Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fresh Eyes for Authors

"Avid readers notice mistakes, and it affects whether they want to finish your book, review it or buy another one in the future. 

Fresh Eyes For Authors by Sandy Penny

I read dozens of books a month for my Sweet Mystery Books blog, to review and help promote independently published authors. Unfortunately for those authors, I find so many errors in some of the books that, unless the rest of the novel just blows me away, I don't review them. However, I do let the author know that the poor proofing distracted me from the story. A careful final proofing of a manuscript can save authors the embarrassment of publishing those mistakes and sometimes the additional cost of fixing them after publishing. This is especially true for print books.

Typos, wrong words, missing words, and misspelled words pop out of books like a jack-in-the-box. I hate it when something I write has errors, and just as it happens to others, it happens to me. Every author starts to lose focus after repeatedly going through the same material. You start to see what you know should be there, instead of what is actually there. And, once an author makes a few edits, the likelihood that words are missing, tenses no longer match, or something has been repeated is almost inevitable. That's why I now offer final proofing of novels, to be YOUR fresh eyes just before publishing.

Even if you have an editor and several early readers, you still need fresh eyes at the end of the project. Every writer needs an excellent proofreader. When I was writing for the corporate world, we had designated proofreaders that read every draft after changes were made. We rotated the readers so that no one became jaded.

If you want to successfully market your self-published novel, it needs to be as perfect as possible. There is too much competition for readers to bother with unprofessional books.
Avid readers notice mistakes, and it affects whether they want to finish your book, review it or buy another one in the future.

All those decisions affect your bottom line and acceptance as a professional. Reviews that say, "I quit reading because there were too many mistakes, and I had to keep rereading to figure out what the author really meant," can mean death to your novel. This is particularly important if you plan to write a series of books. The first book will set the tone and expectations of readers. It's like a first date; you want to make the best possible impression, or there may not be a second date.

And, if I really like your work, after proofing it, I have lots of avenues to help promote it, and I do that as a matter of course. My Sweet Mystery Books blog was launched because I was helping an author promote her novel, and many mystery book marketing sites would not accept self-published novels for promotion. I felt I could help her and other indie authors, while building a little book-selling business as an Amazon affiliate. I still only review what I already like. My reviews are not for sale.

I've met some wonderful authors, and I try to encourage anyone who has had the tenacity to complete a novel. I do not post bad reviews unless I think readers really need a warning. I know how difficult writing is, so it is never my intention to trash an author.
Writing is my life. If your writing needs to persuade, inspire, create curiosity or ignite action, every word is important.

If you'd like to know more about my services, go to

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