouldn't sacrifice to get something edited. I only mean to say, the difference is significant, substitutes aren't as effective, and most works need it more than an inexperienced author is likely to admit.
     
  20. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I haven't read that one yet. I'm a little unsure as to how to go about reviewing a story for kids.
     
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