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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I put my first book up in Feb., I'd read through it myself more than a dozen times times with several weeks in between in order to go back to it with fresh eyes, then I hired two proofers who were looking only for typos and grammar errors after I was satisfied there were no plotholes and it was for the most part how I wanted it.

Two months and a lot of book sales later I got my first "this needs an editor" review, then that's all I got. I was able to track most of those reviews back to other authors and didn't read too much into them because as authors we all have our different writing styles and where some follow every grammar rule listed some don't, it's just how they write and there very well may be nothing wrong with it. Don't misunderstand me, if I was informed of a typo, I fixed it, but the "this needs an editor" didn't do anything for me so I ignored it. Then, I got what I'd consider a genuine review from strictly a reader and she mentioned a couple of typos in the text (her main complaint wasn't really grammar/spelling, but that I'd taken too many creative liberties and my book would have been better as a modern comedy than a historical drama, and as odd as it was, she even came to my defense on a couple points where other reviewers said I'd been too wordy with explanations and not enough dialogue etc). But after reading her review, I sent it off to someone else to have them read through it again to look for errors. They found six typos and helped me eliminate anything that might be considered a common/modern phrase (the book is historical based).

This was almost a month ago and I'm STILL getting the "this needs and editor" reviews.

My question is, do I send it to yet another editor/proofer in hopes of them finding something that's been missed? Or do I just leave this book as is and focus on the one I'm getting ready to publish in the next month or so?

My biggest argument for leaving it alone is those bad reviews are already there so anybody who reads them before buying the book anyway will go into it already in the mindset that something's wrong with it so they'll be looking for problems (I think this might already be happening to a degree..), but at the same time what if there still is something wrong...

Any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JodyWallace said:
Does the type of editing the reviewers think you need = typos? Or larger editorial? Do you know?
This is what I don't now. These reviews are ALL over the place. Some will say, "The grammar is awful or there were a few typos." But then others just say, "It's poorly researched, an editor would have caught such and such historical inaccuracy". I had one 2-star review that said, "I liked the story but the dangling prepositions took away from the enjoyment."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
J.A. Marlow said:
Some of the later reviews might be coming from people who bought the old version of the book and are only now getting around to reading it. So, the copy they have might have errors. I do wish Amazon made it easier to get a corrected copy sent out to people.
I thought of that, too, and wasn't going to worry about it for a few months to let those who've read the original have a chance to read and review it. But then today I got a review on SW from a lady I'd give given the new revised version to when she won a copy from a contest. In her review she went on and on about how she had an urge to take a highlighter to it. She also mentioned she's an editor for Twilight Fan Fiction so I felt slightly better, but not much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the advice I'll get another 10 page edit. This just boggles my mind. I did have an editor for my time period read through it and the two major inconsistencies I had in there that I couldn't change because they were conducive to the plot were explained in a way that should have made them "acceptable". Perhaps not.

Thanks, Monique for the comment about run ons and dialogue tags. I don't know why, but I really like dialogue tags. I have cut down on using them as I've written more books, but I know I have a lot of them in that one. I don't think a person can win for losing with the run-ons though. I've seen people get drilled for run-ons then see the same reviewer get someone else for simple sentences. It's ridiculous,

I have to agree with Oliewankanibe, I think it's easy to jump on the "this needs editing" bandwagon, but when it's your book in question, you become a bit more paranoid about it.

I'm sorry to hear that, Sybil. I hope your experience with it doesn't turn out like mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
julie sellers said:
Well, your rank is really strong, so the reviews don't seem to be influencing readers.

That's a GREAT thing!
Actually it was higher. MUCH, MUCH higher. The bad reviews actually did effect my books quite drastically. In April and May all three of my books were top five for their category and all below 400 in the overall Kindle store. However, all books have to peak and fall, and my books have probably also experienced some natural fall. It's inevitable.

Oh dear, Monique, that very well could be what irritates people. Like I said, I use them a lot because I like to put it how it was said--ie, bellowed, muttered, blurted etc, but I can see where that can drive someone up a wall. At the same time, I've also heard the argument that many people unknowingly scan over dialogue tags...
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Hi Jack,

Yes, that one (or should I say, those three) from Kaitlyn was a doozy. She didn't even finish the sample of two of my three books before reviewing them--I think she read only 2-3% of one of them. Goodness.

Did I know her in a past life? Possibly. I actually grew up in Eugene, OR (where she's from) so it's possible, but I don't think so. She was quite nasty, wasn't she? She even accused me writing my own reviews because apparently my books are so terribly written they couldn't get a good review otherwise, then left a 1-star to help restore balance to the reviews.

Monique and Ellen,

I'll try to amend what I said (no pun intended), I do try to watch how much I use the others (muttered, bellowed etc) and I've actually counted how many times I've used those words in a book and it's really not that much, it's mainly "said" or "asked" that I use, but I've been known to throw in the others every now and then to give a little variety and/or show emotion. Either way, I know it's something that needs to be cut down on, however, dialogue tags cannot ruin an entire book, can they? Or maybe they can, that's just not what I was thinking of when I read that I needed an editor, but maybe that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Monique said:
For me, yes. Absolutely.

Take a look at the first few pages of Intentions of the Earl and I think you'll be surprised at how often you used them. It's so hard to notice things in your writing. I know I miss all sorts of things in my own work. Try reading a few pages looking just at the tags.
All right, be completely honest, do you (or does anyone else) think dialogue tags are problematic enough to re-edit an entire book that's been out for four months and has potentially already peaked?

Thanks Vicki, I'll go read that article.

I'm glad I came here to ask, I had NO idea it was dialogue tags that were the problem. Although, I'm sure it could still be something else entirely, but this does give me something to go off of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Thanks all, I just contacted another editor. One who I have some real confidence in.

By the way, Lynne, no it's not just one of these reviews. As you said, once one person does it, it gives others courage to do the same and I actually already have several and expect I'll continue to get more, whether because of this thread or just other annoyed readers, I don't know, but I already figured out once one person said something, it was more common for others to join in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Actually, I guess this was technically my own fault. I should have reread it once more after getting it back from the editor. I just didn't think I'd need to, if you get my drift.

I fixed the problems in the sample and have sent the whole thing off to someone else. So now I'll just have to cool my heels and wait.

 
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