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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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    I agree with you completely.
     
  2. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I heard about this back in the "Worst Author of All Time" thread (or whatever it was called). That fellow had either paid people to review their book or made hundreds of dummy accounts himself to review his book. From my understanding, Amazon has cracked down on this and deleted nearly all of the reviews--I don't know how successful new people doing this would be or if some of the "top reviewers" hire their services out.

    When I was looking for online work, I heard about a site that paid you to do basic bookkeeping type things for companies on a job-by-job basis. I signed up for it and was alarmed to see that they were offering $0.01 - $0.20 for reviews and this was a majority of the work this company had. There was nothing I could use my skills for honestly on the site so I never went back, but I believe this is where many of the "fake" reviews come from. I doubt that people getting paid pennies and nickels would purchase a book and then submit a review. And the "job poster" also was able to sign off on the review before paying! So this meant that the reviews were almost guaranteed to be fluff so that the people doing them would be guaranteed to get their $0.01 to $0.20 for the review.

    To the people saying that the reviews are positive, at least for the three services I linked to, they are supposed to be "honest" and not guaranteed to be positive at all. So you're paying $100 to $600 for a guaranteed review (except I think Publisher's Weekly isn't guaranteed) but it's not guaranteed to say anything good. I guess they go by "any press is good press" market value model.

    I am working on building up my blog and Amazon review status to the point where people will send me freebies :p but I am more interested in writing short stories so it's more like something I do when I am bored.
     
  3. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Zero Angel,

    I am still wondering though: does having a bunch of reviews on Amazon help?
     
  4. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    In my opinion no, but having a bunch of reviews elsewhere definitely does. I think you just need some high quality reviews on Amazon. I don't know many people that read the 2000+ reviews on Twilight before deciding to buy it. I read some of the highest rated positive and negative reviews and see what they're actually saying instead of just what their star count is.

    Sort of along the same topic, just got an update from free Kindle books advertising the free books of the day, and they credited the one book with having over 400 reviews as though this was a mark of quality. I guess this is a mark of quality if there are actually 400 people that bought this book and thought it was worth reviewing, but when you have free books have that many reviews it screams suspicious to me.
     
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I don't know about Amazon's algorithm. Based on what I know of data mining, I imagine that Amazon counts reviews and weighs them based on their rated usefulness and the reputation of the reviewers, but that's just a guess.

    However, reviews definitely drive sales, even on Amazon, among the people who view your product. There's no doubt about that. "Hey, this self-piblished book has two reviews, but this one has twenty. Let me look and see what people are talking about . . . .
     
    BWFoster78 likes this.
  6. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    This makes a lot of sense.

    Again, I trying to figure out how much effort to put into getting reviews.

    I definitely want on as many relevant book blogs as possible. Another tip that I've read, however, is to approach the top reviewers on Amazon and try to get them to check out your book.
     
  7. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Soliciting reviews is a lot like querying publishers and agents, or writing cover letters for a resume, or soliciting at a sales job. It's not a skill that comes naturally to people. A lot of people recoil at thought of doing it, and most have no idea what they're doing when they try. I might post something about it. But basically study queries and cover letters to figure it out.
     
  8. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I, for one, would welcome that post.

    I've got a while before I have to send them out. Right now, I'm focused on my overall marketing plan.
     
  9. Stuart John Evison

    Stuart John Evison Minstrel

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    Just put your work out there, if it's any good readers will say so and that's a review. If it's not any good (shit happens) readers will say so and that's a review. More good than bad and you're on a winner but any reaction is better than being ignored. I also think every writer like any sort of artist has a different journey to undertake in getting there and all the time it is about that journey and not the destination. Van Gogh never saw his destination, live with the idea and don't cut your ear off. Someone once asked Jimmy Hendrix how often he practiced, he answered that he didn't, he played all day. If you are a writer, you write all day and like the monkey on the typewriter eventually odds are you'll get your moment in the sun.
    Too much anecdote and metaphor there?
    Stu.E.:)
     
  10. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    The point of my posts is that you need a marketing plan, which is what I'm trying to develop. With the huge amount of books being published, just putting your book out there is going to result in the sound of crickets.
     
    Zero Angel likes this.
  11. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Maester

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    I would just like to say something here. 50 shades of grey- not a self pub as far as I know and it's um a pile of poop. Badly written, badly edited and well badly everything.

    Check the best seller list.
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    50 Shades was self-published, I think, and then became enough of a sensation that a traditional publisher picked it up.
     
  13. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

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    50 shades wasn't self published, but it was published by a very small new online only publisher in Australia.
     
  14. Stuart John Evison

    Stuart John Evison Minstrel

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    Precisely my point, it does not matter how you put it out there, if it's any good people will take notice.
     
  15. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Forgive me, but I don't understand how the quoted statement relates to your point.

    50 Shades, by all accounts, is terrible. There are probably a thousand other books of similar quality and content available. This one somehow captured the attention of the public.

    It's incredibly difficult to get your stuff noticed even if it's of high quality. You need to have a marketing plan and devote significant effort to that plan if you want to get your stuff noticed. Even then, I think it's iffy unless you have significant resources. Leaving your marketing to luck and the concept that it will get noticed if it's good seems unwise in the extreme.
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure 50 Shades was self published online in some form before the Australian publisher. It began life as a Twilight fan fic.
     
  17. ALB2012

    ALB2012 Maester

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    It is still a pile of poo. :)

    She already had a following on the twilight blog thing she did apparently.

    A lot of it is luck.
     
  18. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    I'm not sure you can say this. It may be they have made tremendous investments and just because your personal preference is to be very "tight" writing, some may adopt a style that is more verbose. People often say book "x" was "poorly edited" but without seeing the way it was originally, and the final product, you really can't say what choices the author and editor made and why. As you mentioned there is a great deal that is subjective - and what one person likes, another hates.
     
  19. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    I agree that all those aspects are important...but in many respects if your writing has "issues" at this level...i.e. you need structural editing rather than copy editing. Then I think you should go the route of traditional publishing. Finding experienced copy editors is fairly obtainable...but the issues you discuss require someone who REALLY knows how to build a story. This is a much more subjective aspect of the work, and a bad, or inexperienced structural editor can screw a book up even worse than it originally is. This type of editing is a) very expensive and b) almost impossible to find someone who has years of experience doing so.

    Bottom line...if you can write a good solid story with proper pace, voice, atmosphere, character development, plot structure, etc then you are a candidate for self-publishing...just get some copy editing help. If you don't have the above then you need to improve your craft more. Just my 2 cents.
     
  20. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    There is definitely a need...but I don't see how it can be done. Sure you can have some "typo metrics" but that doesn't mean anything. What's really needed is some determination on "professional" verses "amateur" and that is a much more subjective determination. Such a system would only work if you have a significant rejection rate. If 90% submitted "passed" then it's just buying a stamp and has no real value.
     
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