Kindle Forum banner

Have a possible "horse is already out of the barn" question

3196 Views 47 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  TheGapBetweenMerlons
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?
See less See more
41 - 48 of 48 Posts
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.

This really sucks, Rose. I'm glad you got another editor lined up so quickly :) And don't feel as though you're to blame on this one. Firstly, you're probably like a lot of us - you paid good money for a service, and you expected that person to do what they were paid to. You're not alone in that, nor are you alone in finding out (the hard way) that your trust was misplaced. On the flip side, now that you realize there's a problem, you're getting doing everything you can to fix it. That shows a high level of professionalism and that's in your favor. So chin up :)

As an aside - I realize you didn't say that proofing is a waste of money, but rather not to waste more money on it, and that there is a subtle difference in the two sentences. Still though, I'm a bit :eek:
Here I am, late to the discussion. Heck, yeah, you should get another edit, even if the main problem is the tags. This looks like a series, this is the first book in the series, this is part of your back library. Some readers who see a later book in the series will still buy this one first, thinking they should start at the beginning. If disappointed, they'll never get a chance to see you've improved.

The link, btw, is perfect.

I'd add that a writer needs to learn she can convey information another way, and she can trust the reader to figure out the obvious stuff on their own. So many tags tell readers someone said something in either the only way they could say it, or the way they're most likely to say it. When the idea can't be conveyed another way, tell the reader, when a character does something against expectations, share it. Sometimes a person's words and their tone are at odds, and then the writer needs to give the reader an assist. However, a reader probably has a good idea how things operate on planet earth and the tone people use when conveying tragic news or telling someone they've won the lottery and so "somberly" and "excitedly" are extra baggage -- particularly if the author is taking care of business.
See less See more
I'm impressed that you've handled this so well. I have actually seen authors who will ignore issues because they felt like it's already published, so why bother?

Good for you for doing something about it! And I'm so glad it's selling so well for you. I'm sure it will continue to do well.

I'm late to the party as well.

The one thing I would like to point out -  there are some really MEAN, spiteful and otherwise trollish people who write reviews for Amazon. They tend to run in packs.

IMO it never hurts to get a second opinion of your work - unless the  reader has an adgenda.
Readers don't always realise how hard it can be for an author to spot his own mistakes. Have you thought of joining a writers group such as You can post your work before you publish and get some very useful feedback. I've been doing that for years, and it helps a lot
mac4661 said:
Readers don't always realise how hard it can be for an author to spot his own mistakes.
Maybe not, but why should that matter to the reader?
Content removed circa September 2018 after realizing this forum was bought by VerticalScope -- a foreign corporation with seemingly suspicious motives and a bad attitude apparently attempting to grab rights retroactively. They can have the rights to this statement!
41 - 48 of 48 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.